With the release of our first FightStick featuring a Korean lever we’ve decided to go a bit more in-depth about the product and provide extra information to the gaming community about the Mad Catz Arcade FightStick KE – Korean Edition and the parts used in it. Gamers who never got used to the Japanese-style ball top and clung onto the more American-style bat-top arcade levers might want to give the KE stick a try.
There is a consensus out there for arcade sticks that “Sanwa” parts are the beginning and the end for an authentic arcade experience. In some parts of the world this holds true. However, there are distinct locations that don’t comply with the norm. Within South Korea lies a rich arcade culture all its own. In these lands, just west of Japan, is a fully diverse and authentic set of roots that have also honed skill sets of a different type of world warrior.
South Korea has been a hot spot for many competitive fighting games over the past decade. From King of Fighters, Virtua Fighter, TEKKEN and more recently, Street Fighter… Korean fighting gamers have proven that they are not only world-class in the traditional PC eSports realm but also when it comes to one-on-one fights in the virtual streets.
You’ve probably heard of legendary warriors such as Seonwoo “INFILTRATION” Lee, who is one of the most dominant Street Fighter players in the world. He’s won countless tournaments in both Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Street Fighter X Tekken and is continuing his assault against the world stage. Most recently Hyun Jin “JDCR” Kim and Jinwoo “Saint” Choi dominated the TEKKEN Global Championship Finals and took 2nd and 1st respectively. One thing that these champions all have in common is the hunger to be a top competitor. Another thing? They all play using a Korean arcade stick lever.
The traditional Korean arcade stick handle is a teardrop-shaped (baseball bat) lever and is restricted by its intended range of motion, alongside rubber grommets that help push the lever to neutral position more naturally versus its spherical ball-topped Japanese counterparts. Some of the benefits of Korean-style levers are the ability to do specific motions that require moving the lever between two cardinal directions such as wavedashing and “Korean backdash” in TEKKEN or special move canceling into FADC combos in the Street Fighter IV series. The aforementioned techniques can be vital to inflicting more damage and creating better opportunities for gameplay.
The above video is a great example of the possibilities and strong points of the Crown CWJ-303A / Korean lever once you’re accustomed to them.
Our friend and former EVO champion Ryan “Laugh” Ahn helped with the development of this lever and even wrote an article for us that detailed the differences between Korean levers and Sanwa levers.
The Mad Catz Arcade FightStick KE – Korean Edition features a Crown CWJ-303A lever and battle-tested Sanwa OBSF-30 action buttons. We decided to offer this entry-level arcade stick design to help introduce gamers to a totally unique option of control. At the end of the day it comes down to preference and playing with what you’re most comfortable with. Unfortunately, the “KE” is only available in North America for the time being. Depending on how well it does we may release it in more regions! Keep your fingers crossed!
If you aren’t too keen on shelling out for the full solution with the FightStick KE, you also have the option of purchasing the Crown lever from our web store and installing it in your existing Mad Catz FightStick. For a detailed breakdown on how the Crown lever is installed, please check this article here. NOTE: Only attempt to install/modify your arcade stick if you know exactly what you’re doing!
You can purchase the Mad Catz Arcade FightStick KE – Korean Edition for either Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 now at store.madcatz.com! Additionally, you can purchase the Crown CWJ-303A levers (black or white) and install them into your existing Mad Catz FightStick. Links for each item are listed below! Happy fighting!