Review: Razer Smashes into the arcade stick market with the effective yet expensive Atrox
Razer's been known for making some top-notch peripherals over the past few years, including gaming laptops, tablets (namely the Razer Edge), controllers and headsets. However, it had yet to tackle the arcade stick market, and considering that the competition only contains a few certain manufacturers – like MadCatz, for example – you had to wonder just when they were going to give it a shot.
Today, we've gotten our answer. The company has released the Razer Atrox for the Xbox 360, a very effective – and sturdy – arcade stick that's just as high-quality as any others you'd find on the market. Furthermore, you can heighten your experience by playing around with the completely customizable parts, changing up the joystick however you please, and modifying button functions with the help of a push-button pad on the corner of the stick.
When you first open up the Atrox, you'll find its thick shell something that may be a challenge to have in your lap at first. After that, however, you'll find both the joystick and buttons very easily accessible, so that you can perform as you would on an arcade fighting machine, complete with the rolling hand motions and button presses. You can also change button functions so you have auto-fire or certain timing, in case you need to set up a multi-hit combo with the likes of Tekken and Street Fighter.
The joystick functions very handily, and what's more, you can actually store the components inside by pressing the button on the front center of the Atrox. It opens up to reveal an alternate joystick, as well as storage space for your USB cable when it's not in use. That makes it decorative and easy to display when you're doing something else.
Atrox's top design consists of a modified Razer logo, and it looks pretty good, though some fighting fans may prefer MadCatz's custom art on its own fighting sticks, like characters from Street Fighter or the new Sanrio designs. Still, if you want something that's more about performance than design, the Atrox holds up admirably.
Changing out parts is quite easy, though, honestly, you'll just want to test out the joystick tops at first, which consist of the classic "ball on top" design like several classic games have, or a more flatter handle design that makes it easier to execute fighting moves. They twist off and reattach easily, though you'll want to make sure they're good and tight before you get into some serious fighting action.
Two nuances get in the way when it comes to enjoying the Atrox. The first is button spacing, as it's made for bigger fighting hands. If you're a smaller built player, it may take you some time to get used to this. The second is the price. Where most fighting sticks go for around $150, Atrox goes all in for $200. There is better quality here, and a cool glowing Razer logo on the front of the stick, but otherwise, you may find yourself balking at the price.
If you can afford it, though, and you want a stick that will deliver for all your fanatical arcade playing needs, the Atrox is a worthy choice. Put your cash down and let's see where your fighting skills lie, shall we?
(Review unit provided by Razer.)