We’ve all heard of Mayflash (OK, most of us have), but I’ve never really used their products in the past. I’ve wanted to, but the opportunity never came up. Word of mouth, or lack thereof, might be a major factor for the lapse in recollection, but they do make some pretty good accessories if sticker value comes absolutely first.
In this case I’m talking specifically about the F500 Arcade Fighting Stick, which replicates the authenticity and feel of a hardcore 8-button/8-way joystick arrangement; the biggest difference being the welcome absence of sticker shock compared to the likes of rivals Mad Catz or Hori.
The F500 certainly looks and feels close to the real thing with full metal panels, thick rubber feet, and a healthy amount of weight at 4lbs to keep everything from sliding all around the place. But the F500 keeps amenities simple for lower cost of entry like the lack of Sanwa Denshi buttons, and a simple all-black color scheme that’s free of visual polish. Components that only the obsessed coin-op warrior would point out.
These are minor quips because Mayflash has constructed their arcade sticks for easy modification and compatibility, and every functional piece can be swapped out to fit player tastes.
This is a immediate descendant of the F300 which worked with previous-gen consoles and PCs, but moderately improved to work with PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox platforms and PC via USB daisychaing, with the latter supporting XINPUT and DINPUT functions. D-Pad and X/Y axis positions can be reversed while turbo settings round out the package, exactly like more expensive fight sticks that have the assumed pedigree and esteem.
But how does it play? Well, if you’re looking for a more traditional arcade experience at home then the F500 delivers on a agreeable level. Taking it through some rounds of Street Fighter V was responsive and mostly duplicates the physical and aesthetic nature, only scaled to a more Japanese-like profile and layout design. You’ll definitely notice the lighter feel in the convex buttons, and a slick D-stick that begging for customization down the road; it’s not bad, but does invite the inevitable amount of tinkering for up-and-coming tournament players. Otherwise, there are few faults.
Even with my brief playtime, I really like it and have questioned why it took me so long to recognize Mayflash as a real contender. Still, we need more playtime with the F500 Arcade Fighting Stick to make a final judgment. Hopefully we can review and put it to the test in the coming month or so (hint, hint).
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