As Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, and other fighting games loom near, fans have been gearing up in preparation for their next challenge. Many have been transitioning to arcade sticks, the common weapon of choice. However, a PC/PS4-compatible arcade stick might be too pricey for some. For others, they just can’t let go of their old reliable. In that case, HORI Fighting Commander 4 Pro (FC4 Pro) might just be the right fit for you.
Released in May 2015, the HORI Fighting Commander 4 Pro is a gamepad built specifically for fighting games, Sporting a six-button layout, it closely resembles a miniaturized arcade stick, albeit with the d-pad instead of a joystick for directional input. Speaking of the d-pad, it can be adjusted at an angle (up till 20 degrees), helping those with a hard time executing special moves.
The FC4 Pro is built with a toggle switch, allowing you to switch between PS3/PC and PS4 compatibility. This makes it one of the most versatile gamepads in the market, as it allows you to use it even on previous-generation consoles. Now, you only need to bring one gamepad when you are either looking for a nostalgia trip with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on the PS3, going on a Steam gaming binge on the PC, or warming up for Mortal Kombat X on the PS4. Just plug it in, and you’re ready to go.
At this point, some may ask, “Why am I reading a review about a gamepad when I use arcade sticks?”
The answer is Modding.
Stick modding has been the go-to solution of some fighting game players. Not only does it save money by being able to keep your old stick, modding also allows you to become more creative with designing it.
With the right tools and skills, you can jury-rig any arcade stick to make it compatible with the Playstation 4, using a process called “padhacking”. However, it requires certain vital components to make it work, one of which is the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) that can be read by a PS4.
That’s where the HORI Fighting Commander 4 Pro comes in. It has a PCB that’s small enough to put into any-sized stick, as long as you know your stuff. The gamepad is also built in such a way that it’s easy to take out the board without damaging the entire pad. This is one of the reasons why this gamepad is so popular. Not only is it an excellent as a controller, but it is also a favorite amongst the modding community for its convenience and affordability.
One particular modder is Krimpai Mods. A well-known veteran in the Philippine fighting game community, he is also an experienced modder who utilizes the FC4 Pro’s PCB to create stunning custom arcade sticks.
As someone who has just been into competitive fighting games for the past year, the FC4 has helped me develop my skills. The six-button layout is a big help in transitioning between gamepad and arcade stick, as it provides a similar feel. It’s also easy to put inside a small bag for when I need to travel for a tournament.
While the arcade stick has been the go-to equipment for most fighting game veterans and champions, some top-level players still prefer the gamepad. Big names include Red Bull’s Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis and Bryant “Smug” Huggins of Team PIE. In the end, the choice between gamepad and arcade stick is up to your style.
The HORI Fighting Commander 4 Pro is priced at 1,800 in Datablitz. For a gamepad that can be used for two generations of consoles and the PC, as well as a sought-after component for modding, it is no wonder why this gamepad flies off the shelves the moment they’re in stock.
If you want to be truly prepared to take on the world in fighting games, you don’t have to shell out thousands of pesos for new equipment. It just takes a well-made gamepad, and for others a dash of creative engineering, to become ready for the next stage.
Photos by: David Cayuca of BREGZ
Review by: Juabe Inciong of BREGZ