[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/sfaccontroller/cover.jpg[/floatleft]I am a well-known [i]Street Fighter[/i] nut. I own the games, the anime, the horrible Van Damme movie, the comics, the works. Naturally, when I heard that Sony- and Capcom-licensed special edition controllers were being released in parallel with the PS2 launch of [i]Street Fighter Anniversary Collection[/i], I was already bookmarking funds to purchase at least one controller. So I bought one, indeed, and I was not disappointed.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/sfaccontroller/ss05_thumb.jpg[/floatright]The controller itself will make any 2D fighting fan extraordinarily happy. It has a six-button layout like the Genesis controllers of old with two additional shoulder buttons. Moving two of the buttons onto the face of the pad was brilliant and makes playing any 2D fighter (especially [i]Street Fighter[/i]) a much more enjoyable experience. The D-pad is well-crafted and feels quite responsive and much better than the D-pad on the Dual Shock. The controller is thick but not heavy and honestly feels a bit “cheaper” than I was hoping for. Lastly, on the face of the controller is a three-image lenticular display featuring a three-frame animation of the one of four characters: Akuma, Chun-Li, Ken, or Ryu. My purchase was Ryu, but with the recent price drop from $25 to $20 I will be acquiring the remaining three controllers in short order. Collectors should note that the Akuma version is extremely difficult to find, and you may need to venture online to obtain it.
To be honest, the packaging rather than the controller is the real selling point. The box is absolutely beautiful with special artwork for each character. Opening up the front flap reveals a certificate with a message from Nuby Tech and the familiar seal that has accompanied all of the 15th anniversary goods. Also included is an edition of the [i]new Street Fighter[i/] comic series (currently 12 editions in), which has some of the most beautiful [i]Street Fighter[/i] artwork that I have seen in quite some time.
[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/sfaccontroller/ss01_thumb.jpg[/floatleft]All in all, this is a solid controller that will make all of your PS2 2D fighters feel brand new again. The packaging is so exceptional that any collector or fan of the series will appreciate it. With the $20 price point, there really isn’t a strong reason not to snatch one of these up. Be warned, you may never want to take it out of the box.