The competitive fighting game community can be awfully particular about its controller preferences. This is because fighting games are so brutally intense that professional fighting game champions — those who play in tournaments like EVO Japan — often vie in favor of controllers called fight sticks that emulate the OG arcade cabinet design.
Almost completely out of left field, Razer smashed its way into the fighting game fight stick arena like Street Fighter’s Zangief going in for the finishing blow. The hitbox-like Razer Kitsune All-Button Arcade Controller, which launches on October 31 for $299.99, is compatible with both PlayStation 5 and PC via USB-C. And good lord, does it look fun to play fighting games with.
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The Kitsune’s Razer Chroma RGB backlit, all-black aluminum design looks sort of like a keyboard rather than a joystick — this is thanks to the fact every stick and trigger function is relegated to a set of 12 round buttons on the front panel. Gamers who’ve gotten their hands on it are already singing its praises, with GameSpot’s Michael Higham calling it “the best fighting game controller, period.”
The Razer Kitsune’s design is actually way more modular than it first appears. Not only can you remove the aluminum top plate to refit the exterior with special vinyl wraps (like the Chun-Li Edition vinyl wrap), it looks like the low-profile linear optical switches underneath the buttons allow you to customize the buttons themselves… in theory. The real draw is their smoothness and quick response time, which, combined with their convenient layout and the Kitsune’s accompanying tournament lock switch — which turns off certain buttons and secures the cable in place when activated — makes them arguably more precise than any standard gaming controller.
Even if you aren’t a fighting game fan — though if you are, it sounds like the Razer Kitsune is a no-brainer purchase, especially if you play a lot of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Melty Blood — the arcade-style layout looks like a delightful way to play action-heavy 2D games like bullet hell shooters. You could probably even justify the purchase if you’re using it to play older SNES-era games (like older JRPGs, for instance) that are less action-heavy, like Chrono Trigger.
The $299.99 price tag is a bit much for most gamers outside of the fighting game community who may not need as much additional performance, but it’s definitely one of the coolest-looking controllers we’ve seen go into full production. If only it was compatible with the Nintendo Switch.
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