Arcade Europe’s Classic Arcade Stick for PC has entered the market for £220 but what makes it different from other products on the shelf?

The answer to this lays within the build and materials. Some competitors might offer a robust alternative, but Arcade Europe’s offering stands tall in design and execution and although the base unit is made from a wood, rather than metal, it is deceptively strong and resistant to any scuffing and wear. The aesthetics are something reminiscent of an Arcade era minus the decals. It’s a subtle yet refined finish that’s so simple it’s clear to see that this is a stick that isn’t ashamed of its roots from the golden age.

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In motion the stick is exceptional. Everything just feels right and it’s not long before the euphoric moment of nostalgia hits you. This feeling is a clear message that Arcade Europe got it right and a feeling many savvy arcade users long for, time-and-time again.

Although disconnected from a cabinet the unit is weighty and does not shift at all when placed on a flat surface. The distance between two players is comfortable.

Who is Arcade Europe?

With some background research I noticed the company was operating from Czech Republic under UK ties. Arcade Europe is a small and relatively unknown company so a few red flags were up and I decided to make contact to clarify any concerns.

After an email and a phone call I found out the company director, Andy Devine, is UK born but operates abroad. Andy has previously worked with some high profile international companies and you’ll have definitely seen his work without realising it.

Before eloping to start a new life with his family, he made the decision to follow his passion combining arcade gaming with design and manufacture. The risk is paying off and slowly but surely his dedication for quality and design is coming to fruition as his expanding portfolio of clients will testify.

At this time Arcade Europe ships world wide and if you’re within the EU there is good news, no import tax will be added!

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What are you?

So, what is the material? The wood is Melamine faced premium panelling manufactured by Egger. I have been using the item for some time and there are no scuffs or marks, even though my wedding ring sometimes catches the surface around the stick. The connections are brushed steel 3mm laser cut and custom made.

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Internally the brackets, again, are laser cut with the Arcade Europe signature and embossed into the structure. This is a detail that shows a real love of craftsmanship and care built into the product and details you will never see, but know are there.

The PCB is literally plug and play for PC, which this unit was tested on. No updates were needed.

The stick and buttons are LS-32 Semitsu parts and personally this is my preference and play style over Sanwa, which is also another favourite among arcade users. Arcade Europe offers both along with HAPP – to fit the players preference. If you’re not sure what the differences are then definitely do some searching. Each has a specific feel and will alter your experience.

The micro switches in the stick act as expected and everything works well with no latency I noticed. The trackball sits centre and is in replacement of a mouse. A permanent usb cable runs from the rear of the unit for the trackball, a second male-to-male USB cable is required for the stick to function.

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I tested the trackball with Missile Command and it felt as authentic as the original. There are also two buttons either side of the unit for pinball games, unfortunately I was unable to test these.

For this review I tested the stick with the entire Metal Slug series on Steam, KoF Steam edition, Sine Mora and finally, the indie produced, Streets of Rage Remake.

The experience is exhilarating, and I can faithfully say as an arcade fanatic, this stick is fantastic.

The £220 price tag offers an affordable entry level option for those looking to test the waters in the genre, even for those with limited space or just looking for some portability. I’m happy to say that given my positive experience with this product and Andy’s customer service, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Classic Arcade Stick by Arcade Europe.

Think about the future

It goes without saying the games you play are best suited to the 2D retro arcade style, reaching beyond that you’re just looking to be disappointed. 3D contemporary games that require duel analogue sticks are a no go. It’s safe to say when you hit those 2D and 2.5D notes you’ll be hooked and the only place you’ll be satisfied going to after – is probably to the Arcade Cabinet section at Arcade Europe’s website.

Visit Arcade Europe’s website for more details on their available products.

Classic Arcade Stick Review by Ash from the Retro Gaming Blog. RGB_RetroBlog

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