The resurgence in popularity of beat-‘em-up titles brought about by Street Fighter IV has seen many well established franchises return to form and a number of new competitors enter the arena. With this comes the opportunity for arcade stick manufacturers to up their game and take advantage of the wider audience, and one such company is Razer. Keen to satisfy both the core audience and modders, the Razer Atrox is a stick that has been designed for high quality out of the box and yet offers dozens of modular customisation features.
Assessing the Razer Atrox as a standard arcade stick places it high on the recommended list. It’s weighty, solid construction is commendable as it keeps the stick firmly in place, whether held on a desktop with its rubberised base or on your lap with it’s broad yet balanced box presentation. The premium quality sanwa buttons and the eight-way joystick (of which both a gear stick and ball top stick are included as standard) are comparable to the finest of arcade cabinets and are universally compatible, so if you decide that you prefer the feel of a set of buttons you already own swapping them out is incredibly easy.
This is where the Razer Atrox truly shines. Fans of customising their own arcade stick will love the options the Razer Atrox provides, from the template based facia to the interchangeable buttons and stick, and then to the modular brain. The top lid of the Razer Atrox opens to reveal a honeycomb structure that allows any accessories you so choose to be screwed into place in any position, be they weights or mounts or even additional brains for multi-format compatibility. The Razer Atrox is literally the finest choice as a base platform upon which to build your own dream arcade stick.
The weakest aspect if the Razer Atrox is its compatibility. This is an Xbox 360 arcade stick and is also compatible with many PC titles, however is has totally ignored the Xbox One – a system with which it shares the entire arrangement of buttons – despite the fact that Microsoft’s newest console is likely to build a beat-‘em-up audience rapidly thanks to the free-to-play offering of Killer Instinct. It’s an oversight which may not mean much to some, but will most certainly raise a question as to whether the Razer Atrox will be worth its high asking price for many.