It’s weird, really. A lot of fighting games seem to be swarming on PlayStation 4, but here’s Razer, sticking with the Xbox One, and making a stick that caters to dedicated players of Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat XL and other fighting games that may be available for the system. Some folks might be scratching their head over this, but there’s probably a reason for this.
After all, the Atrox’s previous model on the Xbox 360 worked very well, although that console has a far greater selection of fighters to choose from, including many Street Fighter games. Nevertheless, the quality of the Atrox on the Xbox One remains on the same level, and fighting fans that have a deep wallet and appreciation for the aforementioned games (as well as others that will eventually become available via backward compatibility) will feel right at home with it.
First, let’s talk about the build. Fans of fightsticks will easily recognize the similarity between the Atrox and other models, with its body, main panel, button layout and stick being of utmost arcade quality. They’re all very functional, and, for good measure, you can even tweak a few settings if you’re a master fighting fan, since you can easily crack open the hood and tinker with wires. NOTE: you might want to hold off on this if you’re a newbie, or else you might get something wrong and render your fighting stick less than plentiful.
There are some differences, though. I love the new black buttons on his model, compared to the previous Atrox, and you can change out the template if you’re not feeling the green and black background. That’s bound to be a plentiful option for devotees that want to really push their fighting customization to the next level.
There are some interesting choices with design, though. The USB port is now on the front, making it somewhat easier for connecting things; and there’s no headset port on this one. That’ll throw a few folks off, but I don’t really see too many fighting fans that invest in both a fightstick and a headset. Unless they don’t want to bother the neighbors, maybe…
I do like the ease of replacing parts if needed, thanks to the included secondary screwdriver. Again, it’s not an option I recommend unless you’re hardcore enough to figure out how to make it go around. The fighting stick works just fine on its own, and why fiddle with greatness unless you really, really want to?
As for performance with games, I found it to be quite responsive with many types. It feels like second nature with Tekken Tag Tournament 2, right down to the partner switch outs and the combo building. It’s almost like playing on a cabinet, mind the slightly diminished visuals. As for Killer Instinct, it’s not bad for charge-up, combo-building moves, and the response time is impressive when it comes to executing combo breakers at the right moment.
As for Mortal Kombat XL, I did have a slight bit of struggle with fireball-style moves, thanks to the way the controller is built. That’s not to say I couldn’t pull them off – I could – but the very slight clicky-clicky coming up from direction to direction takes a little bit of getting used to. At least Dead Or Alive 5: Final Round performed up to speed, with plenty of good moves with each character, and lots of swift counters coming off with ease.
This is an ideal fighting stick, especially for those that like to fiddle with options (if you’re knowledgeable, again) and enjoy a sleek, darkened build that’s a highlight compared to the original Atrox. The only downside is the price – it’s going to cost you $200 to get your hands on this bad boy, and while that’s reasonable compared to, say, the $300 model on PS4, it still might be a rough hit for those on a budget.
However, if it’s fighting supremacy you want, and you don’t choose to dink around with cheaper options, you’ll get your money’s worth out of the Atrox. It performs pretty well, save for a few minor functions; it’s got something to offer for pros and newbies alike; and it looks a lot better than the previous model, with admirable parts to match. You’ll definitely get a good fight out of it – I just wish there were more games to fight with.