After wanting to write a review about the Hori EX2 Fighting Stick for the 360 I started a post and never finished it.
Anyway after waiting for months and just randomly checking out on amazon.co.uk I saw a Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick by Mad Catz as being in stock, so I placed an order and it arrived so I thought now might be a good time to redo my previous blog post and compare the two sticks from the point of view of a terrible beat'em up player (if you actually want some good reviews of the sticks I would suggest visiting 1up.com for a review of the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick, About.com for a review of the Hori EX2 or The "Break It Down" Blog for a comparison).
When I first tried comparing them I noticed the weight difference to be massively different, the Hori EX2 Fighting Stick is extremely light when compared to the hefty weight of the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick. Neither are too heavy or too light but Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick feels a lot more substantial when on a table or in your lap.
When I looked at the joysticks side by side the obvious difference was the placement of the buttons (other than the difference in size). Most fighting games I've played only require 6 buttons and use additional buttons as extra mappable button combinations (i.e. pressing RB is a combination of 3 other buttons). The Hori stick only has 6 main face buttons and has the LB and RB buttons at the top which doesn't make them too easy to use when playing a game which the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick has 8 face buttons for easy access.
Apparently the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick uses Sanwa parts and not being a fighting game aficionado I had to do a little googling and found out that Sanwa is manufacturer of arcade parts in Japan. From my point of view (the know nothing point of view) the buttons and the actual joystick are slightly more responsive on the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick and make a slightly more satisfying click to the Hori's clack noise.
Design wise the two joysticks are very different, with the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick have some nice Street Fighter 4 artwork on the top and the Hori X2 Fighting Stick sporting a more simple and plan look. The Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick also has a turbo function, a nice cable hideaway and the start and back buttons are moved off the top of the controller to help stop people accidentally clicking it, which I am told is an automatic disqualification on the tournament scene.
Price wise the two sticks are far apart and I guess both are very good for their price ranges and it comparing them isn't really fair. Hopefully I can get my uncultured beat'em hand on the Hori Tekken 6 fighting stick there maybe a better comparison with the Street Fighter 4 Tournament Fight Stick or get hold of a Mad Catz Arcade Fight Stick and compare that with the Hori EX2.