I doubt that when All Interactive decided to release BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger in Australia with a bonus arcade stick, that they intended for me to boot up Super Street Fighter IV instead of their acclaimed product in an attempt to test drive the included peripheral. It's not that I don't want to play BlazBlue, in fact the opposite is true. My rationale for playing what is the fighting game equivalent of my comfort zone instead of the new kid on the block is that I know how, let's say, Ryu is supposed to respond to my movements. I want to familiarise myself with Ragna the Bloodedge and Hakumen, but for now, I know that forward, down, down-forward + punch = Shoryuken.
I must admit that initially, I thought this generic looking controller would cease to function within minutes; that quarter-circles, double quarter-circles and charges would be beyond its capabilities. I was glad to find that my assumptions were not entirely confirmed. Up-left isn't as responsive as I would have hoped, however I am working it in, and the more I jump around, the more functional the area becomes. The suction cups are making out with my coffee table, and their joyous union is leading to increased accuracy with input. Under pressure however, I can't tell whether the fault is with my articulation of the stick or the controller itself. I lost a few close matches due to the inability to bust an Ultra. I'm going to persist. Not only because I have wanted an arcade stick since I first owned Street Fighter II: Championship Edition on the Sega Mega Drive, but because of the ridiculous price of the package. At least two major retail chains (JB Hi-fi and EBgames) are selling BlazBlue with the stick, for less than half the RRP. The value propositon this package presents is unbelievable: a universally acclaimed fighter and a (so far) competent peripheral for less than (in both cases) 40 dollars. I'll be sure to subject the controller to much more rigorous testing and will pass on the results. Let's hope they are favourable.
I also picked up Blur after playing the multiplayer demo, which was awesome. After 30 minutes I was convinced I was playing the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare of the racing genre. After some positive word-of-mouth marketing from reader 4XScope, I'm hoping that Blur doesn't turn out to be the slot machine that the Penny Arcade team and several other outlets have purported it to be. Also very close to the end of Peace Walker and I will hopefully have a review ready next week.
What were you all playing this weekend?