I used to love wasting my pocket money as a child on arcade machines that loved nothing more than to gobble up my coins. Yet, there was something special about arcade games of yesteryear. Whether it be a gathering crowd to cheer you on or jeer your inevitable loss. It also gave us the best versions of those games that money can buy in comparison to the home console.

Sadly, in most regions of the world, that is a bygone era other than a few specialist locations. Thankfully, we can get a taste of the old-school arcade in the comfort of our own home with accessories such as the Daija Arcade Stick from Nacon and after testing out this bad boy for several hours, this is without a doubt the definitive way to play fighting games. What’s more, to further replicate that old-school arcade, it’s a great way to play modern beat ‘em ups such as Streets of Rage 4 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredders Revenge or perhaps even something truly old-school like Double Dragon and Golden Axe.

Check out the Daija Arcade Stick trailer below!

The vast majority of my time using the Daija Arcade Stick was spent playing Street Fighter 6, Mortal Kombat 1 and Tekken 8. Not only did this accessory replicate the arcade experience to near perfection, but I felt my performances were slightly enhanced when compared to using a control pad. It might take you a little while to get used to the button layout but you’ll soon find that your reflexes using the Daija Arcade Stick are a little more responsive, which can make all the difference in the heat of the battle. It’s also incredibly comfy when placed on your lap and coming from someone who suffers from arthritis including my wrist and hands, the Daija Arcade Stick helped ease my comfort as a weight-bearing device, and with the added benefit of its textured palm rest.

What’s more, unlike the previous model of Daija Arcade Stick that I own for PlayStation 4/3, this newer version can be customised by downloading the official Nacon app. Just like the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro, you can remap all the action buttons how you please and save them to one of the four profiles and as the likes of Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8 play differently, this feature can be very beneficial. Like the previous model, there’s even the choice of swapping between each of the two stick heads provided and if you like to add your personal touch, you can purchase SANWA-licensed sticks and buttons to fully customise.

Daija Arcade Stick/Credit: Nacon
Daija Arcade Stick/Credit: Nacon

This newer version of the Daija Arcade Stick is also very similar to the previous model in terms of quality, layout and functionality. The main features that it has over the previous model are the aforementioned app, but also a very handy lock button to prevent you from accidentally nudging buttons located on the side of the device and the 3-metre braided USB-C cable is now fully detachable. It’s also worth mentioning that as with the previous model, the new version is designed in collaboration with competitive Team Red Bull esports player, Kayane, known for being an expert with the likes of Street Fighter, Dead or Alive, Tekken and more, so it comes with that added quality and approval.

For a premium item such as the Daija Arcade Stick, it does come with a big price tag of €280 RRP which works out to be about £240/$300. It’s available in two models, PC/PS5/PS4 or PC/XBSX|S/XB1, respectively. That being said, this is a similar equivalent to purchasing a pro controller and I do believe that the price of the Daija Arcade Stick represents good value for money, especially if you’re a big fan of fighting games whether you’re casual or a pro. If you’re looking to relive those nostalgic arcade days or make the most out of your favourite competitive fighting games, then look no further than the Daija Arcade Stick from Nacon. It will be a purchase you won’t regret.

The Daija Arcade Stick can be purchased from nacongaming.com as well as various retailers. A review sample was loaned by Nacon.

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