Razer Atrox Review – The Stick’s fighting game cousin 
  TweetTweet

Darryn Bonthuys
August 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Atrox (11)

So you want to be a pro fighting gamer, do ya? Well ya gotta eat lighting combos and crap thunder juggles! You’re going to need hardware to match your ambitions, and with a ton of arcade inspired fight-sticks on the market, you’re going to want something that will last you for years to come! And that’s where the Razer Atrox comes in.

Lay me out baby

Atrox (3)

Designed as a tournament-grade arcade-pad, the Atrox comes equipped with a joystick, eight face buttons and a bunch of other smaller ones. They all work. That’s the basic explanation. To be far more technical however, the Razer Atrox is set up with the Sanwa Denshi JLF-TP-8YT joystick for maximum fighting wiggles, while the face buttons themselves are of the OBSF-30 and OBSF-24 variety. What does that mean? Expect fast-paced snap inputs depending on what manner of bliksem attack you want to throw at opponents, that’s what.

In addition to all that, there’s an Xbox home button on the surface, a control stick switch for when you want to utilise either analogue stick or the directional pad and map it to your joystick, as well as lock switches. Even more buttons are available however, with eight turbo buttons that allow you to shout a Knight Rider catchphrase and hammer out dozens of punches per face button, with minimal finger movements required. Going turbo comes in two flavours, allowing players to execute either four or eight moves per second.

Atrox (4)

The layout of the buttons themselves come from a slight variant on the Taito Vewlix system, with influences from Dead Or Alive 4. That means two rows of four buttons each, with the various inputs favouring right-handed players. The default stick for the Atrox is a Sanwa balltop, with a baseball bat design stick included in the Atrox as well.

Atrox (5)

With a start and select button on the right-hand side of the Atrox, what you have then is an arcade-stick that has Tournament level parts inside of it, that will last you many, many furious taps and slams during heated competitions. But so do many other peripherals, from various other retailers. So what does the Atrox have to offer then for the higher price tag? A custom experience, that’s what.

Custom punches to your face

Atrox (8)

The Atrox can be opened up, with all its technical innards exposed if you’re into that kind of hardware porn. Razer has marketed the Atrox as a device that can be tinkered with, and it actually encourages this behaviour for gamers who want to fine-tune their experience. The first such example of this, is that all the buttons are colour-coded inside, with a handy map above them to keep folks from inadvertently wiring a new punch button to a grapple input and possibly sabotaging all of their competitive efforts. Believe it or not, this kind of thing does happen.

Atrox (9)

There’s a handy little screwdriver included as well, that has its own compartment, so you’re sorted for any sort of star or flat-head screwing that you’ll need to do. This setup also allows for buttons to easily be removed and swapped, while the Sanwa JF lever can also be swapped out, with a spare lever able to occupy its own slot in the casing.

Atrox (10)

The main feature however, can be found in the floor itself. That honeycomb grid pattern there? That’s there for a reason, and it has nothing to do with looking pretty. Each hole in that grid serves as a screwhole, which means that the particularly obsessive fight-stick fans out there can throw in other hardware such as an LED board or PCB bits that give the joystick more functionality.

Atrox (12)

It may look daunting at first, but actually digging into the Atrox and playing around with its internals is easy enough, with even this particular monkey finding it simple enough to do so. This is what will sell the Atrox, and on the customisation front, Razer has succeeded splendidly.

Heavy, but sexy

Atrox (6)

In terms of ergonomics, the Atrox is a beast. Despite being made mostly of plastic and Hadoukens, the Atrox has quite a bit of heft, which can actually be satisfying for players who want an arcade stick that doesn’t feel like it’s going to break in half when you get overzealous on the 21 hit combos. It’s about the size of a small briefcase, and could easily be used to murder someone, which is handy (But not recommended) in situations where you’re being dominated in Mortal Kombat.

Atrox (7)

The Atrox also has a comfy rubber base, giving it a firm Kung-Fu grip on your lap, while opening it up reveals a piston that keeps the device from guillotining your head off while you fiddle around inside it. Despite the plastic construction, it feels like the kind of quality plastic that you’d find outside of a Beverly Hills surgery, with the Atrox having a sturdy shell that won’t crack easy.

Atrox (1)

There’s also a lengthy connection wire nestled inside an internal compartment, which will give you several meters of room to set the Atrox up with, or work as an impromptu strangulation cord when you’re playing a game of Street Fighter against Geoff (Again, not recommended). The clip for this particular cord has a handy lock, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally disconnecting from your Xbox 360.

Performance

Atrox (2)

To test the Atrox out properly, we put it through the ringer. Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat, Guilty Gear X, BlazBlue: Chrona Phantasma and Soul Calibur 2 HD were used for the tests, to see how the stick performed. I went into several matches, being absolutely rubbish at fighting games when using a controller, and came out still being absolutely rubbish when using the Atrox.

But that’s because I have zero skills, despite my love for the genre. Despite my massive gap in talent, the Atrox still performed beautifully, with the wired setup providing zero lag whatsoever. In professional tournaments, even a micro-second delay can be the decider between victory and defeat, and the Atrox performed exquisitely, as it threw out perfectly executed punches and special attacks when I allowed a fighting game fanatic to take the stick.

Taking things a step further, I fired up some emulators, sat down for some classic games and had a blast  as I relived a youth outside a Greek corner cafe where I would pump 50 cent coins into games such as Sunset Riders and the Punisher. The Atrox may be meant for fighting games primarily, but there’s nothing to stop you using it for other games as well.

Chocolate compartment

Atrox (13)

If you’re not planning to play around with the Atrox internals, that does leave you with some real estate inside of the device. Naturally, this makes a perfect location to store some treats, with Kit Kat being the most ergonomically designed confectionery that you can shove inside. Chunkier chocolates may get squished by the protruding hardware from the roof of the Atrox, but laying out several delicious Kit Kats flat will help prevent you getting any candy stuck inside the electronics (Editors note: Darryn is an idiot and we really, really don’t recommend keeping sweets inside the Atrox).

Final round analysis

There’s no getting around the fact that the Razer Atrox is one of the pricier fight-sticks on the market. But what you’re getting is a device that lives up to the investment. You also have to ask yourself how invested you are in the current-gen console fighting game genre, as the device won’t work on the Xbox One, meaning that future fighting games will have to waged on PC, if you happen to have the hardware to support it.

But if you’re sticking around with games such as Injustice, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter 4 and various others for the long run, then you’ve got a slice of arcade heaven right here, in a sexy bundle that wants you to get intimate and play around inside it.

Conclusion

Not Bad

Razer Atrox was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Rince

    Awesome review man. I also look forward to the parents of the kids who didn’t get to the ” (Editors note: Darryn is an idiot and we really, really don’t recommend keeping sweets inside the Atrox).” calling you up and shouting bloody sue at you… ;)

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      I can just picture him saying, “time to a break, time for a Mortal Kit-Kat.”

  • Norm

    LOOOOL @ Chocolate compartment.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      That made me lol so hard.

    • Ryanza

      I was just thinking melted chocolate.

      • Hammersteyn

        I was just thinking that’s where you stash the drugs, to each his own I guess.

        • Sageville

          HAI!

    • Admiral Chief Dovahkiin

      Chocolate compartment sounds like the “other” hole

  • Hammersteyn

    Would love the use this with MAME

    • Skyblue

      This is my arcade stick I use with Mame. I built it with my Dad about 15yrs ago. (refresh)

      • Hammersteyn

        That’s awesome! Really really awesome!

        • Skyblue

          Shot bud. I have replaced the monitor recently so I need to put in a facia perspex cover to finish it properly. A friend of mine did the marquee at the top which is perspex and also backlit. 2.1 Creative speaker setup built in with the sub at the bottom and the L & R speakers above the monitor.
          Approximately 8000 MAME titles and full libraries for Sega Megadrive/Genesis/32X, NES & SNES.
          Having the sides painted by a talented friend of my son soon which will be the finishing touches I’ve been meaning to do for years.

          • Hammersteyn

            Once you’re tired of it toss it on Ebay. Or sell it to me :P

  • Norm

    Also lol @ tags

  • FoxOneZA

    Never in the life of hardware reviews have I seen a chocolate compartment inside of hardware.

    Darryn has broken a new slab of ground!

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      If future hardware reviews don’t contain chocolate storage space information I will consider them severely lacking.

      • FoxOneZA

        Vital information is vital!

  • Hammersteyn

    But is this the stick of truth?

    • FoxOneZA

      It’s the sticky truth.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Maybe the candy cane of honesty.

  • R4ziel

    But can it play Crisis? Oh wait that’s old now apparently… Does it play Destiny?

    • Hammersteyn

      LOL I would love to see how movement and aiming forks with one analog stick

    • FoxOneZA

      LMAO!

    • Sageville

      Heavenly Sword is a bitch to play with this… especially aiming cannon shots…

  • CodeName Tailgunner

    DUDE. You can put your weed in there

  • Spathi

    Awesome review! I’ve always wanted to buy a fighting stick, but none of them could fulfil all my needs thus far. The chocolate compartment does however sweeten up the deal with this stick however.

  • Ross Woofels Mason

    A-bit over priced and fluff to be honest. I love my fight sticks (even though I am ass at fighters =p), and yea this is nice but for it’s price there are far better sticks on the market that will the usual persons needs.

    And if you need more than that chances are you are like me and get a kick out of modding sticks, you would still rather get a cheap stick and make it great.

    Other than that, awesome review! thanks a lot.

  • Pingback: Cypress()