I had to pay Fl. 127.- ($60) import duties and sales tax on this stick. But this is one stick that's worth every penny it's being charged for, read on to find out why :)
The HotRod is huge, it's 24" wide, 11" deep and 6" high. If this stick had a mouth it would say: "Damn dude, I'm huge!" It's also very heavy, it's not one of those paltry sticks that you can put on your lap and play. It's very sturdy, with that arcade stick and buttons -- this was built to be hammered! It's slightly tilted, which allows your hand to nicely rest on it. True arcade experience :)
Imagine you're in an arcade, but think away the smoke, the people, the noise and the people pushing you. That's the feeling you get when using the Hotrod with emulators.
The first game I tested it on was Gyruss, one of my all-time favorites, I was amazed! I got pretty good scores with the keyboard, but with the Hotrod I was UNSTOPPABLE! The buttons allowed me to push them faster than I ever could with a keyboard and as such, I broke my highscore several times in row :)
Next I tried Track & Field, a true keyboard-killer, and I was amazed. Keyboards were never invented for button-bashing, but this "little" Hotrod is. Marvelous!
Then I tried Shinobi, another one of my favs and I was amazed. Again. This is the TRUE arcade experience, it really doesn't get any better than this. Shinobi plays like a charm, in the way it was supposed to. And getting an extra life in the bonus stages was NEVER this easy :)
I also tried it with Star Wars, that little vector game. I must say that it sure is easier with that stick then with the keyboard, eventhough nothing beats a trackball/spinner for these sorts of games. With a bit of practice, I bet that I can beat Star Wars with this HotRod :)
Next I tried Aero Fighters 2/Sonic Wings 2, in 2 player mode. ElvisP and I pounded the stick like never before and to my surprise it still lives to this day :) The stick is wide enough for that fearsome 2 player action. Games like Street Fighter 2 are a very enjoyable experience with this stick. Just make sure you don't yell "Shoryuyeppa" too loud while playing.
I also tried the stick with Genecyst, and Genecyst is unplayable with the stick because you can't set button A and X with it. ZSNES on the other hand, works like a charm. It can be configured any which way you want and it makes playing SNES games a LOT cooler :) The Hotrod also works with NeoRAGEx, but you have to configure the lower 3 buttons as A-B-C and the button above A as button D, that way it works just fine :)
Since some of you don't live in the USA, you will have to pay $59,95 for delivery (takes 4-6 weeks) or $99,95 for express delivery (7-10 days). And let's not forget import duties and taxes. I had to pay 127 DGL (about $60) for the stick. So that's $199 for the stick, $59,95 - $99,95 for shipping and your local import duties and taxes. $60 in my case (The Netherlands). With a high dollar rate it isn't really fun, but it *IS* worth it. Let's not forget the costs for a wire transfer, since credit card orders aren't accepted if you live outside the USA. If you have the money, I would urge you to buy one, not only because you get the best arcade stick that money can buy, but also a collection of LEGAL CAPCOM roms for use with emulators. That alone should be reason enough for the true retrogamer. I'd like to see the IDSA tackle this one ;)
The Hotrod is equipped with PS/2 ports and plugs, since my system didn't have a PS/2 (small plug) keyboard, so I had to go out and buy 2 AT -> PS/2 converters, which cost about $5 total.
This is the best thing since sliced bread. Sure, you can build your own arcade stick but when a stick looks and feels this good, why bother ? If you have the money, order one. If you don't have the money, sell your couch, your bed, your paintings on the wall or whatever to get this stick.
Purcase a Hotrod, and support Retrogames!
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