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  opened by paleface at 04:57:55 07/18/10  
  paleface [sys=DC; cat=Hardware; loc=NA]
[This is a very old review I wrote; in retrospect, the Enforcer is an awful, typically clueless plastic American console stick from those times. The one reason I sorta--but not really--wish I still had one was that the Z and C buttons being in a diamond orientation with the other face buttons made it quite handy for Bangai-O (see entry 802), because this made the shooting buttons basically line up as a nice handy right-hand d-pad sort of thing.]
TopMax's Enforcer is a very good arcade stick for the price with large, sturdy hard plastic bases, decent rumble (nice in Crazy Taxi) and turbo (never used) functions and two VMU ports. The six control buttons are well placed on the base. The buttons themselves have a sort of "dead" feel to them--there's resistance when you press them down but it's more of a squishy rather than springy feel, they're also smaller than arcade buttons and rounded (convex) on top. The stick is interesting in that it is a pear-shaped compromise between the Asian ball and the American bat shapes, probably closer to a ball than a bat. It has good movement in a round base. It's fairly noisy when trying to crank out fighting game moves. It has sort of shallow fluting running down the underside of the pear-shape, if you're really cranking away this can eventually rub off a little skin until you build up a callous (which will happen pretty quickly ;)--still, I'd much prefer a smooth grip surface. Also, perhaps the most frustrating part of the stick for me (overall I've been happy with them though) is that the base has an irregular, rounded shape which makes it nearly impossible to tell when you're holding it straight, so inevitably in a heavy fight I end up getting it turned slightly to the side and run into trouble getting off qcb/qcf moves reliably because forward and back aren't quite where I think they are.
After about six months of very light use my main Enforcer's buttons loosened nicely (they were pretty stiff at first) but the stick is very slightly looser.
On the plus side, the stick has nice bells and whistles. As mentioned above it sports two VMU slots, rumble and turbo. The VMU slots are nice and tight with a window for the top one so you can see the screen. The rumble function shakes the stick in decently convincing fashion and happily isn't noisy at all--it actually adds something to playing Crazy Taxi. The turbo is controlled with three buttons along the top of the base, I've never used it intentionally: sometimes I'll hit it accidentally when frantically mashing buttons and suddenly find my fighter stuck punching. Well, at least it works. ;)
Also, the stick works with many games which do not list arcade stick support because the Z and C buttons (which map to the shoulder buttons on the standard Dreamcast pad) have analogue support, even though you couldn't tell by looking at or using them. So you can accelerate in racing games like Hydro Thunder and Crazy Taxi which have the throttle on the trigger button, whereas other more expensive sticks like the ASCII FT and probably the official Sega/Agetec stick leave you dead in the water.

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