InterAct Arcade Shark
InterAct Arcade Shark
The button layout looks familiar at first. Yup, there's A and B, right next to the C-buttons, just as they should be. L and R are the grey buttons above, and the red button is the start... no, it's not Start, it's actually the Z button! The start button is placed at the front of the controller and there's a slot for a controller pak above the Arcade Shark logo.
The control stick is removable and can be screwed into either the d-pad or analogue pad (!) but, as there's only one stick, you can't have both simultaneously. The "analogue pad" was a slight worry for me at first, but it needn't have been as it is fully analogue, and the stick works well even if it's not quite as responsive as the official controller stick... but I'm splitting hairs. Inserting the stick into the d-pad gives fighting games a great arcade feel but the d-pad is also very effective without the stick. The stick itself is quite comfortable and feels secure when screwed into place on either pad. The buttons also feel quite robust but more attention could have been paid to the place where the controller cable joins to the controller. Overall though, it feels quite sturdy.
The main drawback with the Arcade Shark is the placement of the L, R and Z buttons. It's fine for fighting and racing games, where you rarely need to press more than one button at a time, but it does make other genres feel unnecessarily difficult. Shooters are possible, but side-straffing whilst shooting is nigh on impossible. Platformers are less affected although they lose their instinctive feel. It's unfair to judge the Arcade Shark with these games as arcade sticks are designed mainly for fighters and this one is no exception. Just don't buy one and expect it to replace your controller.
Although it can be played on your lap, the Arcade Shark really needs to be placed on a flat surface to get the most out of it. The buttons are much bigger than those of standard controllers, as the unit itself isn't exactly small. The photos below give a size comparison with an official controller but, for a true sense of scale, see the one above which compares the ArcadeShark with the Nintendo 64 console!
The Nintendo 64 didn't have enough fighting or straightforward racing games to make this a worthwhile purchase when it first came out and (sadly) it still doesn't. However, now that the Arcade Shark can be bought for the same price as a secondhand N64 game, it should make it a very tempting proposition for any arcade stick fans.
Source: Review by Alxbly