HORI Fighting Commander

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.0)/10


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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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HORI Fighting Commander Review Facts

Fighting games, a genre that made its mark on video games back in the early 1990s. Since the home port of Street Fighter II, players have always wanted to find a gamepad that feels good to the hands, allowing for longer gameplay. Another major thing is finding the pad that has buttons that have less resistance and distance to press before the controller will react. HORI has brought this to the XBOX One, XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. The types of product are covered a little later as is the various things that a good consumer will want to know before going out to buy any type of controller.

If you are one who enjoys platform style games which are old school and do not work well with the analog sticks or at least not as well as with older controllers, this is where the designers have made something new and old come together for you. No one will doubt that this controller is a game changer for the few- or maybe the many once they try it out. After all, we all get that itch as gamers to play those old-school 2D games that were frustrating with the controllers they were designed for, and playing them with the new analog controllers can often make that frustration worse.

Of course, the Fighting Commander is a gamepad and not an arcade-style stick. This is a major thing to consider when thinking of buying any controller for a specific type of game, what does a player find most comfortable for their style of play? Let us get a little more in-depth into what HORI offers players with the Fighting Commander.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable Shape
  • Quick-reacting buttons
  • Long lifespan
  • Long Cord
Cons
  • Heats up within 30 minutes
  • Lacks Analog Sticks
Hardware

Hardware

HORI has created an interesting idea when they created the Fighting Commander. It sports all the buttons a player would need to play any fighting game or 2D platformer game. It also has two interesting switches on it. The first switch actually allows for the directional pad (Dpad) to take on the role of the left analog stick, in case the D-pad does not work the way one would expect. Of course, this switch lies within easy reach of either thumb for quick usage. The other switch lies at the base of the controller's central body. This switch allows the player to switch between what console a player is using. So, for instance, you have been playing Street Fighter on an XBOX and then want to switch over to play Mortal Kombat on your PC, flip the switch over to the PC setting and the controller can then be plugged into a computer and be just as ready as it was for your XBOX. Another thing to note is that this switch also allows a player to hook the controller up to previous systems. An XBOX HORI Fighting Commander can be used for either the One or the 360, while the PlayStation version can be used on both the PS3 and PS4. So, there are three settings to each type of controller, the current system, the previous system, and the PC. This can seriously cut down on the cost of buying special controllers for each console you own. There is even a turbo setting on the controller, though most people will say that fighting games have little need for such a function, unless your skill at things like SoulCalibur, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, etc. are less than adequate. For the most part, though, this controller is a great piece of merchandise that’ll last you for quite some time.
Design

Design

Again, HORI has shown some serious creativity in how they designed this beauty of a controller. The shape of this controller is, in its own way, a throwback to the early 90s of video games. Sporting a cross-breed shape of a six button Sega Genesis controller and a Super Nintendo controller, its shape allows for the standard four buttons that are common to still be readily available. It also throws two of the top buttons to the right of the standard four. Of course, all four of the top buttons are still able to be found on top of the controller, just in case a player needs them there or is just more comfortable using them in that way. Its sides are smooth and designed to have an easier grip without adding strain on the player's hands as a more 'edged' controller tends to. Nothing's worse than sitting down for a few hours to play your favorite fighting game and having a gamepad that hurts or strains your hands and keeps you from being able to truly sit back and enjoy what you're doing. Also, the Fighting Commander is a gamepad that takes away the worry of having batteries dying out, it is a corded controller that, reportedly, sports a 10-foot cord, which should be more than enough for just about any gamer. Only the lack of analog control sticks truly marks this as a controller not meant for all game types, but rarely are those analogs used in the games this pad was designed for. This means that the Fighting Commander really focuses on the popular genre of fighting games and is meant to help a player become even better. Games like Mario, the first four Final Fantasy Games, Fighting Commander games and even the old Mortal Kombat and other Player vs. Player games that you could find on the original home entertainment consoles. Also, HORI designed the Old-style but new controller with a shorter button press distance, meaning inputting moves takes less time than they would on a standard controller.
Performance

Performance

The HORI controller, built in the new style design, with its comfortable shape and easy-on-the-thumbs buttons, allows for longer gameplay. The shorter button pressing distance also adds speed to a gamer's play style that normal controllers would take away. But how does it all hold up, is this controller too good to be true? Actually, no, it isn't. The controller performs that good, though the lights on the controller that tells a player that it is connected and whether or not one of the various functions are on DOES heat up, but not to the point that it would seem ready to melt or burn you. If anything, it's been reported that over the course of playing a game, the Fighting Commander's lights will heat up to about the temperature of an LED light bulb. Otherwise, the HORI Fighting Commander works exactly as one would expect of a gamepad that focuses on fighting games.
If your game doesn’t recognize your d-pad there is actually a functional switch to make sure you can change what it is being seen as. This also goes for what type of controller it is to be read as. You can buy the one more specific to your system for ease of use, but the controller is designed to jump between with many things that allow it. This comes as a pretty neat stand in with all the downloadable games now available, such as Sonic, Castlevania, and several other 2D platform games, where having a controller built for 2D instead of 3D simply makes much more sense. So if you want to make those nostalgic games easier to work with, you will likely find it in this one controller.
Connectivity

Connectivity

With its corded design, a player should have zero problems with connectivity. Seeing as the modern consoles all come with USB ports for controller cords or other devices, as do PCs, there is little worry that the controller may not be compatible with the system in question. Of course, that's also saying that the console or PC do not have burnt-out ports, but that shouldn't reflect in any way on this product at all.
An added bit to the connectivity is knowing you can connect it to what you are playing on of course, and there are two versions which allow you to switch compatibility options. The Xbox version switch allows you to go from 360 to One and PC. IThe PlayStation version has a similar switch which allows you to choose between 3, 4 and PC and both controllers allow you to switch the way the Dpad reads so that your game compatibility is also given a boost. To say the least, this is definitely an awesome way of creating a truly connected 2D gamepad controller for platforming and fighting games as well as 2D simulators that are now available for download on consoles as well as PCs.
Price

Price

The Commander gaming pad is well-priced, no matter which system you're buying it for. Amazon carries both versions, though they are differently priced, oddly enough. If you're buying it for the Xbox systems, you're going to be spending $39.99 if you're looking for it brand new. The PlayStation version goes for $47.24 brand new. Of course, it is recommended that you buy such products brand new, thus you know that you are getting a good product that should work perfectly fine. When buying a controller or accessory that is used, you run the risk of having broken parts or loose wires, making the purchase worthless. Sure, you might be able to send the product back and get a refund, but that just means that you have to order a different one and wait for it to arrive, taking that much more time away from whatever game or product you are getting the accessory for. So, buying this or any controller brand new is always a smart move, not to mention the switches allow you to jump between certain consoles with just the single version. It’s actually like getting multiple controllers in a single package, and for this price, that can be a game changer.
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

HORI's main features that should stand out most is the shape of the controller and the lessened button distance. There is no way to express how much those fractions of a second that it takes to push a button can change the course of a game. Add in how the positioning of the buttons and D-pad are set up is another key thing to look at. The buttons are all well-placed for easy access, again adding to how much the way a controller is set up can change the course of a game. Of course, skill is still the number one contributing factor to how a fighting game will turn out. A controller will always be number two in that regard. Add in the turbo and other function switches, and the Fighting Commander is chock full of features. And don’t forget the fact that the HORI fighting style gamepad is a corded controller that comes with an extra long cord (roughly 10 ft!), so there is less chance of pets or other people tripping over it and potentially damaging the controller and/or console in the process!
Key Features

Key Features

-Best for platform-style play
-Easy to use
-Buttons built to be switched between styles
-Used with multiple consoles
-Wired
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

What more can be said about the new Fighting Commander? While it seems at first like it might be a cheaply produced product, it will pass the test and prove itself as something of quality. Sure, it has its drawbacks, but what product doesn't? If you're looking for a lightweight fighting game controller that is comfortable and can be switched between multiple systems, then the HORI Fighting Commander should be a perfect choice. There are so many great reasons to buy this product and so very few negative reasons to draw a consumer away from it. The fact that the Xbox and PlayStation versions can both be used on a computer and even on Android products (reportedly). The only way that this controller isn't for you is if you are the type of player who prefers the use of an arcade stick-style controller instead of a gamepad. There is little more any person could want from a controller, seeing as more functions and add-ons would only clutter the controller and make it harder to remember where each individual button, switch, and the option is. Other than that, there should be no reason to wait around, grab yourself a HORI Fighting Commander and see how different your fighting game experience is. There should definitely be one, no matter if you’re a casual fighting game player, competitive, or even pro level gamer. Get moving, it’s cheaply priced and quality built! All with you, the gamer, in mind! All from your friends at HORI.