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Author Topic: RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks  (Read 5727 times)

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KevSteele

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Another new video review, this time of the SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks:

http://retroblast.com/video.html


Bonus points as always for whoever can identify the opening music. (Pretty easy this time, actually...  ;) )

And yes, there's a final pointless demo...  :P

Kevin
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2003, 06:29:49 pm »
Too bad I am in class and don't have speakers :(

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2003, 06:31:33 pm »
Too bad I am in class and don't have speakers :(

Excellent as always :)  I dunno what the music was tho...

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2003, 06:43:55 pm »
AC/DC Big Balls?

KevSteele

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2003, 07:11:17 pm »
AC/DC Big Balls?

Got it in one. (Or is that two?  ;) )

Kevin
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2003, 07:17:03 pm »
Dang, I would have gotten that.  I know the guitar tabs to that song too!

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2003, 12:13:28 am »
FORE

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2003, 03:17:15 am »
Ever upper class high society,
God's gift to ballroom notoriety,
I always fill my ballroom,
The event is never small,
The social pages say I've got the biggest balls of all!
...

shmokes

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2003, 07:44:59 am »
My computer speakers are in the shop.  What's the verdict?  I watched the video, but couldn't hear anything.
Check out my website for in-depth reviews of children's books, games, and educational apps for the iPad:

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KevSteele

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2003, 08:03:11 am »
Verdict?

With the stronger springs and the fact that there isn't as much weight at the top, these handles didn't suffer from the "sloppy" feeling that the original ones did. They were responsive and "crisp".

The fact that the handles include stronger springs should mean that they won't feel loose or sloppy even on the Happs Competition bases (I tested this time on the Happs P360's, which already have much stronger springs compared to the Competition bases).

The ball top's a bit big for my taste, but I'm getting used to it.

Full written review soon on my site. ;-)

Kevin
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

shmokes

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2003, 08:05:59 am »
hmmm...they have big balls?   :P

Seriously, though...are the balls bigger than the balls on Wico ball-top sticks?
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2003, 08:07:16 am »
Do these fit the bases for Happ supers (and compatibles?). Don't really want any for myself, but I have a friend who wants to refit a cabinet, and he is all into that bling bling stuff like that.
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2003, 09:55:26 am »
Schmokes,

The ball top is definitely bigger than the Wico ball tops - almost golf-ball sized.

It's not bad, but I think I would have preferred smaller ball tops. We'll see if I can "adapt" to the new feel...

paigeoliver,

They have versions of these handles for the Happ Super, Competition, Ultimate, and Perfect 360 joysticks.

Kevin
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2003, 10:02:30 am »
Does anyone know if these will fit the J-Stik from Ultimarc?  Which of the Happ joysticks is the J-Stik closest too?

Thanks,
Matthew

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2003, 10:02:52 am »
what no walnuts for the final pointless demo? (I did like the FPD regardless)

how are we supposed to benchmark!?

E.

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2003, 10:09:08 am »
haa haa... very nice video.....

I want to buy one.... and then shaft it up and bring it to the driving range.... haaa haa haa.....  ;) ;D

I can't wait to hit 300 yds with this.... haa haa....

Another Brilliant mind ruined by education....  :p

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2003, 10:38:53 am »
actually hyiu there is a putting "trainer" that is a ball at the end of the shaft... the theory being if you can learn to hit it flush with the small area/sweet spot on the "ball" putter, that'll translate into muscle memory for when you have a real putter in your hands (that has a much larger sweet spot).

Or so the informercial would lead you to believe!

Rampy

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2003, 10:47:59 am »
Okay, the written part of the review is now up on RetroBlast:

http://retroblast.com/reviews.html

I actually decided to combine the previous SlikStik joystick handle review with the new balltop one (after all, how much can you say about joystick handles?)

Check it out for the details that I couldn't cram into two minutes of video..

Kevin
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2003, 12:16:33 pm »
Kevin you  rock, and i know its odd but i cant help but thinking how soothing your voice is.

Thanks for another great review.
Doug Sax  dnsax@yahoo.com aka Phizzle

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2003, 05:12:58 pm »
Kevin,

Thanks ever so much for another great review.  I have a couple of questions that I wonder if you could answer.  Firstly, would you say that someone with small hands would be better off with the pear shaped sticks?  Secondly, if SlikStik are supplying the stronger springs with the joysticks, are they fitted as standard, or do you need to install them [the stronger springs] yourself?  If so, is this easy to do?

On an unrelated matter regarding the SlikStik CP, I wonder if you could tell me, in inches, the distance from the top of the trackball (not the trackball plate) to the 4-way and spinner, plus the distance either side of the trackball to the left and right joysticks.  I'm trying to plan my CP layout, and was wondering what measurements the SlikStik uses, and if the distance around the trackball is plenty so that you don't hit things when playing e.g. golf games.

Many thanks,


Bursk

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2003, 05:59:40 pm »
Phizzle,

Thanks, that's a nice and yet oddly disturbing compliment.  ;)

Bursk,

The pear-shaped sticks are great for a "full fist grip" type of play. It's actually very comfortable.

When I've played with ball-top joysticks in the past, it's been more of a "first two fingers and thumb" type of grip, but the ball is so big on these joysticks that they, too, require a full fist grip, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just different from the way I've used ball-top joysticks in the past.

The springs do require installation (see the review video for how to install the springs on the P360 joystick base -- the competition  base is roughly the same -- unscrew the bottom of the joystick base, pull out the spring, put in the new spring. Pretty simple really.

As to the CP layout, the SlikStik trackball (ball, not plate) is about 6" away from the 4-way joystick, about 2.5" away from the edge of the player 1 buttons, and about 3.5" away from the trackball buttons.

The only interference I've ever seen with the trackball is the occasional bump of the 4-way by people doing the "Golden Tee thumb flick" trackball move, and as soon as they realize they can't throw their hands that far forward, it's not a problem.  ;)

Kevin
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2003, 08:14:15 pm »
Kevin,

Thanks a lot for that!  :D

Working out where to put things on a CP can be a bit of a nightmare.  I am slowly getting there, though.  I did enquire about a SlikStik a while back, but the cost of shipping to the UK put me off a bit.  The more I've looked into it, though, the more I've decided that the only way I'll be really happy is to build something myself.

I really do want two 8-ways, a spinner, a trackball and a 4-way.  Leaving enough space around the trackball is something that I want to make sure I get right.  At the moment I can see my CP being slightly wider than the SlikStik Classic, but as long as I can comfortably fit everything onto it, I don't really mind.

With regards to the SS joysticks, I play a lot of fighting games, so I think that perhaps the pear ones would be better.  I think a full, firm grip on the stick would probably be best for pulling-off complex joystick motions.

Anyway, it's really late here so I'm off to bed.  Thanks again   ;D


Bursk

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2003, 08:25:52 pm »
Bursk,

Apparently SlikStik has found some new shipper for overseas shipping, and their overseas rates are supposed to be much lower now. Sorry I don't have the details, but you might want to email them and check.

I know that they've changed their US shipper as well after shopping around for quotes on shipping their new DIY cab.
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2003, 12:50:32 am »
Kevin I just want to tell you that I love all your reviews.  They all hit the perfect balance between professionalism and nerdiness.  They rock and so do you my friend. >VR<

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2003, 12:55:01 am »
yea, you do really good reviews, good enough at least for slikstik it seems :P

They all hit the perfect balance between professionalism and nerdiness.  

i agree, and that is feat to do in the homebuilt arcade niche. ;)
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2003, 07:25:36 am »
yea, you do really good reviews, good enough at least for slikstik it seems :P

Let's not go there again... ::)

They all hit the perfect balance between professionalism and nerdiness.  

Once again, thanks for the nice and yet oddly distrubing compliment.  ;)

Kevin
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2003, 09:05:30 pm »
Bursk,

Apparently SlikStik has found some new shipper for overseas shipping, and their overseas rates are supposed to be much lower now. Sorry I don't have the details, but you might want to email them and check.

I know that they've changed their US shipper as well after shopping around for quotes on shipping their new DIY cab.

Thanks, Kevin.  I'm still going to build my own CP, but it's nice to know that it won't cost too much to buy (and have shipped) some of these SS sticks from SlikStik.

Would it be sensible to buy them with the bases attached?  I was thinking about getting the 'Optical Pear Top Option 2' for $120.  Any thoughts on this idea?

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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2003, 04:35:21 am »

 From looking at the Video... it appears the ball top isnt really that big.  Its probably about the same size as the sini-joy I made.  However... the post that it sits on it too thick... thus you cant comfortably wrap your fingers arround the bottom... because it spreads them too far appart (painfull and awkward).  

 I had this happen on my fist verision of the sinijoy.... whicn is why I know how uncomfortable they are!,  thus you having to palm them.   A horrible design if you ask me.


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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2003, 12:18:08 pm »
Bursk,

If you've already got the joysticks, there's no sense in buying the "pre-assembled" version just to get the SS handles. They're really easy to install, aside from popping off the "e" clamp for the first time.

Personally, I'd buy the joysticks and the handles separately, just so that I had two different handles to choose from.

Xiaou2,

The ball is bigger than you would expect, and you're right, the shaft is fairly thick as well (but I actually didn't notice that when playing).

The way I grip balltops is with my first two fingers and thumb wrapped around the ball, and my bottom two fingers wrapped around the shaft. With the SS balltops the ball is too big for this type of grip, and I end up with all five fingers wrapped around the ball.

It's different, which is why I pointed it out in the review. I do think that the size of the ball will help prevent my "Robotron blisters" that I usually get on the side of my ring fingers, since those fingers are no longer wedged at the edge of the balltop and the shaft. We'll see.

Kevin
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Re:RetroBlast Video Review: SlikStik Ball-top Stainless Steel Joysticks
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2003, 01:56:48 pm »
Kevin,

I don't actually have any parts yet - I'm still in the planning stages.  I do have a list of what I'd like to get though, so I was wondering if it'd be cheaper to buy the 360s from SlikStik, rather than from Happs (with me then ordering the SS Pears from SlikStik).  I would assume that it'd be cheaper to just get the complete thing from SlikStik, but at the same time I'm not sure what postage would be.

I was just typing aloud really.  I always value educated peoples' input, so I tend to ask lots of (sometimes unnecessary) questions.  Don't mind me!