Hello all. I playtested my three custom joysticks (JLF with square gate, JLF with octagonal gate and an LS-32) and I'd just like share my thoughts on using these with fighting games.
Please note that I have played on japanese cabinets for as long as I remember because I'm based in east Asia (currently in the Philippines). That said, I'm sure my experiences will differ from others.
-The JLF with the octagonal gate is weird in a sense that I actually have to exaggerate the motions to get them out. The engage actually feels longer....and I felt forced to feel the gate when I'd do circle motions. I must admit I didn't spend too much time with this joystick since I was frustrated with it. It offered no advantages for me over the square gate in any game.
-The LS-32 was a unique experience. I was expecting to really "feel" the advertised shorter engage than a JLF, but I really didn't. Does anyone else actually feel the difference? The stiffer spring made it feel natural for some fighters that rely on fast reactions like 3S. For MVC2 however, I found that the stiffer spring made it harder to do long combos with a lot of circular motions. Lastly, it seemed more natural doing QCFx2 motions as compared to the Sanwa.
On a sidenote, I can't help but feel that the LS-32 feels "cheaper" than the JLF. To compound matters, I noticed that the LS-32 has a "loose neutral position" where you can wiggle it around a bit in neutral state.
-I'm still comfortable as ever with the JLF and square gate with any kind of fighting game. The looseness really makes circular motions easier, especially things like double 360s. The corners are helpful for down-back charge characters and 3D games where you sometimes need to end an input with a diagonal. There comes a point however that it becomes a little *too* loose after months of constant use.
-For buttons, the Sanwa buttons is hands down the best for fighters. I'd go for Seimitsu buttons for shooters/shmups/etc however because of the slightly stronger tactile feedback.
I'd like to hear other people's thoughts as well. It's interesting to see how different joysticks work with different people, and that there isn't a single joystick that is universally the best for everyone.
People warn against the octagonal gate on the JLF. In general, people say that circular movements are possible on square gates, you just have to get used to make movements that don't touch the gate.