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Review: Razer Panthera Evo

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Evolve Your Game

As you can imagine from my profile description, I’ve been a fan of fighting games for a while now. While I was never too good at it then and even now, many years later, I still say I’m pretty terrible at them. But for me, it’s always going to be a highly enjoyable genre, one that brings me joy, especially when facing an opponent face to face—right next to each other. It’s been my favorite genre since King of Fighters ’94 and since my first day I stepped into the arcades.

While I haven’t always used an arcade stick on console, I h ad plenty of experience with it ever since the PSOne and has been officially my controller of choice ever the PS3 and Wii era, with the HORI Fighting Stick 3 Soul Calibur V edition for the PS3 and the Tatsunoko vs Capcom Fight Stick for my Wii and played many fighting games with them, such as BlazBlue Calamity Trigger, Tekken 5, Street Fighter IV, King of Fighters XIII as well as  their respective collector’s edition.

Currently, my fight stick of choice is the Razer Panthera, particularly the Dragon Ball FighterZ edition. While Dragon Ball FighterZ is an amazing game, it’s not really one of my favorite fighting games due to how it works. At the moment, I’ve been using this fightstick to play UNIST (UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st]), BlazBlue Cross Tag BattleKing of Fighters XIV as well as Fightcade titles when I want to go down memory lane and play them online with my buddies.

However, two years after the first Pathera released, Razer released the EVO edition on December 2018, though I’m just getting around to it. Thankfully, Razer sent me a unit for reviewing purposes. Just by first impressions, there’s a lot I like about it already over the initial Panthera stick, most notably, the controller’s weight. While the first Panthera’s weight wasn’t an issue, I like that the Panthera Evo is a lot lighter, making it easier to carry during events, despite the fact they share the same dimensions.

Another thing I liked about it was the cable placement. Instead of giving you a detachable cable, the Razer Panthera Evo’s cable is undetachable but instead, you can store it in a small container available in front of the fightstick. While you can’t open up Panthera EVO like the first iteration, which allowed easy access to the joy stick and buttons in case you wanted to mod it (where you would place the detachable cable as well), the Panthera EVO is still easy to tamper and mod by opening it up from bottom. Talking about customization, putting your own layout is a lot easier as well, in which Razer has presented a guide for it as well.

While it seems the it uses Sanwa JLF like the original version, the EVO stick uses different microswitches than Sanwa, like their mechanical keyboard, which allows a faster response time. While the buttons are definitely a great improvement, unfortunately it doesn’t seem that they are sold separately so if I were to change the buttons to fit my custom design, then I would have to go with Sanwa.

Although the stick lacks a PS3 and PS4 switch, the stick seems to work fine on my PS3. I tried it for a bit with games such as Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Full Boost and Persona 4: Arena and it worked just fine. I don’t really know the difference between PS3 and PS4 mode on the stick as it worked fine on both PS3 and PS4 regardless of where I left the switch on, as well as when I used the stick on my PC. Additionally, you may also connect your headset into your fightstick, so you can use it for voice chat. Additionally, it also works as a speaker option when you connect it to your PC, given that your headphones are plugged in.

Overall, the Razer Panthera EVO is a worthy upgrade of the original version released in 2016. It’s easier to carry due to its lighter weight, improved buttons, accessible customization, and added features. It’ll make my CEO trips a lot easier.

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Razer Panthera Evo reviewed by Christian Chiok

9

SUPERB

A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide

 
 
 

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Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures


 


 


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