Parts and product reviews to assist in your decision making with a project direction and creating your ultimate setup/s.
We utilise a scorecard rating system out of five (5) Dolph Lundgrens - a system coined by the late DUS Cub (a fighting game afficionado + all round great guy).
The LayLax Multi Gaming Ruck: by waifusticks, July 2023
LayLax is a Japanese company that designs and manufactures custom parts for the airsoft gun market. They do not limit themselves to creating just airsoft parts however, as they are a maker and stockist for other survival goods and consumables. To this end, they have expanded into gaming accessories such as this gaming rucksack which shares some similar design concepts from their airsoft gun backpacks and range bags.
Looking at the Laylax Multi Gaming Ruck, it is probably what I would think of as a luxury item, at least in the context of gaming accessory bags. It has a huge array of small features that add up to an impressive package, but sometimes I wonder how many of them are really needed regularly.
My initial thoughts are the material is good, construction fantastic. Even down to small things like how nice the straps feel. Strong feeling bottom layers. Excellent zips. Soft padding. Dozens of pockets and layers. It’s large, very large. Maybe too large? I think it really nails its objective which is transporting multiple delicates. It’s probably the best bag for carry on if you’re traveling with an arcade stick (and other bits and pieces). The first compartment has a laptop slot, some slim pockets and a headphone holder. The laptop slot is probably less padded than I’m used to, however not inadequate when referencing the rest of the bag being over padded. There is a headphone holder here as well which I’m not really impressed with. Lots of premium headphones don’t have swivelling cans and this headphone holder requires that. The second compartment is probably what I think is the best part of this bag. Extremely soft modular padded area with lots of little straps and holster/anchor units. My only critique here is that I’d like more straps.
In practise, it’s easy to fit a keyboard, small sound bar, all my wiring required to bring a setup to "locals" (FGC in-person offline tournaments/meet-ups). An extremely generous zone. The third compartment is a large padded space with a hole that extends into the second compartment. In the FGC context this is where your stick can protrude through multiple layers and be safe from harm. It’s again, a pretty generous area and will be able to fit most pre-bought sticks with the exception of the maybe the HORI Viewlix.
I’ve used this bag on and off for maybe three months. It’s truly excellent for carrying a lot of things, but I think it’s far too big for my daily carry. Even if I consider my work laptop, tablet, battery, bits and pieces etc, I absolutely can’t even fill up 1/2 of the bag. Friday night for locals however it can really shine. I can pack personal items in the front compartment. Second compartment has all my PS5 wiring, sound bar, Brook Wingman, etc. and the third compartment can take my fightstick in full. It’s probably worth noting that getting in and out of the second and third compartment easily requires you to lay the bag down flat and open it right up. You need quite a bit of floor space to achieve this. I believe the best use case for this bag will be for travelling to interstate/international gaming tournaments. For example, you can bring your stick as carry on for safety, and still manage to fit in all your personal belongings and paperwork etc for the flight. This bag would easily be the best example I’ve seen for FGC travel. In saying that, I’d probably still consider a smaller bag to use at your destination.
My final thoughts are the Laylax Multi Gaming Ruck is an incredible bag for what I consider to be its intended purpose. However, it isn’t some silver bullet of backpacks due to its huge size. Anyone who is considering regular travel might consider this as a genuine investment to know their delicates are going too and from safely. I find it difficult to score out of 5.
For a work bag it was a 2/5 Dolph Lundgrens at best. On a Friday night for locals however, it’s a clear 5/5 Dolph Lundgrens.
The Seimitsu PS-14-K-HORO 30mm holographic pushbutton: by carbuncle, June 2023
The Seimitsu brand is a manufacturer of a wide range of amusement parts, based in Japan. The company has been well known to arcade users for a very long period, however in 2019 there was a shift to also focus on the increase in fighstick ownership as amusement centre popularity declined.
Seimitsu is regularly innovating and pushing the envelope of creativity with pushbuttons, joysticks and quality of life additions to their expansive product range.
This particular button is a transparent bodied and transparent plunger 30mm snap-in pushbutton, featuring a 13% heavier spring installed by default. In this instance, the holographic insert is placed under the plunger, but can be removed and reorientated by the user, for creative effect.
I have no previous experience with this brand but am familiar with other buttons.
My initial observations were that the buttons snap-in for a tight fit. They feel really sturdy and stiff and require a lot more pressure to activate the switch than say, a Sanwa, with the button springing right back with force following a press. I noticed there is more travel distance than Sanwa buttons and in addition, these buttons sound different. Not any better or worse, just different.
In bright light at the right angles, the holographic colours are wild, but here’s where I’m conflicted: I never play games in the kind of lighting that would show off the buttons to best effect! Without the right lighting, these buttons are a nondescript grey and have nothing going for them in terms of aesthetics.
Based on the sturdiness of the spring within the button, I predicted that maybe these stiff buttons will give my fingers a good workout? Additionally, I believed there would be no chance of accidental button presses since the switch requires very deliberate pushing to activate.
Upon testing though, it was clear that these buttons feel great for casual play and the solid construction feels like they can take a real beating. After a while however, I actually found them fatiguing to use - the extra force needed to push them down does add up over time, especially if you’re playing a fighting game or shmup. Because they take a bit more work to press, you might find it harder to mash out of dizzy/stun/holds in fighting games.
In summary, the buttons are super quick and easy to install and obviously built to last. These buttons demand to be shown off as they are so shiny and pretty. I feel like they would be perfect for a portable stick or hitbox rather than an arcade cabinet in the garage/basement. Good for quick games, however not recommended for 3-hour long Street Fighter sessions unless your fingers have serious stamina. Or maybe I’m just getting old and feeble!
3/5 Dolph Lundgrens
The Samducksa SDB-202 30mm pushbutton: by carbuncle, April 2023
The Samducksa brand is a manufacturer based in South Korea and was formerly known as Crown.
Many of you may remember seeing Crown arcade cabinets situated in amusement centres toward the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The rise in “K” (Korean) lever use and development goes hand in hand with the push button evolutions from the previous Samducksa SDB-201 series.
Samducksa have been at the forefront of Korean arcade gaming parts for many years and have evolved their series of pushbuttons from earlier models to this SDB-202 series, which utilises a Cherry MX Silver keyboard speed switch.
A huge range of solid, transparent and metallic colour tones are available and the pushbutton comes in 30mm and 24mm sizes. These are screw-in style fastened buttons which I found is standard across the entire Samducksa pushbutton range.
I have no previous experience with this brand but am familiar with other buttons.
My initial thoughts and observations were that installation is straightforward, just screw it on. My control panel isn’t perfectly flat so there is a tiny gap between the buttons and the panel, but pretty sure a bit of sanding will easily remedy that. Buttons feel solid, have a good switch action, more pronounced and less mushy than standard Sanwa buttons and slightly more travel distance.
I had transparent purple coloured buttons for review, which matches the Versus City cabinet’s control panel exactly - what a bonus. My prediction was, maybe I will enjoy mashing buttons more?
During my testing, I felt these buttons have a slightly different feel to Sanwa buttons, but probably not enough to influence execution or accuracy. Definitely feels more satisfying to press these buttons though.
They are easy to install, easy to remove, perfect colour for the right cabinet, I am a fan.
4/5 Dolph Lundgrens
The SENJO E-Sports wooden balltop: by carbuncle, April 2023
SENJO is the creation of the GEKOKUJO pro E-Sports Team (based in Gifu prefecture, Japan). Product development from SENJO has always emerged from the perspective of fit for purpose within professional high level competition.
The 35mm SENJO wood balltops are made by hand from Gifu certified wood and reportedly hold many playfield advantages for the user such as low weight, enhanced grip and microswitch translation.
SENJO have three types of wooden balltop available – cypress, zelkova and Japanese yew.
I reviewed the cypress variant (weight of 16g vs Sanwa Denshi LB-35 27g).
My initial thoughts and observations were that installation is straightforward - just screw it on. It’s much lighter than the common Sanwa/Seimitsu ball tops and the raw finish on the wood gives it a natural texture than can be a little disconcerting at first, eg, is this thing going to give me splinters?
I noted the balltop has an attractive natural wood grain, raw, unstained and unpolished finish. It would look perfect as a piece on a feature tabletop cab, perhaps less at home on a stock fighting game cabinet, but the rustic look definitely has appeal. Time will tell if the wood material will age with grace.
My prediction was the Senjo seems like it will be fine for casual use.
During my testing though, I noted it is lightweight, noticeably lighter than a plastic balltop, so it has very little adverse influence on stick motions in fighting games.
My final thoughts are it is great for anyone who wants something “different”. A fingernail pressed into the wood will create a mark, so it’s not suitable for anyone who wants pristine perfection in their aesthetics, and the raw wooden finish won’t be to everyone’s tastes. I like it though. It’s not shiny but I consider that a plus!
3/5 Dolph Lundgrens