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Wednesday
May252016

« Review: Seimitsu LS-62-01 joystick lever »

When it comes to aftermarket arcade stick parts, Japanese arcade parts manufacturer Seimitsu is usually an alternative to Sanwa Denshi. The latter company caters more to general arcade stick users, with the former more for those players with specific needs. For example, the LS-32 lever, one of Seimitsu's popular products, has a distinctive feel compared to Sanwa's JLF. The LS-32 is also different from that of other Seimitsu levers, including the recently released LS-62-01.

Judging from the specs, the LS-62-01 is sort of an amalgamation of previous levers. While past Seimitsu levers were mostly different from one another, the LS-62-01 seems like more of a greatest hits lever. However, it still seems to carry the uniqueness the other models bear for better or worse. It feels like an experimental design, but for what it is this new lever is pretty capable.

For most commercial arcade sticks, the LS-62-01 is easy to install. Using a SS mounting plate, the plate only needs two screws for the lever to sit perfectly. Just find the two mounting ends with three screw holes and only use the middle inserts. People with thin sticks will find no problem in installing the LS-62-01 due to its compact size.

It carries the soft spring of the LS-60, in contrast to the tighter tension of other Seimitsu levers. The light sensitivity can be great for Sanwa JLF users who want to transition since the LS-62-01 feels very similar. Players who move their lever hard will have to get accustomed to it but it's manageable.

A change from normal Seimitsu products is the addition of an octagonal gate coming stock with the new lever, instead of a square unit. Since both gates were made for the LS-56 in mind, it's easy to swap. If you don't mind trying the eight-way gate, it has a slightly smaller deadzone than the square piece which allows for quicker inputs. Due to the sensitivity, it can be easy to trigger an accidental input so proper control is encouraged. There is still a good snap when the lever hits the gate like other Seimitsu models.

The shaft has the thickness of the LS-32 with the height 8 millimeters shorter than the LS-56. After installing the LS-62-01 on multiple arcade sticks, the height of the shaft became the most apparent thing about this lever. Although it's marginally smaller than other Seimitsu and Sanwa levers, the LS-62-01 felt significantly different. When using a wine glass-style grip with the shaft in between the ring and pinky fingers, the balltop sat very close to my pinky finger. It slowly felt uncomfortable so I switched to the more traditional style of my thumb, index and middle fingers dictating movement; that made using it much easier. Players with larger hands will probably have a hard time using the lever beyond the normal grip.

With care, the LS-62-01 feels nice and accurate in practice. After getting acclimated to the intricacies of the lever, it was easy to peform directional inputs with very little error. Simple commands such as jumping in and doing quarter-circle-forward motions were smooth. The lever was able to stay consistent when used in harder motions like some found in The King of Fighters games. Doing Guile's combo trials in Street Fighter V was much more manageable due to the shorter throw. I did have to alternate between grips whenever one of them felt uncomfortable. Fortunately the process wasn't an annoyance.

That said, the shorter shaft can be a deal breaker for some. The lever has a variety of parts that can be appealing to different players but the shaft will be limiting. Modification is possible if you need a bigger shaft. An alternative is replacing the LS-56 gate with the octagonal variant and the spring with that of the LS-60. Like some of Seimitsu's creations, there may be minor variants released later down the line. It's definitely possible to see a successor model of the LS-62-01 sooner or later, but for now owners will have to deal with the short shaft. Otherwise, better look at Seimitsu's older lineage if you need more grip.

If you don't mind the approach Seimitsu has tried with the LS-62-01, it's ready for the fighting games of today. For having an uncommon selection of parts, different from other Seimitsu levers, this still feels like a product that came from the company. The performance mostly rivals that of its siblings. It's a neat deviation from the usual path Seimitsu followed and it will be interesting to see what will happen if this evolution is continued.

The Seimitsu LS-62-01 is available now on Arcade Shock, Paradise Arcade Shop and Focus Attack.

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