Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Link by Phreak Mods

The Link came on my radar a couple of years ago, and when I first saw it I thought someone had broken the lever on their arcade stick. It was amazing to me that the top half of the lever, including the balltop, could pop on and off so easily! From that moment I was an early adopter of The Link and even more of a fan of Phreak Mods than I had been before.

There is no trickery going on here; The Link does exactly what you think it does. Phreakazoid (Clayton) heard the cries of traveling fighting game players who either had bent levers or feared damage in the future. I always have, and always will, believe that The Link is one of the key innovations in arcade stick hardware design. It makes me even more happy that this innovation came from a gentlemen within the community rather than out of a corporation. Much love to the FGC representatives who now work for the big companies, but Phreakazoid is a hometown innovator and I love it.

The Link had a very successful Kickstarter campaign that introduced an improved model, and I am proud to say that I took part in that fund drive. I also take nerdy pride in being one of the voices that brought the JLF's inner dustwasher to Phreakazoid's attention. My first Link kept dislodging because of that inner dustwasher, and I didn't realize what was wrong until I had Phreakazoid examine it. My small contribution makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

The Link is a staple in all of my arcade sticks, and I will continue to use this magnificent hardware modification in the future. Why more people don't use The Link is beyond me. Even for traveling locally, it makes packing up arcade sticks more simple and less space consuming. Then again, if everyone knew about and adopted The Link, I guess I would not be writing about it here, as one of the hidden gems of gaming!

You can purchase your very own Link, and a lanyard for your balltop, from a few places, but my favorite retailer is Focus Attack.
Nathan Shields PowerUp Founder

Fighting game enthusiast, martial artist, and teacher. Nathan Shields ran three regional events, two of which were part of the Road to EVO Championships in 2011 and 2012. He continues to run local FGC events and supervise the growth of his scene and the PowerUp brand.

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