Japanese vs. Korean Joystick
Obviously, the Japanese joystick originates from Japan while the Korean joystick originates from South Korea. Korean joysticks are also called fanta joysticks or bat tops. The Japanese joystick is more popular worldwide. The Japanese joystick usually has a circular knob on top, while the Korean joystick usually looks like a teardrop that comprises most of the lever.
Korean joysticks have no gate, allowing circular movement, but Japanese joysticks are more versatile in their capabilities, leaving Korean joysticks with a very niche fanbase that mainly consists of Tekken players striving for that perfect wave dash execution.
If anything, you can buy an arcade stick with a stock Japanese joystick while having a Korean joystick on the side that you can switch to whenever you like.
Square vs. Octagonal Gate
A square gate is quite easy to work with, but the range of motion is much more limited. That is because you only have four points to hit. On the other hand, the octagonal gate has a steeper learning curve, but the opportunities that it presents are endless, making it the ultimate destination for any serious fighting gamer who would like to perform well in the long run.
With a square gate, some might struggle to find the diagonal points. In that case, an octagonal gate would be necessary as it is very easy to find the diagonals with an octagonal gate. Square gates emphasize the four main directions of forward, back, up, and down. Thus, if one’s character of choice involves a lot of those directions, then a square gate would be necessary. Square gates are more popular for a reason.
There is too much precision involved when using octagonal gates, and a player can put much less effort while making his or her intended input much more likely to come out when using a square gate. In other words, octagonal gates suffer from diminishing returns. You put so much effort for so little. In some cases, you end up getting inputs you did not intend.
By the way, you can check out our list of arcade sticks with Korean joysticks.