Review units of the One-Zero Hit Box and One-Zero Mini Arcade Stick provided byBlunderbuss Designs.
When it comes to buying arcade sticks in Europe, you have two options: buy a bog standard stick on Amazon for anywhere between £100 to £300, or you can get one of these. This is a One-Zero Arcade Stick from Blunderbuss Designs. Unlike the arcade sticks you can buy on Amazon, these arcade sticks are made from steel and are designed to be fully customisable. The One-Zero comes in two sizes and features both arcade stick and Hit Box variants. In my opinion, these are the best arcade sticks money can buy.
The first question I imagine most people will have on their minds is: what makes the One-Zero better than any other mass produced arcade stick? For starters, the steel enclosure on these sticks alone is about as premium as it gets. When you pick up either of the sticks for the first time, you can instantly feel the difference in quality compared to something you can pick up off the shelf. The weight of these sticks might actually be a deterrent for some tournament goers as the Mini comes in at a hefty 3.3kg, whereas the full size stick drops in at an incredible ‘ERROR’ sign. If you are looking for something lightweight and portable, this probably isn’t for you.
Being able to easily access your arcade stick components is incredibly important as the buttons and stick will inevitably need replacing. Fortunately, opening up the One-Zero simply requires you to unscrew the bottom panel. Once you’ve done that, the enclosure splits apart making it easy to add or remove parts. Compared to any of my old arcade sticks, I found this to be a much better process as everything was situated on a single panel. Swapping out the buttons and stick on the One-Zero Mini was a breeze, and the same can be said for the larger model as it is essentially the same enclosure but with a lot more room inside.
One of the biggest reasons to consider a One-Zero Arcade Stick is if you live in Europe and you want to get your hands on a Hit Box. While you do have the option of importing a Hit Box from America, the shipping and import fees alone will force you to spend hundreds of dollars. Blunderbuss Designs is one of the only places you can buy a Hit Box enclosure without spending a fortune on shipping as the One-Zeros are produced in England.
When it comes to customising the One-Zero, you can purchase the optional acrylic cover which allows you to add artwork to your stick. Personally, I’m more than happy with the minimalist look that you get out of the box, but here are some examples of what other users have done to their arcade sticks. This Reddit user /u/LionoBO0o took his mods to another level by utilising the spare room of the One-Zero’s enclosure to include a fully functional Raspberry Pi, complete with USB passthrough and custom wiring harness.
Blunderbuss Designs sells the One-Zero enclosures separately for £97.50/£77.50 in case you already have your own components ready to go. The One-Zero has been designed with the Brook PCBs in mind, with a space to mount the PCB in the bottom left corner.
As I mentioned earlier, there is plenty of space in the enclosure allowing you to fit practically any PCB in there. If you need to know exactly what components are supported in the One-Zero, there are tech specs on the Blunderbuss website.
One of the biggest complaints about the One-Zero will be the price as it is at the higher end for arcade sticks, coming in at close to £250 for a fully assembled kit. Admittedly this is a lot of money for an arcade stick, but in this case you really do get what you pay for. Good luck trying to find a Hit Box on Amazon that features a PCB with either wireless capabilities or support for practically every console. It is literally impossible to get this set of components without having it custom made by someone. Considering what Blunderbuss Designs is offering, I would’ve expected these arcade sticks to be sold for a lot more than £250.
There aren’t many things I would change about the One-Zero, but that might just be because it is similar to my former favourite arcade stick, the Virtua Stick High Grade. My only issue with the One-Zero is the Neutrik Type B USB adaptor. Ideally that would be replaced with a Type C port to future proof it. Prior to trying the One-Zero, I thought an anti-slip pad might be nice on the bottom of the stick, but after using it I found the massive rubber feet essentially perform the same task. Other than the lack of a Type C port, for me the One-Zero is perfect.
The One-Zero is the best choice for anyone looking for a premium arcade stick as you won’t have to purchase another stick again. If you are in Europe and you are questioning whether or not to buy an arcade stick from Blunderbuss Designs or Amazon, I think the One-Zero is by far the best option.