Text and photos by: Julian Pagliaccio
Hit Box Arcade has been around for over 10 years now, and they've been consistently delivering quality products. Today, our spotlight is on the Smash Box.
First impressions matter, and Hit Box delivers — just opening the package is a luxury experience. Most people with Smash or FGC roots are used to things being scuffed — controllers thrown in boxes, getting products in plastic bags — but that's not Hit Box's style.
Our Smash Box arrived in a quality box, which opens up to a nice "thank you for your purchase" sheet, a custom microfiber cloth, and a business card. That's not all though, because underneath you find all the cables you'll ever need, and the cherry on top is Hit Box's own custom GameCube Controller Adapter.
The Smash Box itself is safe inside a custom-fitted drawstring bag held snug by packaging inserts.
The controller sports a nice hefty build. While the controller is slightly lighter than we expected, there's no denying that this thing is BIG. Anyone coming from a traditional GameCube controller will certainly be surprised by the sheer volume of it, but not necessarily in a bad way.
The build is extremely solid, consisting of a steel body fitted with a thick plexiglass top plate. Anyone who's worked with high-end audio or video production equipment will be familiar with this type of solid, blocky, clean form factor.
Out of the box, the Smash Box is ready for games like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ultimate, and Rivals of Aether. Testing with Melee, the first thing we noticed was the sensitivity and feel of the buttons.
It's abundantly clear the Smash Box has no inherent lag, and the buttons themselves are sensitive enough to detect even the slightest touch. This is definitely something to get used to, as sometimes even resting your fingers on the buttons can trigger them, but this precision is certainly appreciated in the long run.
Having tested for a few days, it's easy to say that the Smash Box is worth the price. It's beautifully constructed, has an iconic aesthetic, and comes with amazing software customization, tons of accessories, and various support channels.
The question we think you should be asking yourself is if it's worth your effort: transfering tech skill and muscle memory to a controller like this is difficult, and probably the biggest barrier for getting a Box style controller. It's taken days for us to get consistent with even basic techniques, and could easily take weeks or months before getting to a similar level of skill as prior to the switch.
However, with its legality for Melee, Ultimate, and Rivals of Aether tournaments, and new research showing its health benefits relative to a GameCube Controller, we think it's a great investment for anyone willing to take the time to relearn their wavedashes, multishines, and pivot-tippers.