ARMS is the new big fighting game IP from Nintendo, featuring a fresh unique take on the genre. Featuring weird people with stretching arms that fight in huge stadiums while beating the crap out of each other. Is Nintendo going forth and keeping up it’s success with new IP and it’s games in general?
ARMS features diverse cast of characters, ranging from Master Mummy, a literal Mummy, to a girl in a giant mech suit, to Helix, literal DNA. All of these characters have their own starting Arms, and abilities. For example, Helix can stretch his body to be really big, small, and go side to side, making him one of the hardest enemies to hit. Master Mummy can self heal while blocking, slowly, but he surely can. Of course size differences among them make a difference. I’d say the most unique character is probably Byte and Barq, since the robots robot dog runs around and can punch other players, I can see how this would be considered cheap in the competitive scene, but it’s just so fun.
Arms is the main mechanic of the title, featuring different types of Arms such as regular boxing gloves, giant balls, and even missiles and lasers you can shoot. The variety in mixing Arms combinations with the various characters is incredible, the system is so deep that you can create a unique feeling Spring Girl like I did, instead of the vanilla options. The game at the surface level can be played like a fun party game, even featuring modes like hoops and volleyball, but at it’s core it is much deeper than it. The game’s competitive online mode is where the game truly shines, you against one other person who understand some of the workings of the game, such as twisting your Arms, and dodging at the right moment. The mechanics here are surface level enough for everyone, but deep enough for those desiring to challenge themselves.
The game modes featured here is Grand Prix, which is a basic arcade later of fighting, or even playing volleyball, with 9 fighters, than fighting the game’s final boss Max Brass for the ARMS title. It has various different difficulty’s and adds for some variety. There is also online social, and local multiplayer, with up to four players which is amazing. You can play just normal fights, hoops, volleyball, target smash, and a boss fight like mode, where everyone fights a giant boss. A 1 on 100 mode is also available to hone your skills against plenty of fighters. The modes offer enough fun variety, regardless if you are playing by yourself, online with friends or randoms, or with your buddy with a split joycon on the couch. ARMS has all the options and more for a fighting game. My favorite mode of course is playing the competitive mode, as I feel like I am playing against people with a similar level of skill, and I have lost a lot of games, but also have won a lot. Using the motion controls can wear you down as you constantly move, but it makes me feel like I have absolute control over my movements and actions while playing competitive.
ARMS runs at 1080 60 fps in TV mode and 720p 60 fps in handheld mode. Now I noticed at some points when you are playing split screen with more than three players, the framerate does take some dips into the 50s and 40s, which can be pretty jarring, but it doesn’t happen ever when you are playing by yourself. The graphics are very anime and cartoony like, they look great. Some nice lighting effects, and the look of the title is just satisfying. When you hit something the sound effects are just satisfying and let you know what you have hit, feeling like a classic comic punch mixed with a real punch. ARMS has the most control options out of any Nintendo Switch game yet. You can play with a pro controller, handheld mode, joycons in grip, joycons loose, split joycons. Then there is the big control option, the motion controls. Which for once I agree is the best way to play the game, making you feel one with your character as you move back and forth, and punch and twist your arms, it is crazy to me how good playing the game like that feels.
ARMS is showing the continuing success of Nintendo with their new IP and their Nintendo Switch platform. ARMS takes full advantage of all features and possible control options of the Switch, making it accessible enough for everyone, but having enough depth for competitive players. I can’t wait to see the continuing support of the game through free DLC. I give ARMS a 9 out of 10, please don’t hit me.