Over this weekend I got a chance to play Nintendo’s new fighting game IP Arms. In the build up for the game Nintendo allowed people to try the game at set times for one hour in what they called the Global Test punch. Since this was a brand new game (those people that complain Nintendo never do anything new… if they are still doing that after Splatoon are fools) it was a good idea for me to test it out.
While Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 both have ties to the previous Nintendo console the Wii U, ARMS is a game made specifically and exclusively for the Switch. So I put my Switch into the tv dock, took off my joy cons, for the first time I put on the thumbs grips and got ready for Nintendo spring loaded boxing!
Now obviously this is just a taster and, let’s be honest, the main purpose is to get people hyped for the game, see if they want and like it. The game is controlled primarily with motion controls, moving by tilting the joy cons, punching by… punching with the joy cons, blocking by tilting them to each other. There are however buttons for jumping, doing dashes and entering a sort of hyper mode for a large amount of damage.
The game is very odd, while I can safely say I’m a long way from fully getting used to the controls (mainly cause during the test punch all you could do is play against others online) I can definitely say that as you get more skilled you will easily beat someone who is just throwing punches wildly.
So anyway the main gimmick of the game is the characters all have springy arms that fly out. Rather than just a spring loaded boxing glove the arm on the end may end in a electic mallet, or even a dragon head that fires a laser at your enemy. Your choice of weapon which can be different on each of your 2 arms (left and right) can be different, or you can use both to try and grab your opponent. I did have some difficulty with moving the character the way I wanted, but that can be attributed to getting used to the controls and not getting too over excited, lose your cool and you will make mistakes with those movements, trying to grab when you meant to block.
From what I played I could feel each character being some what different, not just the choice of arms but also their actions, when playing as Mechanica I could hover in mid air for a moment. While when playing as Min Min, when I dashed I would knock away incoming blows (which I hadn’t succeeded in doing sadly but with practice that could definitely be VERY useful)
The simplest way I could describe this game, is – Take the boxing game in Wii Sports, then crank it up to the NINTENDO degree (that’s right, a mere number isn’t enough to quantify it) but even that would be an over simplification.
Arms is definitely an interesting game, Though I’m saddened that becouse of its controls I will not be able to play it in handheld mode that doesn’t mean it can’t be played portable, just set the Switch to tabletop mode and use the joy cons with it (though that means unlike Mario Kart and Zelda I won’t be able to play it on the toilet). I liked what I initially saw and now having played it I do intend on purchasing this game, the Switch is still going strong and E3 is coming fast, I look forward eagerly to what’s revealed there.
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