ARMS

ARMS is a totally new IP from Nintendo, and it certainly oozes with their signature style. It combines intense PvP gameplay with quirky characters and features. ARMS is essentially a one on one (presumably) fighting game, featuring characters with extendable arms. Players face off in arenas small enough that they can fight one another without actually taking a step forward. Like any fighting game, there is a range of characters with names so clever, they’ll make your head spin. Real winners like Ribbon Girl and Spring Man. Even Mega Man characters had more imaginative names than some of these. Where the game does impress is with the variety. The five characters available for the demo, I’m assuming there’s more, do offer a fair level of variety. No two seem to be alike. Similarly, each character appears to have their own weapons set, which you select at the beginning of each match. You can assign different weapons to each hand, or you can have two of the same. One of the Nintendo reps mentioned that these were the weapons available for the demo, indicating that there is likely to be a range of weapons to unlock throughout the game, similar to how the new Smash Bros. introduced interchangeable moves for character customization. The game is made to make use of the JoyCons, as you swing and jab at your opponent, and dodge around in ways that are likely to either be misread by the sensors, or at least lead to some kind of bodily harm as you really get into it. The game even allows for the player to direct their punch after engaging by simply tilting the JoyCon in the corresponding hand in the intended direction. Those who are just completely over Nintendo and their motion control shenanigans do have the option of playing with the pro controller, or maybe even just disabling the motion controls on the JoyCons and playing with the Grip accessory. While the game does look enjoyable, it is somewhat disappointing to see Nintendo push out yet another cartoony, zany, gimmicky IP that is ultimately only fun if you have someone to play with. It would be nice to see another proper adventure title, or something with a compelling story that reaches a vast audience. ARMS looks fun, and it’s likely to sell well in the Spring, where, out of four titles slated for release, only one aside from ARMS has really garnered any outside attention. However, it’s not going to turn heads, and it’s not going to send Nintendo’s once loyal fan base rushing out to buy a Switch. It’ll serve to pass the time until Splatoon 2 comes out in the summer, and then Mario Odyssey a few months after.

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