ARMS is the one of the upcoming games for the Nintendo Switch and it actually releases on my birthday which is June 16th. So I have some personal joy with any media being released on my birthday, hell I remember the first time a movie came out on my birthday which was Around the World in 80 Days with Jackie Chan. Funny enough I got the movie on DVD as a birthday gift when I was a kid and I never opened it, it is still in the plastic wrap. I can easily say ARMS is going to be opened when I get it and from my first run in with ARMS, there is a good chance this could be one of my favorite titles this year.
One aspect that got my attention would be motion controls. I know that most people hate them and call them the bane of gaming sometimes. Personally I think that is done because of terrible games that were just meant to be shovelware. Some companies wanted a quick buck so they made terrible games with barely working controls. There is also the Kinect which sold well, but died with a terrible history with the people. There were actually some games that did work, they were simple and that is how motion controls started. Some great game designers learned the basics of what motion controls could do and we got some amazing titles from this early era. No More Heroes 1 and 2 of course! Red Steel 1 and 2 were nice titles as well, quite ambitious too during the early days. Madworld a game developed by Platinum was an extremely gory game for the Wii and still to this day fans love to debate which is better, No More Heroes or Madworld, for me it is No More Heroes all the way.
Back to the subject though, ARMS is a fighting game with motion controls and there are many bad fighting games they tried motion controls before. There is a Bleach video game on the Wii which I own sadly (hey I was young and liked Bleach, many of us did in the past and we all regretted it). It literally just played with just flailing the controllers around and hopefully you got a win! Then back to the Kinect there was Fighter Within and my oh my that was a disgrace! This time you just flail your hands and feet and hopefully you win! There is a secret technique with that game though where if you crouch and keep punching the computer AI has a hard time dealing with it. So the idea of motion controls with fighting games has been hard. ARMS is showing that this idea actually works though.
I even did a video on the terrible Bleach game.
The motion controls really work well and it took me only a little time to know how to play the game. There was barely much of a tutorial too. It starts to feel natural pretty quick which is great for any fighting game. ARMS even has some nice use of mechanics thanks to how stages are made, good mixture of weapons, and strong character variety. The stages are very different while the basic stage already shows how jumping really helps because of the springboards around the arena. There will also be some good use of springboards in other stages too because I remember there is one stage where it is in the center, but something is covering it. By destroying the floor panel will reveal the spring which is a spider’s web. There is a nice stage with stairs that gives you the taste of both low and high ground. The laboratory has many pillars which block your attacks and they can be destroyed. I know there will be much more later on in term of stages, but so far the design of them feel great and highlight the basics for advanced play.
The weapons are well thought out thanks to light, medium, and heavy. Light weapons are the quickest and usually have some tricks to them. Mostly those tricks would be curving the weapons themselves. The risk with them though is that they can barely deflect weapons that are heavier. The medium ones are basic punches and some can have elements of homing or multiple shots. The heavy weapons are slow, but can just tear through other weapons and my favorite one if charged can stun foes. Yes there is even charging your weapons which is done with guarding or holding the jump button. Be warned though there are grabs so charging too long can get you tangled. There is even a special meter which is a triangle bar that fills through combat. People can guard against them, but there is chip damage which is something that I miss in some current fighting games. The overall use of weapons can get insane too, some are laser firing weapons, blobs of goo that slow down foes, shields that keep moving while deflecting attacks, boomerangs that really turn, or hammers that go up and then smack you! Overall I am happy with the weapon use and changing between rounds will probably become extremely important when the full game comes out.
The characters also get my attention. I love their designs and all of them got something different going on. Spring Man and Ribbon Girl feel like your basic choices to learn the game and if you are strong with the basics you can really have these two become strong fighters. Master Mummy and Mechanica are big heavy-weights and again thanks to what weapons they get does change their style up. Ninjaro is extremely fast like Min Min, but the ninja can vanish while the ramen girl can deflect attacks while jumping. Helix is probably the most different character around where he can extend and shrink his body. Even his weapons are unlike the others where he has the blobs of goo and the shields. There are even more characters coming where Kid Cobra seems to be focused on those slappers, Twintella floats around and shows you how she is the ice queen, and then there is Byte and Barq where their teamwork will stomp out foes.
Min Min is my favorite so far.
There are even many other fun options for ARMS which is a big plus. You love Tekken Ball? Well ARMS has volleyball as well and with the mixture of weapons you can do some interesting tricks and spikes. There will even be a basketball like mini game where you can dunk your foes. So there will be many fun things to do and with the thanks to good motion controls this game feels as smooth as the frame rate. Sixty frames per second is important to any fighting game and I am happy to see that ARMS is working with well with frames. I will say I had some little issues with the online play where some of my attacks went through others and when they disconnect could make it a win or a loss for you depending if it is a single, free for all, or team match. This is a demo and not the full product and if the online can be like Splatoon we should be in good hands.
I will easily be playing ARMS again when the next demo run comes out for the weekend as my username is Godzilla60. If you find me facing you or on my side, be ready to give me your best use of ARMS!
You can also watch my first time with ARMS