Since the Console launched back in March it has been well received by fans, especially with the help of the “open air” The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releasing alongside it and the revamped Mario Kart 8 Deluxe releasing a month after the console. However in between that time there has been a void that fans have grown tired of and it seems Nintendo plans to fill it with their new game Arms. Arms is a fighting game developed by Nintendo that pairs Punch-Out gameplay with motion controls to create a new way of using fighting game mechanics. To help showcase the title Nintendo teamed up with Ultimate Fighter Championship’s three-time former Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre (GSP) for an event to showcase the fighting game for the Switch. Usually Nintendo’s partnership with GSP would seem odd but using a fighting champ to highlight a motion control fighting game makes perfect sense.
The event took place at an MMA gym where media was invited to compete against their peers in the Ultimate Arms Tournament to come out on top and face-off against Georges St. Pierre in a showdown for the ages. It was a while since the last time I played Arms, at the Nintendo Switch Showcase back in January, so to say my skills were a little rusty is definitely an understatement. The great thing about the event is that Nintendo gave us an opportunity to practice before the tournament took place and I was able to try to hone my skills before my match. Despite the practice I ended up losing in the first round and lost my chance to face off against GSP. However playing the game I couldn’t helped but be pleasantly surprised by how entertaining the game is when you play.
Like I mentioned earlier, I was lucky enough to briefly test out the game in January and I was skeptical then about how the game would play. Although I had a great time playing back then my time with the game was very brief, so I wasn’t sure if I would have the same enjoyment jumping back in. Which is often the trouble I have with motion control games, their ability to remain entertaining after playing for a few minutes. The thing with Arms is the game looks like a Nintendo gaming with its eclectic characters that are unique and colourful. Visually the game stands out from any other fighting game and that will grab your attention the real test is the gameplay. Arms forces players to choose their characters wisely and consider strategy as different players have unique moves and arm attachments that gives leverage over other characters style of fighting. Keeping strategy in mind and using the joy-cons to swing your arms to hit your opponent is just another layer that makes playing this gaming more than a walk in the park. Timing is key and you have to be able to time your attacks, blocks and super to maximize damage to your opponent. When you’re constantly strategizing while swinging your arms it makes you feel as though you are boxing in real life. And the effect is enhanced by the joy-cons HD rumble that makes it feels as though there is distance between you and landing a punch on your opponent. The depth that the game offers keeps it refreshing at ever match and makes the game very competitive.
Despite my short run in the tournament I couldn’t help but wanting to jump back in the game and keep playing. Keeping that in mind I think Arms kept me engaged throughout my time with it but most importantly kept it refreshing. Like GSP, I can see myself playing this game for fun and competitively, to settle the score, with family and friends.
Arms will hit stores on June 16 just days after the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), meaning that we are probably in for more hype and announcements around the game and/or possibly DLC news at this years event.