ARMS: First Impressions

Instead of taking advantage of the humid and rainy weather down here on the South Coast of glorious England, I have instead opted to take a crash course on Arms and its Global Test Punch extravaganza for the Nintendo Switch.

As the resident Nintendo nerd… I say good riddance to the weather and hello to the world of ARMS!

So, what the heck is ARMS all about? In a nutshell, you pick a colourful and quirky character, load them up with cool looking boxing glove gizmos and then you furiously do your best to beat them down to the ground within the time limit.

You have many options of how to do this, both in regards to what controller method you use and how you go about in your play style. You can frantically button mash and hope for the best, or play it cool and try to predict where your opponent will go next.

I jumped into the game’s first round, at the horrendous time of 1 o’clock in the morning, and opted for the Joy-Con motion control setup. I was actually quite surprised at how responsive and easy the motion controls were and within a couple of matches – I felt that I got the hang of it. Although, that’s not to say that they are perfect – I often found it quite difficult to do certain actions such as guarding and pulling off the special attacks. But in regards to precision with the punches and the way the game encourages you to dodge and jump around – I found it to be comfortable and a game that really shows how great motion controls can be!

There are 7 playable characters and a number of modes that are available. You have your standard 1 on 1 matches which the aim is simple…beat your opponent within the time limit. This has also been mixed up by including a 3rd or 4th player into the mix and this is where your wits and reactions really come into play. I often found this difficult and a little unfair sometimes as you’ll either be ganged up upon or missing out of the action.

There is also 2 v 2 team battles where you and your team mate are ‘ribboned’ together as you take on the other team. This is really fun, and what’s interesting is that you can damage your team-mate. I often found this happened to me quite a lot!

Aside from the standard fighting, there is a Volleyball mode, which can be played either in 1 v 1 or 2 v 2 modes, where players must punch the ball to the other side before it explodes or touches the floor. I found that certain characters worked well for this mode, but a few that didn’t…no matter the setup. This was really fun and was a nice break in between the fighting rounds.

So, first impressions of ARMS is that it’s fun, exciting, easy to pick up but will take some time to master. There were no issues with drop outs or lag and I didn’t feel that any character or setup felt too strong or underpowered in the fighting modes…but some definitely for the Volleyball games. ARMS is looking to become a strong title in the Switch’s library.

The game looks crazy, colourful, quirky and I cannot wait to pick this up when it drops on June 16th.