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Hands On With ARMS


During the Switch event, Nintendo announced two new IP’s, 1 2 Switch and ARMS, both of which offer up different ways to use the new Nintendo Switch JoyCon controllers and at the Nintendo Australia Switch Event 2017, I was able to go hands on with ARMS.

ARMS is an arena based fighting game, where you control one of a range of fighters, but with their arms replaced by springs, letting you reach across the arena to land blows upon your opponent. As it stands now controlling your fighter is purely done by using the JoyCon controller in its split mode and using only the motion parts of it and it works, but more importantly, it works well. If you are unsure about how it might play, think of it much like Wii Sports Boxing, only without the input lag.


Once you have selected your fighter, I could play as 4 of the current 5, including Ribbon Girl, Spring Man and Master Mummy. Each of the fighters has a perk to choosing them, Master Mummy as an example is a massive fighter and that size gives him a massive power increase, which lets you deal major damage, but his size works against him in that he is slow. Playing as him after one of the lighter fighters, it is quite noticeable, but that is the challenge of the game, learning how each of the fighters works, to find the one that works for you.


Of course, you need to be able to control which ever character that you choose, thankfully they work with minimal instruction. To move around, you just tilt both JoyCon to the side you want to move, to punch, well you punch, the two are the core of your important motions, though you can blend them together to get more advanced moves. Punching with one hand, you tilt that same JoyCon in either direction and you direct your punch in the air. Punching both at once can grab your opponent and draw them closer to you, letting you pummel them if you want. Button wise, you can use the left shoulder button to dash, so if you are moving to the left and you hit that button, you dash slightly to the left, which you can us to avoid a grab or an even more powerful move. Pressing the right shoulder button, lets you jump about, which you can use together with moving and dashing, to help you get around.


Punch enough times and you can collect enough power to unleash a powerful attack, which can leave your opponent down and out. The attacks however can be blocked, both by guarding yourself or punching towards your opponent’s punch, taking out that attack before it hits you. The arenas that I played on changed things up as well, the first was open, much like a boxing ring, but it had these electrified bounce pads around the edge, which can deal damage to your opponent if they land upon it. Though if you want to, you can jump onto it and launch yourself higher, giving yourself a double jump, letting you gain a height advantage, but you still take damage yourself. The other arena had these giant glass tubes around the middle, which you could use to hide behind, letting your opponent wear out their special, whilst avoiding damage to yourself, but you can also punch right through them if you want, letting you get to your opponent faster.


ARMS was a game that when I saw it during the presentation, I knew it would not appeal to me, fighting games as a whole are not my thing, but having gone hands on, I honestly can’t wait to play it some more.