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'ARMS (Switch)'

Mon 19/06/17 at 17:25:
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Itís easy to criticize Nintendo for relying on their big franchises when it comes to launching new titles Ė Mario Kart, Zelda, Kirby, Fire Emblem, the list goes on. Yet one thing that people forget is from time to time they can produce a new IP here and there with the same level of quality and creativity of its tried and true, sometimes even more. Splatoon took the world by storm when it launched on Wii U while smaller experiences like Captain Toad and the upcoming Ever Oasis also were or look to be pleasant surprises too.

Now we move to Nintendoís latest gamble, ARMS. A beat Ďem up like no other from the developers responsible for the Mario Kart titles of late. The timing of this release is a tough one though with plenty of big fighters also hitting shelves (Injustice 2 and Tekken 7 Ė you may have heard of them) so competition is indeed fierce. Is ARMS a knockout punch or merely a swing and a miss?

ARMS isnít your typical fighter and itís not just down to the fact the game is controlled using motion. As you may have guessed from the name, the game sports a roster of characters with long arms (be they springs, ribbon or even snakes) that can reach clean across an arena. You wonít find yourself in close-quarters combat like a Street Fighter or Dead or Alive but instead keeping your distance. Rather than taking a side-on view, the game instead puts you behind and slightly above your character giving you a more hands-on feeling during fights. The game isnít about the never-ending combos of a deep Tekken-like fighter nor is it about waving your arms wildly in a casual manner neither. ARMS is a game that rewards patience, timing and believe it or not a lot of skill.

Movement is handled by tilting the Joy-Cons left, right, forward and back. Punching the left and right Joy-Con forwards shoots your playerís respective elongated arm while adding a little twist afterward gives it a little curve. Bringing them together blocks while a quick flick forward of both initiates a grab that can break said blocks. The shoulder buttons allow for a little more agility in the form of jumping and dashing. It may sound a little complicated to begin with and trust me it is. The first hour or so I would find myself losing to the lowest level of CPU. However once I took my time to understand the layers of the game I found myself getting better. I waited for my moments to attack, didnít rely too heavily on one tactic and even started using the stages to my advantage. It was tough going from the start sure but such a rewarding experience too.

Characters boast that typical Nintendo charm Ė bright, colourful and joyous to watch in action. Springman for example has arms made of; you guessed it springs that look fantastic stretching and contracting with every punch. Ninjara meanwhile opts for chains that whip and slash in lethal fashion. Fighter selection isnít merely cosmetic either, each one bringing their own unique ability. Springman for example offers unlimited charge punches when health is low while Master Mummy not only takes a little more effort to knockback, but can also regenerate health when guarding.

Then there are the ARMS themselves, which offer a wide range of wildly different attacks and bonuses. Boomerangs offer a wide curve to their path, wrecking balls are slow but can power through weaker ARMS and a trio of rockets can spread a little wider allowing for more chance to land a hit. Each of these may also have an elemental perk too whether itís temporarily shutting down your ARMS with electricity, exploding or obscuring your view with gunk. There are thirty in total which need to be unlocked individually for each character but with play coins coming so frequently (the currency needed to access the mini game that spits out random ARMS) it never becomes a hassle.

All in all the gameplay is surprisingly deep, even when using motion controls. Your standard gamepad option is also a good choice as well.

The game offers a small handful of game types (what fighter doesnít these days) each with differing results. Straight up one on one is your bread and butter here and among my favourite ways to play. Tag matches and three and four way battles while funny donít translate so well with the ARMS format. Itís hard to keep track of who is aiming for who and in the end amounts to no more than keeping your distance and hoping no one is behind or to the side of you waiting. Volleyball is a neat distraction encouraging quick movement and well planned attacks to score. The target mode too is surprisingly good with players at either end of a stage and trying to hit targets that pop up in between them, all whilst being able to mess with each other with throws and punches.

If thereís one area that ARMS lacks in its single player. Much like the Mario Kart series, Grand Prix is your main hub for action Ė taking a single fighter through a series of ten matches in a mixture of the gameís wacky scenarios at seven difficulties. Introductions and story are kept to an absolute minimum too with no voice acting from the presenter nor any real explanation as to what the event is or why these competitors have crazy arms. In a year where fighters are putting more effort into a strong story feature, ARMS feels anemic in comparison.

Thankfully the local multiplayer picks things back up with options varied and more importantly fun. Youíre free to set win count, time limit and even health to your pleasing as well as try any of the gameís differing modes. Furthermore the game can be played with four players (either with eight Joy-Cons or four of them on their side). Itís manic, party-like fun that continues the Switchís growing list of strong local multiplayer affairs.

When it comes to Nintendo and onlineÖ letís just say the results have often been underwhelming in the past. Even Mario Kart 8 Deluxe while decent enough pales in comparison to what you might see on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. ARMS while still missing a few key features (voice chat for example) is easily Nintendoís best effort to date. While playing with friends offers plenty of flexibility and options to the gamer and ranked battle remove items and focus purely on your fists, itís the party mode that truly shines. Placing randomers into a small room of eight, players are thrown into matches of all types with rarely a moment spent patiently awaiting the next battle. One moment you may be in a one on one situation, the next playing some volleyball. Time spent in the waiting room itself offers the chance to spectate the results of other matches in progress all wrapped in a visually pleasing layer. Overall itís a brilliant way of handling casual online play.

The level of polish on show in ARMS is brilliant, then again what would you expect from the developers of the excellent Mario Kart 8 and its Deluxe upgrade. Characters pop, environments radiate depth and the soundtrack is catchy. Like the Splatoon squids I expect the ARMS fighters to gain popularity as time goes by.

The fighting genre is one tough to really evolve in any dramatic way. Outside of a few outliers like the Super Smash Bros series, chances are youíre always going to find yourself side-on of two fighters shooting for long combos and chipping away at a health bar. ARMS manages to stand out. Whether itís down to the surprisingly effective motion controls, simple to use Ė tough to master gameplay or just the wonderfully bright and colourful cast of combatants, it feels like Nintendo could potentially be onto another winner here. After ten or so hours I canít stop playing and with free downloadable content promised down the road Iím sure Iíll throwing fists all through the summer too.

9/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 19/06/17 at 17:25:
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Itís easy to criticize Nintendo for relying on their big franchises when it comes to launching new titles Ė Mario Kart, Zelda, Kirby, Fire Emblem, the list goes on. Yet one thing that people forget is from time to time they can produce a new IP here and there with the same level of quality and creativity of its tried and true, sometimes even more. Splatoon took the world by storm when it launched on Wii U while smaller experiences like Captain Toad and the upcoming Ever Oasis also were or look to be pleasant surprises too.

Now we move to Nintendoís latest gamble, ARMS. A beat Ďem up like no other from the developers responsible for the Mario Kart titles of late. The timing of this release is a tough one though with plenty of big fighters also hitting shelves (Injustice 2 and Tekken 7 Ė you may have heard of them) so competition is indeed fierce. Is ARMS a knockout punch or merely a swing and a miss?

ARMS isnít your typical fighter and itís not just down to the fact the game is controlled using motion. As you may have guessed from the name, the game sports a roster of characters with long arms (be they springs, ribbon or even snakes) that can reach clean across an arena. You wonít find yourself in close-quarters combat like a Street Fighter or Dead or Alive but instead keeping your distance. Rather than taking a side-on view, the game instead puts you behind and slightly above your character giving you a more hands-on feeling during fights. The game isnít about the never-ending combos of a deep Tekken-like fighter nor is it about waving your arms wildly in a casual manner neither. ARMS is a game that rewards patience, timing and believe it or not a lot of skill.

Movement is handled by tilting the Joy-Cons left, right, forward and back. Punching the left and right Joy-Con forwards shoots your playerís respective elongated arm while adding a little twist afterward gives it a little curve. Bringing them together blocks while a quick flick forward of both initiates a grab that can break said blocks. The shoulder buttons allow for a little more agility in the form of jumping and dashing. It may sound a little complicated to begin with and trust me it is. The first hour or so I would find myself losing to the lowest level of CPU. However once I took my time to understand the layers of the game I found myself getting better. I waited for my moments to attack, didnít rely too heavily on one tactic and even started using the stages to my advantage. It was tough going from the start sure but such a rewarding experience too.

Characters boast that typical Nintendo charm Ė bright, colourful and joyous to watch in action. Springman for example has arms made of; you guessed it springs that look fantastic stretching and contracting with every punch. Ninjara meanwhile opts for chains that whip and slash in lethal fashion. Fighter selection isnít merely cosmetic either, each one bringing their own unique ability. Springman for example offers unlimited charge punches when health is low while Master Mummy not only takes a little more effort to knockback, but can also regenerate health when guarding.

Then there are the ARMS themselves, which offer a wide range of wildly different attacks and bonuses. Boomerangs offer a wide curve to their path, wrecking balls are slow but can power through weaker ARMS and a trio of rockets can spread a little wider allowing for more chance to land a hit. Each of these may also have an elemental perk too whether itís temporarily shutting down your ARMS with electricity, exploding or obscuring your view with gunk. There are thirty in total which need to be unlocked individually for each character but with play coins coming so frequently (the currency needed to access the mini game that spits out random ARMS) it never becomes a hassle.

All in all the gameplay is surprisingly deep, even when using motion controls. Your standard gamepad option is also a good choice as well.

The game offers a small handful of game types (what fighter doesnít these days) each with differing results. Straight up one on one is your bread and butter here and among my favourite ways to play. Tag matches and three and four way battles while funny donít translate so well with the ARMS format. Itís hard to keep track of who is aiming for who and in the end amounts to no more than keeping your distance and hoping no one is behind or to the side of you waiting. Volleyball is a neat distraction encouraging quick movement and well planned attacks to score. The target mode too is surprisingly good with players at either end of a stage and trying to hit targets that pop up in between them, all whilst being able to mess with each other with throws and punches.

If thereís one area that ARMS lacks in its single player. Much like the Mario Kart series, Grand Prix is your main hub for action Ė taking a single fighter through a series of ten matches in a mixture of the gameís wacky scenarios at seven difficulties. Introductions and story are kept to an absolute minimum too with no voice acting from the presenter nor any real explanation as to what the event is or why these competitors have crazy arms. In a year where fighters are putting more effort into a strong story feature, ARMS feels anemic in comparison.

Thankfully the local multiplayer picks things back up with options varied and more importantly fun. Youíre free to set win count, time limit and even health to your pleasing as well as try any of the gameís differing modes. Furthermore the game can be played with four players (either with eight Joy-Cons or four of them on their side). Itís manic, party-like fun that continues the Switchís growing list of strong local multiplayer affairs.

When it comes to Nintendo and onlineÖ letís just say the results have often been underwhelming in the past. Even Mario Kart 8 Deluxe while decent enough pales in comparison to what you might see on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. ARMS while still missing a few key features (voice chat for example) is easily Nintendoís best effort to date. While playing with friends offers plenty of flexibility and options to the gamer and ranked battle remove items and focus purely on your fists, itís the party mode that truly shines. Placing randomers into a small room of eight, players are thrown into matches of all types with rarely a moment spent patiently awaiting the next battle. One moment you may be in a one on one situation, the next playing some volleyball. Time spent in the waiting room itself offers the chance to spectate the results of other matches in progress all wrapped in a visually pleasing layer. Overall itís a brilliant way of handling casual online play.

The level of polish on show in ARMS is brilliant, then again what would you expect from the developers of the excellent Mario Kart 8 and its Deluxe upgrade. Characters pop, environments radiate depth and the soundtrack is catchy. Like the Splatoon squids I expect the ARMS fighters to gain popularity as time goes by.

The fighting genre is one tough to really evolve in any dramatic way. Outside of a few outliers like the Super Smash Bros series, chances are youíre always going to find yourself side-on of two fighters shooting for long combos and chipping away at a health bar. ARMS manages to stand out. Whether itís down to the surprisingly effective motion controls, simple to use Ė tough to master gameplay or just the wonderfully bright and colourful cast of combatants, it feels like Nintendo could potentially be onto another winner here. After ten or so hours I canít stop playing and with free downloadable content promised down the road Iím sure Iíll throwing fists all through the summer too.

9/10

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