Up in ARMS About Nintendo’s Newest Fighter

ARMS, Nintendo's newest IP, just could be a sleeper hit!


At the Nintendo Switch Presentation, Nintendo announced it’s newest IP, ARMS, a 3D fighting game where you aim your character’s extendable arms to knock out your opponents. Just like in a shooter, your aim does matter as you have to be precise. Thanks to the advanced motion controls inside of the joycons, ARMS looks to be an experience many may be willing to get into for some quick, lighthearted fun.

All About ARMS

  • Just like any fighter, the game mechanics consist of movement (vertical and horizontal), punches, blocking, and throws.
  • ARMS features customizable items that you can equip to your character before the match. For instance, in Spring Man’s case, replace your punching gloves with a boomerang or trident for differential gameplay mechanics and strategy.
  • In ARMS, there is a charge, or special, meter. Unleash your fury when it’s full with ZR.
  • The Mascot characters in ARMS give you a similar vibe as games like Splatoon or Overwatch. Each character has a different personality, kit, victory pose, etc. For example, Spring Man is an overall balanced brawler, while Ribbon Girl is more jumpy and aerodynamic, and Master Mummy is more of a tanky character who’s slow, but can take a beating.
  • HD Rumble (haptic feedback) provides that feeling of extendable arms that are actually unraveling out of your hand. As a person that has a favorable opinion of motion controls – when done right – this is a very exciting proponent. If Nintendo is taking out the time to incorporate the technology, I like to see games that incorporate that in exciting ways. For example, when playing shooters on my Xbox One controller, the haptic feedback in the triggers makes a difference when defeating enemies. I feel that the haptic feedback in ARMS will be a more sophisticated version of this feature.
  • Arenas in ARMS can be destructible or change the tide of a match. In one arena showcased in the Nintendo Treehouse livestream, hard hitting attacks can break the center of rings revealing items like trampolines. In another, columns can also used to either hide from opponents to avoid attacks or be broken down to hunt down opponents trying to escape. Another interesting thing about one of the demo rings, is that you can bounce off of the the rubbery sides that enclose the ring giving your character a vertical advantage by changing the vantage point.
  • When comboing effectively, you can disable your opponents’ ARMS for a short time to get in more attack damage.

I understand that motion controls are off putting to anyone who owned a Wii and hated them. I mean…we’ve been there and done that, but I personally think motion control gaming is a lot of fun and is something that should have been used more by Nintendo to perfect them for better utilization in games (no waggle).

Moving forward, the budding developers at Nintendo have been bringing a certain freshness that I think Nintendo needed. Though we all love our Marios and our Zeldas, games like ARMS and even Splatoon, are hinting at a newer direction Nintendo is headed toward in the modern era. Remember during the Splatoon reveal at E3 2014 and Miyamoto discussing the Nintendo Garage (a group of developers who’d meet after hours to come up with game ideas)? I don’t think they’re done yet. After the success of Splatoon resulting in a sequel, and now with ARMS, there’s so much potential there and I hope to see more new things from Nintendo’s younger talent.

That said, there are some things I need to see unveiled about ARMS before going all in. Will there be various game modes? Is there a non-motion mode like with Splatoon? Are there going to be more than five playable characters at launch? How many arenas will there be? Most importantly, how will Nintendo attempt to sell this title to the masses and ensure some semblance of longevity? Hopefully wee see before the launch in Spring (more specifically, April).

All in all, I was glad to see ARMS on the center stage and I’m looking forward to seeing more! What do you think about ARMS? It is a pass or go? 

Sound off below!