Welcome to the Arms Arena!
This is yet another brand new franchise that came out of the Big N! Introducing ARMS, a brand new style in the fight game genre. Of course, that sounds odd when you say out loud coming from Nintendo. However, this is no joke and Nintendo put in some effort to try to pull off yet another Splatoon phenomena. When I say this, I mean this is the second major franchise to start in the just a few years and is also competition-worthy. First, we have to make sure this is a fighting game worth its price tag. Welcome to the ARMS Arena!
ARMS showcases itself quite well by displaying a nice charm and memorable theme song to boot. The style is quickly assimilated and we all know what we are getting into trying ARMS the first time. The only thing asks themselves is: “How well can I control this thing?” Before getting into the controls of the game, it is important to note that the universe of the game is pretty simple and the style does appear pretty open to eventual guests from other big Nintendo names such as Mario or Little Mac (Am I right?).
The game offers your general fighting game modes that most are used to such as main arcade mode also known as Grand Prix Mode. Players will have to fight every single fighter of the playable roster one by one until you reach a final boss of some sorts. Most rounds will be your classic 1-v-1 fight. Every 3rd round brings one of 3 different mini-games such as V-Ball, Hoops and Skillshot (more on these later). Then, at the end, a boss awaits you arrival to show off all that you have learned.
Other modes include Versus, Party and Online play. Versus is the mode for local play on the same console. Up to four players can sit down and play on the TV screen using a single copy of the game. Of course, this will be done through splitscreen. In Versus, playerscan fight each other in 1v1 or 2v2 team battles. Also, there are a number of mini-games such V-Ball, a volleyball minigame, Hoops, a basket ball minigame, and Skillshot, a target practice mode where 2 players test their accuracy.
Online modes include Party Match and Ranked Match. Party Match is a free mode to fight other players all over the world. Ranked Match does the same but with the addition that all battles count towards a ranking system. These battles include 1v1 battles and 2v2 team battles. However, Ranked Match must be unlocked by completing Grand Prix on a specific difficulty. This is pretty smart since most players will need to adjust to this style of gameplay and may need time to properly compete against other players.
ARMS is all about competition and even the main theme will slowly slip itself into your brain. The overall style of the game is easy to be charmed by. At first, you wonder how to go about starting the game. After a few games, you will get a form of currency or points to spend for one extra minigame. This one, selected from the main menu, can be played by paying a set number of points for a chance to unlock new arms for each character.
Personally, the game was easy to get into and although I needed to go through a learning curve, it was only helping appreciate the unique fighting style. For a very first iteration, it has a fair amount of characters to choose from and each can be experienced differently. Also, the addition of unlocking more arms for the same fighter only helped deepen the relationship between myself and my favorite fighter, Ninjara. Soon enough, any player prepares their own special build that they are used to take maximum advantage of a character’s special skills.
Of course, the game has a multitude of ways to play. Although the game was marketed to be played with the Joy-Cons held like knuckles, it is possible to play the game using the Grip and the Pro Controller as well. Like this, one can experience a more traditional way of fighting. This also makes it easier for inviting other people around you to play too. The Joy-Cons are actually not as bad as one would think when you hear motion controls. The game is very fun and engaging when played this way. Making use of the the Joy-Cons’ motion technology, this is not another Wii experiment.
ARMS is no doubt a great product coming in from the Big N and it’s nice to see Nintendo be more bold in creating more IPs and develop them. With the competitive side of things taken into perspective, Nintendo is making a good move into eSports with this game alongside the upcoming Splatoon 2. Continued support from Nintendo is also promising.