ARMS, the exclusive Nintendo Switch 2-player fighter, was present this past weekend at PAX South 2017 and will continue to be showcased during the Nintendo Switch and Play events throughout North America. The next event will be Sunday, February 12, 2017 in Washington, DC, followed by Sunday, February 19, 2017 in Chicago.
In Arms, each fighter has their own combination of extendable arms—or weapons, and are optimally fought using the joy-con controllers as fists. Matches are fought in a circular arena utilizing and extending arms through simple motions and buttons. To my delight, there are a plethora of attack combinations such as straight attack, curved punch, grabbing with two arms, and a special after the gauge fills up. Incoming attacks can be avoided with dashes or sudden side movements with the joy-con. Due to the nature of this fighter, you will actually be able to throw punches as you face the screen, which could potentially cause damage to the television should one not use their wrist straps—which brings me to spacing.
Spacing is a huge factor in the outcome of the matches as while there is close combat in the arena-like match, players are still fighting at a distance due to their springy extendable arms. Fast paced combat matched with a colorful cartoony artistic style reminds me of Nintendo’s Splatoon, with less squid and more mech. There are quaint fighting champions such as Springman, Ribbon Girl, Master Mummy, Mechanica, or Ninjara, each with their own strengths and flair.
If you’re interested in other Nintendo Switch launch titles, check out the preview at the Switch and Play event in NYC. The Nintendo Switch is set to launch on March 3, alongside the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The release date for ARMS has yet to be announced.