It operates very similarly to the original Wii boxing games (and obviously took some inspiration from them), but it has several steps beyond those older games. It seems pretty simple, you just throw punches at your opponent, right? Well like Nintendo has always done; they found a way to make a game that is both simple and challenging while maintaining the party game atmosphere.
This is one of the first games that could have only be paired with the Nintendo Switch. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great game, but they could have adapted that to any console. ARMS is uniquely suited to the Switch and its capabilities. It’s a new type of game for a new type of console.
In ARMS, you can actually throw your punches across a room at all sorts of targets. Your fists are attached by long springs or coils that allow you to curve your punches and pick off moving or hidden targets. As the player, you can punch, block, jump and dodge. I do mean actually dodging, not the sort of leaning away from an attack that Wii Sports boxing offered. Years from now, this game could be remembered as a gateway game that taught the industry all sorts of lessons. The jump mechanic also makes a big difference in this game, especially since it offers an effective 3D experience. Everyone is saying that VR is the future of gaming, but bringing that type of technology home into your home is years away. It might never happen for all we know. For now, the interactive game play of games like ARMS and the Nintendo Switch is the future that we can reach out and touch.
Each character has their own special abilities and fun, colorful look. All of these unique character traits and costumes will make you eager to keep playing to see which strategy is best for you. It’s been critiqued for not offering much of a story for all these interesting looking characters, but I don’t think that hurts the fun of the game play.
The real star of the game are the multiplayer modes, it offers both online and local multiplayer. The variety of game style choices is pretty satisfying. You can go one-on-one, two-on-one, three player battle royale, or co-op against a boss character. It’s obvious the game was built to be primarily played with friends or online with new friends.
It’s enticing multiplayer advantages are part of the reason that this game will be inducted into the official world of E-sports at next year’s EVO Japan 2018. It says something that it will be alongside franchise classics like Street Fighter 5 and Tekken 7. Basically, ARMS is what happens when you take old school simplistic gaming and put a modern spin on it. Even beyond Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it might be the best reason to own a Nintendo Switch today.