In this series of features Nintendo Life contributors will share thoughts on their most memorable games of 2017. This entry by feature writer Arjun Joshi focuses on the year's new IP from Nintendo - ARMS.
What memorable game really grabbed me this year? Pun intended, it’s ARMS! ARMS is a unique and innovative take on your typical brawler-boxer fighting game, as it gets you moving (if you choose to play with motion controls), relies on mind games and precision, and really makes you feel like you’re in the fighter’s shoes. Sadly, due to the plethora of big N and third-party releases on the Switch since the game's launch, it seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle a tad – but it certainly deserves more than just a swift pick-up-and-play.
Back in January I was lucky enough to attend the Nintendo UK Switch premiere event, and what stole the show for me was the whacky yet intricate beat-em-up. I didn’t think I would say that considering titans like Breath of the Wild were also present to try out at the event, but the pure fun my comrade and I had when throwing both physical and verbal jabs at each other on the wrestling-ring-styled stage could not be topped. I knew there and then that it was a day one purchase for me.
Forward to the Spring, and I was again fortunate enough to attend Nintendo UK's 'influencer' event for the game. I got to learn the game’s deep mechanics – from unique character abilities to a variety of arm combinations – and it really hammered home that there was so much more to consider than it simply being an arm-flailer. I also managed to place 2nd in the tournament that was hosted after we got to learn the game, which topped off the day nicely! The event further cemented that it was a must-have on the Switch due to the amount of fun we all had with it, and that there was so much more to explore!
Moving onto the game’s release, I can’t express enough how much enjoyment my pals and I have had with it since. My friends aren’t really “Nintendo gamers” – well, at least compared to me – but we’ve spent a helluva lot of time on ARMS, creating our own tournaments and really getting competitive with it. It shows that the game is accessible enough for newbies to enjoy and pickup instantly, while also offering a deeper layer of mechanics to learn and master for those who’re motivated. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about my beloved Smash Bros., a game I’ve tried time and time again to get my friends into, but for whatever reason they simply can’t grasp. It’s this instant “grab” that makes ARMS special – it’s immediately obvious what the game is about and offers right from the start, but the more you play, the more you want to learn, practice, and implement new strategies.
Regarding control schemes for ARMS, my friends and I have always preferred motion controls via Joy-Cons over Pro Controllers. Sure, the latter provides more of a competitive edge, but for us, actually manipulating your punches etc. with the push of your forearms and the twist of your wrists is the beauty of the game – it really does create that feeling that you are in the fight. But what’s interesting about ARMS is that every character has access to the same arms, if you will, with only their exclusive abilities and handling that makes them different from the next guy with the same arm setup. With that said, it’s great to witness what characters (and their abilities) and arm combinations suit different play styles, especially when you haven’t played a friend for a while, only for them to show up with a completely new setup that throws you off track. You know they’ve been putting the work in elsewhere!
ARMS is an unsung hero among video game releases this year. It provides a new and novel take on fighting games in a way only Nintendo can apply, and offers a great experience for both newbies and veterans. Couple this with a fun selection of modes, a plethora of things to unlock and collect, and copious amounts of free DLC, ARMS is a game that’ll sure keep you both on your seat, and off it!
An amazing game that I've sadly not played enough of. I've still put in over 20 hours though and will definitely be playing it this weekend since my favourite fighter Master Mummy is involved in the Parry Crash.
@OorWullie yer a dafty is yer main is thon mummy hehe, al gee um a bash ower hogmany and see fits fit!
crackng game, deserves more love
I had joined on Party Crash just now.
My first time joined Online Play for Nintendo Switch.
It's a very good game- as mentioned above, I also have not played enough of.
Two things could have made it much better - a story mode, even if simple to give us more background and then a more steady learning curve for intermediate players.
Still, it's a game that I will put more time into.
For me, it's one of the more forgettable games of 2017. I'm glad I didn't buy it, because I know I would regret it. Not that it's a bad game, it's just not really for me. I tend to get bored of it after 20 minutes or so.
I bought this game at launch mostly because there wasn’t much else on the first party front, but man, does it continue to surprise me. What initially appeared to be a simple game evolved into something complex and intricate over time. Something just “clicks” after the first ten hours or so and then it becomes an obsession. One of the best games on the console, hands down.
Couldn't get into this one at all. Not for me. Glad it found an audience though.
Having spent nearly 8 hrs on the Party Crash today, I'm convinced this one is a winner for me
@thewoosp Can someone translate British for me?
Arms is a great fighter! It has that same charm that games like Street Fighter, Punch-Out, and Powerstone have. Feels very Arcade like and fun much like a lot of those Neo-Geo fighters from back in the day as well.
"For me, it's one of the more forgettable games of 2017. I'm glad I didn't buy it, because I know I would regret it. Not that it's a bad game, it's just not really for me. I tend to get bored of it after 20 minutes or so."
But i found my habit if i'm bored to play Long time games such as RPG games, i play ARMS whether Offline or Online.
I found myself play Short Burst games oftenly than Zelda Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey.
Trust me, it will not get boring once you play more than 20 minutes.
Btw, i joined on Party Crash just now.
Did you see Username with name David.H ?
That was me !
I play ARMS too.
Btw, when i joined in 3 vs 1 Mode, i tend to be a Back Stabber by sneaking carefully behind my Main Opponent and try to Grab as i can because i tend to play Safely when my Opponents are Agressive.
Wait, did you joined on Party Crash just now ?
I think you have met username with name David.H
That was me !
I adore Arms. It distills fighting game mechanics incredibly well (rock-paper-scissors balancing, mind games, unique character abilities, finesse, skill curves) and is much easier to learn than something like Street Fighter or even Smash Bros. Everyone I’ve taught this game to seems to enjoy it, though they’re pretty evenly divided on whether they like motion or traditional controls. I’ve learned to enjoy both for different reasons.
I have 40 hours logged on Arms right now, which is only beaten out by BOTW and Xenoblade 2. I still feel like there’s a lot of depth left to mine. Of all the multiplayer games we’ve gotten on the Switch so far, this is by far my favorite.
Actually, motion controls is the control scheme that provides the competitive edge as it has more control over movement than button controls.
I knew I would buy it Day One because, well it’s a new IP from Nintendo itself (Mario Kart team). But my initial impressions were similar to Wii Sports Resort, fun for a party game, probably won’t touch it otherwise.
My young kids could beat my by flailing. Then after a few hours I decided to try the Pro Controller and button controls. Oh boy, that’s when the attack triangle clicked for me. I was determined to learn the game properly.
Now I’d say it’s one of my most-beloved fighting games. It has so many nuances that are not apparent in the first few hours of play. It is a game that ‘clicks’ after some time with it, as others have mentioned.
I was on the fence when they first unveiled it, but the testpunch totally turned me around. I haven't put too much time into it, but it's a very good game.
Psst... try my configuration for Pro or Joy Cons attached Mode.
I set Y Button for Guard, X Button for Rush, Left & Right Analog as Dash, B button for Jump, R button for Right Punch, L button for Left Punch.
And try to guard as possible while charging your power. And try to Grab your opponent as possible. Key of Winning ARMS games is also Timing and Analyze the situation.
Btw, ARMS is NOT like Wii Sports that you can get bored quickly. I think 1-2-Switch will be pretty boring after 5 minutes.
I like ARMS. I'm glad it exists.
Sometimes I just feel like doing some motion controlled punching and I don't want to play some Wii party game to do it, I want a proper, modern current GEN game with substance... ARMS provides that.
Bought this as needed something for the switch early on but now it doesn't get a chance with all the great games on the switch.
@SimplyCinnamon53 "yer a dafty is yer main is thon mummy hehe, al gee um a bash ower hogmany and see fits fit!"
Your a fool if your main is the Mummy haha, I'll have a go with him over Hogmany (Scottish New Year) and see what I think!
My son got ARMS, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey for Christmas. He has spent, by far, most of his time playing ARMS. He absolutely loves it.
@LocalPenguin Thanks 😂
My most played game on the Switch. 80 hours, unlocked all the ARMS (and plus arms), have 2 and a half pages of badges, completed level 7 grand prix (only will a couple of people, but working on finishing the rest), and I still continue to play it. It's one of my favorite games of all time. I just play it to death and it's still so fun.
I would say that this game is great (at least from what I played as a rental), but it doesn't really peak to the likes of the heavyhitters on the system like the obvious Mario and Zelda titles, Pokken Tournament DX (especially), and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (despite the last two being ports, but...whatever). The gameplay is easy to get into and the presentation is rather intriguing, but the fighting mechanics and character balancing have seen better days, in my opinion, not to mention the inability to BUY arms without having to play some pointless target-shooting mini game. I mean, consistency is one thing, but I feel that all the characters I played barely have much differences in their movesets and traits between the others. I mean, I nearly couldn't tell the difference between Spring Man and Ribbon Girl.
Regardless, I wouldn't mind buying this game for real, but I can't put more than $30 down, to be honest.
I'm really hoping, arms 2 is called LEGS.
Characters could get wacky legs that make them maneuver like never before.
Simply put, ARMS with mobility buffs for every character.
Another top game!
People seem a bit divided on Arms but I love it. For me it stood out as a reason to get a switch. A lot of other Nintendo releases for switch have been either versions of wii u games or part of established franchises. This is a whole new experience, is original, and a lot of fun.
Arms is such a great game. It is like someone that loved zoning and footsies distilled that into a game. As a Ryu player...I approve.
Bought it day 1 because there was nothing to play at the time for the switch, was fun for maybe a day. Never played it since, just sitting on my home screen
Arms is more than just a fighting game. It has mini games like basketball, volleyball and skill shot.
Eurogamer just ranked this their 6th best game of the year. Mario v Rabbids was 5th, Odyssey 3rd and Breath of the Wild 1st. Nintendomination!
I really love this game! I love what the game has become since they added the badges and the rest of the fighters and the new modes. I’ll keep playing it in short bursts for a long long time. Go ARMS!
Definitely one of the breakout Switch hits for me and my daughter. Local multiplayer is by far the most enjoyable way to play it. Playing online is fun, but nothing like a face to face bout, trash talking your esteemed opponent all the while.
I know it hasn't been a huge success by BOTW or Splatoon standards, but I think it's established a bit of a following already, and hopefully the Party Crashes and competitive events will continue long enough for it build up a real community and a shot at a sequel.
I still love this game, I was playing it again tonight for the Party Crash.
ARMS is the best fighting game I have played this gen.
@mereel that was my experience, it was the first test punch that made me second guess my purchase... It didn't click with me as expected and i was a little deflated but when the game landed and i fooled around a bit more with the kids, suddenly something happened and i started to really get into it. Not just throwing arms aimlessly!
I've clocked up 175 hours on ARMS, its our most played game.
Yep this is one of the best games of 2017. I cant get enough of it. Speaking of which, excuse me while I get back to the Party Crash.
It seems to me, after reading a lot of comments on this game, that most of the people who don't like it are the ones who haven't put that much time into it and the people who love the game are the ones who have put considerable time into it.
I wasn't really that taken with the game when I first started playing it but like a few people have already said, after some time the game 'clicked' and then it really opened up as a brilliantly fun and deep fighting experience.
I actually cant believe I almost put this game aside after a few hours to never go back to it. One the best Switch games out there and one of my favourite games ever.
Right there with you, man! I get the itch to play this game all the time. I've probably played at least once a week since launch, save for a brief break for Mario Odyssey. I don't really get the whole "I got bored after 20 minutes" stuff I keep hearing. It's never unsatisfying to play ARMS, in my experience.
This is one I dismissed at start due to the motion controls but oh boy did that change when I tried the Pro... The game became fast like day and night. It is not a game that I play for long but I come back very often and it is the one that I have more hours into from the 3 big N multiplayers.
Got ARMS at Christmas having simply not had the spare cash to buy it at launch sandwiched as it was between MK8 DELUXE and SPLATOON 2 (both of which I bought). Really pleasant surprise so far as my son and I are loving being able to play through the Grand Prix mode as a team. We are both using motion controls as we play for fun and are clearly still learning the game. Glad to read so many positive comments about the game and hope that means there is a community for us to enjoy the game with online despite us being late to the party.
I love arms because I can actually play online and win a couple games haha.
It is one fighting game that I don't have to memorize every move set and pick up on things that pros play. Another thing, is that even if I have played it awhile, a newcomer (once thy get the hang of it) can come close to beating me or even beat me, which is fun to see.
I love King of Fighters and Smash Brosnan because they are classics and have fun characters and are hectic, but Arms is the only fighting game I can actually test things out in online. And the character designs are just so much fun and adorable.
love this game.
I actually did some number crunching, and for the platform it was on, this game did very well as a fighter. Its sales numbers are comparable to the latest Tekken, SF, etc., and those are well established multi-platforms!
If Splatoon 2 had not been released so close to arms, it would have been played by me way more. I still come back to it occasionally but usually only when I can wrangle some friends to play together or for the "splatfest" events
@ekwcll I dunno, the minigames feel like they're still just there to break up the fighting. I've never played Arms with anyone and heard the suggestion "Oh let's play volleyball".
Super meh. One of those Nintendo iP that will go nowhere outside the most hard core nintendo base.
Would trade it to be able to play the new soul calibur on the go in a heartbeat. 3rd party is where fighting games are at
@ftpinkrabbit, I understand. I was just mentioning that arms was more than just a fighting game.
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