If Splatoon taught us anything back in 2015 (I know, not even that long ago!) it’s that Nintendo knows how bring a new IP to the table. This time they’ve decided to take on the fighting-games genre with a very Nintendo twist. Or coil. Or Spring...

  • Just like back when Splatoon was first released, ARMS feels the same. Very light on content, but Nintendo seems to be following the Splatoon model by following up with free DLC over time.
  • All of the characters have... character. Nintendo’s in house development team does a really great job of creating new memorable worlds and characters that live beyond their existing IP. Despite minimal world building we know enough about Ninjara, Spring Man, Min Min and the rest to fill in the blanks and Nintendo seems fine with that.
  • I personally found the single, sideways joy-con controls to be a bit cramped. I prefer playing in portable mode or with a pro controller. Don’t even get me started on motion-controls.
  • Surprisingly this game is great for both single and local-multiplayer. It’s more than balance; the game’s mechanics are deep enough to make solo play/practice worthwhile, and a decent number of multiplayer options and modes for friends. I personally prefer solo play, and having the party mode and ranked online are perfect (if not required in modern gaming).
  • Yes, Helix is creepy and gross. His chart says so.
It’s the eyes, right?
  • Speaking of Helix, understanding a character’s strengths and weaknesses cannot be understated. A Helix player should know to peek and poke from behind a stage’s natural cover. Ribbon Girl players: take advantage of that insane air-game.
  • Similarly, pay careful attention to the advantages and disadvantages of the ARMS you have equipped. The familiar strength triangle is the games foundation, but there’s even more strategy in choosing heavy or light weight, elemental effects, and even curvature of your punches.
This Ribbon Girl is rocking the Slapamander-Sparky combo. I’ve upgraded using Slapamander-Parasol for a good feint-defend-strike combo.
  • The training mode is more than a tutorial. It’s a good primer for some mid-level plays and strategies that become essential if you ever hope to make it in ranked play.

This game adds some bounce to a tried-and-true gameplay core, the strength/weakness triangle. The initial release is a little light, but the solid foundation eases players with a low entry skill level and builds with a gamer’s perfecting and mastering of strategies. For parties or alone, competitive or casual, if you own a Switch I don’t think you’ll regret giving ARMS a try.


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JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.