3 Reasons to get Excited about Arms

For obvious reasons, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey stole the show at Nintendo’s switch presentation, and have dominated discussion of the console ever since. But the game I’m most interested in isn’t either of those big hitters, exceptional though they will no doubt be.  The game that caught my eye is Nintendo’s all new motion controlled fighting game, Arms. So whats got me so excited? Read on to find out.


1.It’s a new Nintendo property

It’s not everyday you see a brand new intellectual property from Nintendo. The company has a reputation for sticking with its tried and tested series’s, reliably producing Mario game after Mario game and Zelda game after Zelda game. Whenever the geniuses at the the big N do decide to try their hand at something new though, it always turn out better than anyone could have anticipated.  Splatoon, Nintendo’s last major foray into new territory, showed the world a whole new way of making shooters, and was an absolute blast to play. The now-venerable Pikmin, with it’s adorable multicolored helpers,  proved to be one of the classics of the GameCube era, and of course who could forget… actually, that’s pretty much it. I told you it didn’t happen often.

The point, though, is that everything Nintendo touches turns to gold. Whatever the game, whatever the genre, Nintendo bring their unique flair for producing games that are just a little bit different from anything else on the market. When that Nintendo magic is applied to a fighting game, there’s no telling what might happen, except that it’s sure to be great. Which brings us to our next point.


2. It’s a new kind of fighting game

It might be hardcore gamer heresy to say this, but have you ever noticed how fighting games all feel kind of the same? Sure, a pro can talk for hours about how Street Fighter, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat are wildly different experiences on a level that mere mortals can’t comprehend, but to average everyday scrubs like us, they all follow basically the same formula: Two guys stand in a 2-dimensional arena and attempt to overpower each other through a series of increasingly elaborate combos and special moves that you need seventeen hands and a £500 arcade stick to pull off.

Arms seems to be doing away with all that. Judging from the gameplay videos we’ve seen, it looks like a faster, more intuitive experience that’s like nothing else on the fighting game market. The focus on long range, arm-stretching combat is exactly the sort of crazy, genre changing innovation that made Splatoon so great, and I can’t wait to see how it plays when it finally comes out. Giving you the ability to choose your own arm weapons is another nice touch, which might even add a  layer of strategy to the proceedings.

The wacky, cartoonish aesthetic is also something of a departure from fighting game traditions. Most games go with a more brutal appearance, or adopt a sleeker, anime-style look, but Arms eschews both in favor of bright primary colors and simple but distinct character designs. This is an aesthetic design that has served Nintendo well in the past, and I anticipate that it will work just as well here.


3. It’s really putting the Joy-Cons to use

When I saw the Joy-cons at Nintendo’s Switch presentation, I had two immediate thoughts. Firstly, why would I ever need to count the number of ice cubes in an imaginary glass? Surely they could at least have used a cool example, like counting bombs or something. More importantly though, my second thought was that the Joy-cons motion control abilities would wind up in much the same situation as the Wii-motes: Used primarily for casual and party games while the Real Games For Real Gamers stuck with the more traditional pro controller. I was concerned that the Joy-Cons would prove to be just another gimmick, and a brutally expensive one given that a set will cost you more than a new game.

When Arms was revealed, those concerns were put to rest. Here was a game at the front and center of the presentation that used motion controls as an integral part of the experience. A fighting game, no less, the most hardcore of all video game genres. Arms is a game like nothing we’ve played before, and it’s made possible by Nintendo’s willingness to experiment with new technology and provide the sort of experiences you just can’t get anywhere else. If they keep making games like this, the future looks bright for the Nintendo Switch.

Are you excited about Arms? Are you still skeptical about the idea of a motion controlled fighting game? Would you just like to send me hate mail for disrespecting the fighting game genre? Let us know in the comments.