The New Punch-Out!
Arms, Nintendo’s newest fighting game, was released for the Switch today. It is a fantasy-style fighting sports game where players can choose a variety of fighters that can perform basic fighting actions using extendable arms. Players can punch, throw, and dodge opponents in a 3D arena.
Players can use regular boxing gloves for a regular fight, or they can equip more advanced weaponry. Tridents, boomerangs, and a homing projectile gloves are some of the weapons that can be equipped on a fighter’s hands.
Nintendo uses the same charm and appeal that Splatoon used to capture the audience’s hearts. The game has a unique style, music, and characters that attract many players of all ages.
The Boxers, Gloves, and their Fighting Styles:
Arms has a lot of diverse characters. And while each of them can equip the same arms, the characters have different abilities that change their styles. Some characters can deal more than the standard 150 damage, which makes Arms more enjoyable and challenging. Here’s a rundown of some of the characters:
- Spring Man: A balanced fighter whose ARMS take the shape of springs. He has two passive abilities that allow him to dodge attacks and gives him perma-charge on his attacks.
- Ribbon Girl: An agile fighter whose ARMS look like ribbons who can jump up to four times consecutively.
- Ninjara: A ninja who can disappear and warp short distances when he dashes.
- Master Mummy: A giant mummy who uses his bandages to attack. Guarding restores his health.
- Mechanica: A girl who uses a Mecha in battle. It has a built-in jetpack that lets her hover for a limited amount of time.
- Min Min: A martial artist who fights with noodle ARMS. Her left arm can turn into a dragon arm and maintain a longer charge than usual.
- Helix: A green blob creature with arms designed after DNA. His unusual body allows him to move in different ways to confuse the enemy.
- Kid Cobra: A Skateboarder who fights with snake arms and can dash twice at any given time.
- Byte and Barq: A tag team featuring a clockwork robotic cop and a mechanized canine companion. Barq will assist Byte by attacking the enemy, allowing Byte to use him as a springboard.
- Twintelle: A movie star whose ARMS are in her hair. She’s one of the only characters who can charge midair by dashing.
- Max Brass (DLC): The head of the ARMS league, and the Champion of the Grand Prix that uses belt-like arms.
What Are The Referee’s Call?:
With all the cuteness and lightness of the game’s atmosphere, let’s take a look at what the critics are saying:
Game Informer: 8.25/10
Arms explores similar mechanics (Punch-Out) while pushing the concept far into the realm of the absurd in a way that is exciting, challenging, and fun.
Arms exude a level of creativity and mechanical sophistication that feels uniquely Nintendo. It evokes memories of classic Nintendo games like Punch-Out!!, while also feeling equally fashionable and modern — and set next to Splatoon.
Arms is a strong, substantial fighting game that takes a while to really hit its stride. Its barrier to entry is unlike anything else in the genre, but it’s one worth tackling in order to get at the game’s fascinating take on fighting. It may not have the same skill requirement as other fighting games, but the flexibility and fast thinking it requires secures it as one that works on its own terms and opens the genre up to a wider audience.
Arms’ clever take on boxing provides a simple premise with a startling amount of depth for those who would seek to master the stretching appendages. Its rapidly evolving lobby system had me sticking around for ‘just one more match’.
With the great reception received from the critics and players, Arms will probably be the new IP that Nintendo has been hoping for. It has the same vibe as Splatoon: it’s addicting, family-friendly, and competitive. The game can definitely give its competition a knockout.
What are your thoughts on the game? Leave us a comment!