ARMS First Impressions
This weekend was the first global ‘Testpunch’ or open beta for Nintendo’s first IP, ARMS. The upcoming 3D fighter is set to release June 16th but is offering players a chance to test it out for free during designated times. The testpunch offers different characters to choose from and an online multiplayer mode that you can play locally with a friend.
Having previewed the game earlier in the year at PAX South, I really enjoyed my second test of this awesome game. When I first got my hands on it, the controls weren’t super responsive but the HD rumble was amazing. This time around the motion controls felt great and really did what I wanted them to do. Tilting your wrists inward, for example, would make you character block and it was super responsive.
At PAX, I got to play with only two characters and no multiplayer, but for this testpunch, they offer you to choose from seven different characters along with different variations of each characters outfits.
Once past the very brief tutorial, I got to test out the multiplayer which throws you into a random lobby and matches you to an opponent, or opponents, to a random game mode. The lobby UI was amazing and crisp. You could see the time and damage of the other matches in the lobby in real time which I really thought was dope.
Again, the controls were super responsive and fun to use. I used the motion controls which, in my opinion, is the real way to play. You can also use the joycon grip or pro controller, which I felt wasn’t as fun as the motion controls. The HD rumble was magnificent and responded well with the different variations of punch weapons and power. Dodging was simple and once you get the hang of the controls, it’s super fun. The buttons for jumping and ducking were well placed along with blocking and powerup buttons.
Visuals & Gameplay
The visuals were gorgeous and ran at a full 1080p at 60fps even with split screen. The 3 arena’s that were available were amazing and stunning to play on. The aesthetics of each character are brilliant and you can tell the devs paid attention to detail on each character. I noticed no frame drops during the two hours of play over the weekend. It really comes as no surprise that the visuals are beautiful as Nintendo is notorious for having long lasting amazing graphics. I.e Super Mario Sunshine. Each character has a variety of weapons and combos to choose from and each has a different style for which to move your arms with. Takes a bit to get used to but as mentioned before is super fun once you do. The testpunch also included different game modes like Volleyball and 1v1v1. I loved the variety and the full game includes much more. The Volleyball was a real treat and brought even more to the game than just punching each other.
Overall, my first impressions on this game are that it is amazing, smooth, crisp, and visually breathe taking. The brief tutorial didn’t really cover the fighters variety of weapons to choose from but that was because they probably wanted you to dive right in with the characters given only one hour to play. I absolutely loved the fact that the game requires some skill to win like timing jumps, dodges, swings and grabs along with each characters different abilities and varies weapons. This game is going to be an absolute must buy and is the Nintendo Switches first real game to show off what the system can do.
Check out my gameplay which showcases the different game modes, controls, visuals and fun as I played with my girlfriend locally and solo.