This weekend was Nintendo’s Global Testpunch for their new online multiplayer fighting game and Overwatch dupe ARMS, and guys? It’s awesome. It may be trying to give you Nintendo’s version of Overwatch characters, but the play style is 100% different. It’s madness, but it’s the fun kind of madness. The controls are simple enough that anyone can just pick it up and play, but it also gives you plenty of space to develop some real skill and strategy.
I only played with 4 of the characters available over the testing event. Each felt different enough that it made which character you picked matter, yet still similar enough that none of them were impossible to use or fight against. The heavy hitters moved painfully slow and were difficult to move around the stages, but they hit like a truck and are impossible to dodge. The middle of the road characters really had some fun when you got their power ups and charged attacks. They moved well and their punches were way easier to land. My favorites though were the speed characters, specifically Min Min. They could move and dodge quick around the stages and they threw punches just as fast. Only real downside is it would take a lot more hits to take someone down and the punches were much easier to block.
The gloves were fun and so different from each other that you really could develop a strategy regarding which ones you liked to use. I personally was a big fan of using one of Min Min’s Dragons and one Ramram. The Dragon had great range and some nice charged damage. The Ramram was great to curve into the hit and in some cases I even got it to wrap around and hit from behind. I’ve never been great at blocking so I can’t speak to that too much, but the dodging was a big part of how I would stay alive.
The lobby and way they paired people was excellent and so beautifully simple. We even tried out the 2 player option and it was great! The best part was we weren’t always put into 2 vs 2 fights. Some fights would only be one of us while the other watched. It was great and gave each of us a break from having to try and keep each other alive. We could just a have a fight where we went all out. They the next fight would be another team up. The fight selection/ set up was quick and fun to watch and felt smooth even though it only took maybe 5-10 seconds between fights.
All in all I’m now very excited for this game when before I thought I wouldn’t even touch it. The fights were fun and allowed for some real skill, that wonderfully didn’t always work! The controls, all three configurations I tried, were great and just worked really well. The characters were fun and showcase actual diverse play styles and I’m excited to be able to play more, and unlock all those arms!