I’ve never been much of a fan of motion control when it comes to video games (though I was a fan of the Power Glove in looks, not function), and the past decade or so proved that. The Wii felt gimmicky, and that thing that Sony made that looked like a massager with a ping pong ball attached was just goofy. Looks aside, the problem always was genuinely related to the fact that motion control just never seemed to work as advertised, and that stifled the intended fun. It’s taken a lot of time, but with the Nintendo Switch, motion controls do work now, and with the release of ARMS, the full potential of the new Joy-Con controllers is front-and-center for a game that makes fighting more fun than it probably should be. In fact, ARMS is just fantastic.
When it comes to first-person boxers, ARMS has a lineage with PUNCH-OUT! (which I still associate with Mike Tyson) practically creating the genre, but here we see that promise fully-realized in a game that really feels like boxing… or fighting… or whatever you’s want to call it since the characters are decked out in mech-suits with extendable arms and cool accessories.
While it’s challenging (and the difficulty does increase), it’s also very easy to jump into, and that makes it fun for players of all ages and skills. And, instead of being limited to a boxing ring, you’re in interactive arenas in which you can use the obstacles to plot strategy. Changing things up further, there’s futuristic volleyball and basketball rounds that ad a whole additional dimension of gameplay to something that’s already a ton of fun… and a workout.
When I attended the pre-launch Nintendo Switch event in Chicago this past Spring, ARMS was one game that I knew nothing about going in, but one that I wanted more of after going hands-on for a couple of rounds. It gets you moving, and the controls are so simple, I just jumped-right in. I might not be a champion myself just yet, but we might have a “natural” here at Rock Father HQ. Our five-year-old daughter (who points out that ARMS commercials state that the game is “for ages 10 and up”) managed to somehow achieve a Grand Prix Championship on her first time ever playing the game. She won ten matches in a row! Big sister didn’t fare quite as well, but check out the video above to see The Rock Daughters in-action.
Nintendo’s ARMS is available now. Reviewed from a download code provided for review by Nintendo of America.