ARMS Review
ARMS Cover Art
System: Switch
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: June 16, 2017
Players: 1-4 Player
Screen Resolution: 900p to 1080p Cartoon Violence

This extends to ARMS’ more unconventional matches. In addition to 1v1 fights, there are team matchups where you participate in a 2v2 brawl or everyone for themselves match with three to four players. Hoops has you trying to grab your opponent to automatically dunk them through a basketball hoop, Skillshot has one player on either side of the field trying to hit more targets than their opponent before time runs out, and V-Ball has two to four players hitting an explosive volleyball back and forth. There’s even a 1-on-100 fight where one person can try and survive a fight against 100 opponents. Each of these feel like a way for people to enjoy themselves even if they aren’t great at the whole “fighting” part of the game. Though, Skillshot is rather difficult to play with motion controls.

It is important to have this kind of variety, because ARMS’ Grand Prix can get very difficult. On its scale, one is easiest and seven is hardest. You need to beat Grand Prix once on four or higher to unlock the online Ranked Match. It could take a while. I wasn’t ready to beat four until I had played ARMS for about ten hours and had already beaten Grand Prix levels one through three with Twintelle, Spring Man, Mechanica, and Ribbon Girl. When I finally did, I felt like it was because I had purchased more ARMS with in-game cash for Twintelle, switched to a traditional control scheme, and just got lucky, as the AI feels like it gets a little cheap once you hit four. I can’t imagine beating Grand Prix on six or seven.

ARMS Screenshot

Besides, Party Match is really the superior ARMS mode. The online mode is amazing. While waiting for a match, you can train against AI opponents and prepare. Once everyone in the lobby is ready, they are sorted into groups. You never know what kind of match you’ll be in. You could be in a free for all with four players, participate in 1v1, 2v2, or 3v1 fights, or be tossed in a Hoops, V-Ball, or Skillshot match. It is easy to swap between characters after each round. Plus, you earn in-game cash here, just as you do the the Grand Prix and Versus modes, meaning you’re working toward unlocking more ARMS. It is wonderful and full of variety.


It’s difficult to describe just how good ARMS is. The best analogy I can come up with is that it is to fighting games what Splatoon is to third-person shooters. ARMS is a bright, colorful, and welcoming game. Newcomers can easily hop in and enjoy most of the matches and modes available. Meanwhile, the more dedicated will find themselves developing complex strategies based on characters and ARMS loadouts and captivated by the opportunities to challenge others online. I would not be surprised to see it spawn multiple successful successors.

Jenni Lada
Site Editor
Date: 06/07/2017

ARMS’ arenas, characters, and weapons are bright, colorful and detailed. .
It is rare to have a game where motion controls work well, let alone a fighting game where that is the preferred control scheme!
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
ARMS’ soundtrack is catchy and does a wonderful job of hyping you up for each fight.
Play Value
The multiple single and multiplayer options give you plenty of reason to return, especially with each giving currency that unlocks more ARMS.
Overall Rating - The Best
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Fight via simple motion and button controls - Grab onto your Joy-Con with a unique "thumbs-up" grip and use simple motions and button presses to outthink your opponent. Toss and curve punches when you find an opening, and dodge a flurry of incoming attacks. It's fast-paced fun for everyone!
  • Select from a variety of fighters - Select from brand-new fighting superstars like Ribbon Girl, Master Mummy, and more! Each fighter has their own special attributes to learn and master.
  • Fight in arenas with unique obstacles - Throw punches around (or through) mysterious liquid-filled columns in a spooky laboratory, or in certain arenas, toss fighters onto trampolines for epic aerial skirmishes.
  • Choose your arms carefully - Each weapon has its own strength. Some are slow and do tons of damage, while others are fast as lighting, but will only serve to set up larger combinations. It's up to you to mix and match your arms to fit your play style.

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