Arms (video game)

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Arms
Arms (video game).jpg
Packaging artwork, featuring Ribbon Girl and Spring Man in combat
Developer(s) Nintendo EPD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s)
  • Kenta Sato
  • Masaaki Ishikawa
  • Shintaro Jikumaru
Producer(s) Kosuke Yabuki
Artist(s) Masaaki Ishikawa
Composer(s)
  • Atsuko Asahi
  • Yasuaki Iwata
Platform(s) Nintendo Switch
Release June 16, 2017
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Arms is a fighting game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch, which released worldwide on June 16, 2017. The game differentiates itself from standard fighting games as up to four players can choose a fighter and battle using a variety of extendable arms to knock out opponents in a three-dimensional arena. By July 2018, the game had sold over two million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling games on the Switch.

Gameplay[edit]

Arms is a 3D fighting game in which up to four players can control one of a variety of fighters, with the player able to perform basic fighting actions using extendable arms such as punching, throwing, blocking, and dodging.[1][2] Arms features fifteen playable fighters, with some of them being released as downloadable content.[3] Each fighter starts with three unique Arms that can be selected in battle, but the use of all other fighters' Arms can be unlocked in the Get Arms mode. All fighters also have unique attributes in combat.[4] When the attack meter is fully charged, players are able to unleash a high-damage "rush attack" against their opponents. Players can also charge their attacks to temporarily increase damage and utilize elemental effects.[5] Each character has a different set of abilities and unique Arms for different strategies. Players are able to use the system's Joy-Con motion controls or standard button inputs with controllers such as the Pro Controller to operate each Arm individually. Players are also able to customize their Arm load outs, with each Arm being able to be selected independently. Every Arm is different with elemental attributes and varying weights that affect gameplay. Up to four players are able to play in a single match, either in a three or four-way free-for-all, or in a two-on-two mode in which teammates are tethered together.[6][7]

Besides the standard fighting mode, Arms features multiple other modes: Versus, Grand Prix, and a variety of Battle modes. In Grand Prix, players take on a set of 10 matches against computer-controlled fighters to win the championship belt. Battle mode consists of volleyball and basketball modes, a target breaking mode, and a survival mode.[6] Players can also play online in a party match lobby with up to 20 players, or in one-on-one ranked matches.[8]

Characters[edit]

Arms featured ten playable fighters at its launch: Spring Man, a boxer; Ribbon Girl, a pop star; Ninjara, a student ninja; Master Mummy, a resurrected mummy; Min Min, the poster child for her family's ramen restaurant; Mechanica, a girl fighting in a mech suit; Twintelle, a movie star; Byte & Barq, a robotic police officer and his robotic canine companion; Kid Cobra, a professional snakeboarder; and Helix, a lab experiment.

Five downloadable characters were also added between July and December 2017, including Max Brass, commissioner of the ARMS League; Lola Pop, a clown;[9] Misango, a tribal warrior;[10] Springtron, a robotic version of Spring Man; and Dr. Coyle, a mad scientist and head of ARMS Labs.

Development[edit]

The game was developed by Nintendo's Entertainment Planning & Development division. Early on, the idea of featuring staple Nintendo characters such as Link and Mario was considered. However, the aesthetic of the game, especially with the concept of extendable arms, clashed with them, and it was eventually decided that a new cast of characters be created.[11] The possibility of adding characters from Punch-Out!! was also considered but the team was concerned about alienating fans of that franchise and potentially confusing new players.[12]

Character designs started with the arms first with the team working backwards to decide what type of character would possess it, for instance the character of Helix, started with the idea of a fighter whose arms were DNA strands, although the team initially did not know much else about him. Most fighters were designed to fill a gameplay need, although there are some exceptions where a design came first.[11] An early concept for the game had the characters using external devices to punch their opponents; however, this was later dropped in favor of the characters extending their actual arms.[13] Art director Masaaki Ishikawa said that the game's art style was largely influenced by Dragon Ball and Akira.[14]

Release[edit]

The game was announced at the Nintendo Switch presentation on January 12, 2017, and was released worldwide on June 16, 2017.[1][15] Prior to the game's release, a multiplayer demo known as the "Arms Global Testpunch" was made available for download on the Nintendo eShop, with players being able to test the online gameplay during twelve separate hour-long sessions.[16][17] Irregular post-release updates were released featuring new playable characters, stages, and arms.[18] These free releases of additional content followed Splatoon's update model,[19] while the Testpunch demo was also available for use multiple times. In December 2017, Nintendo announced that they would no longer be adding new content to the game other than balance updates.[20] Beside balance adjustments, new Party Crash events are planned.[21] In May 2018, a demo of the game was released on the Nintendo eShop for a limited time only. Unlike the Testpunch events, this demo only featured offline modes of single-player and local multiplayer with a limited selection of characters and Arms to choose from.[22]

A comic series based on the game is set to be released by Dark Horse Comics in 2019.[23]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic77/100[24]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7/10[25]
Edge9/10[26]
EGM8.5/10[27]
Famitsu33/40[28]
Game Informer8.25/10[29]
GamesMaster88%
GameSpot7/10[30]
GamesRadar+4.5/5 stars[31]
GamesTM8/10
IGN8/10[32]
Nintendo Life9/10 stars[33]
Nintendo World Report8/10[34]
Polygon8/10[35]
Hardcore Gamer4.5/5[36]

At its announcement, Arms was compared by critics to the boxing minigame from Wii Sports.[37][38] Jack Sheperd of The Independent stated after playing it at a Switch hands-on event that it was one of the "most impressive" games on display.[39] Edge compared Arms with other Nintendo titles and thought that "Arms is to the fighting game what Splatoon is to the online shooter or Mario Kart to the driving game".[26]

The game received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[24] Brandon Graeber from IGN praised the game's complexity and addictive nature, but noted the game's lack of content at launch.[32] Michael McWhertor from Polygon applauded the game's concept, which he described as creative, and that the game reminded him of the Punch-Out!! series, stating that Arms could become Nintendo's next big franchise.[35] Kallie Plagge from GameSpot praised the character roster, but criticized the game's steep learning curve.[30]

Eurogamer ranked the game sixth on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017",[40] and EGMNow ranked it 22nd on their list of the "25 Best Games of 2017",[41] while Polygon ranked it 40th on their list of the "50 Best Games of 2017".[42] In Game Informer's Reader's Choice Best of 2017 Awards, the game placed third for "Best Fighting Game".[43] It was also nominated for the same category in IGN's Best of 2017 Awards.[44]

Sales[edit]

Arms debuted at number two on the UK sales charts, behind Horizon Zero Dawn.[45] It was number two in Australia, behind the same game.[46] It sold 100,652 physical copies during its first week of release in Japan, and debuted at number one on the all-format sales charts.[47] By July 2018, the game had sold over two million copies worldwide.[48]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2017 Game Critics Awards Best Fighting Game Nominated [49]
Golden Joystick Awards Nintendo Game of the Year Nominated [50][51]
The Game Awards 2017 Best Fighting Game Nominated [52]
2018 New York Game Awards Central Park Children's Zoo Award for Best Kids Game Nominated [53]
D.I.C.E. Awards Fighting Game of the Year Nominated [54]
NAVGTR Awards Game, Original Fighting Won [55][56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Frank, Allegra (January 12, 2017). "Arms is a fantasy fighter for Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ Alexander, Julia (January 13, 2017). "Arms is the competitive, motion controlled fighting game coming to Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  3. ^ Gilyadov, Alex (June 15, 2017). "E3 2017: First Arms DLC Character Revealed". IGN. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ Ramos, Jeff (June 16, 2017). "How to choose the best character in Arms". Polygon. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  5. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (June 8, 2017). "Arms – here are six tips to help you dominate opponents". VG247. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Battle Modes - ARMS for Nintendo". Nintendo. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ Karassik, Neila (June 12, 2017). "Nintendo Switch's ARMS Is A Knockout - And That's No Stretch". Space. 
  8. ^ Stark, Chelsea (May 17, 2017). "Arms' new game modes are a weird take on classic sports". Polygon. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  9. ^ Frank, Allegra (August 22, 2017). "Arms' new fighter is a human balloon animal". Polygon. Retrieved August 23, 2017. 
  10. ^ Romano, Sal (November 15, 2017). "Arms version 4.0 update now available, adds new fighter Misango". Gematsu. Retrieved November 16, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Webster, Andrew (June 6, 2017). "How Nintendo Created Its Wild New Cast of Fighters for Switch Game Arms". The Verge. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  12. ^ McWhertor, Michael (March 26, 2018). "Arms director Kosuke Yabuki on the past and future of the Switch fighting game". Polygon. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  13. ^ Hillard, Kyle (June 7, 2017). "Arms' Creators On Twintelle's Popularity And The Strange Lore Of The Game's World". Game Informer. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  14. ^ Cox, Simon; Davison, John (June 14, 2017). "'Because Nintendo': 'Arms' Producer Explains Why Fighters Have Stretchy Arms". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 21, 2017. 
  15. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (April 12, 2017). "Splatoon 2 Release Date, Amiibo Set Announced". IGN. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  16. ^ "ARMS for the Nintendo Switch™ home gaming system – Official Site". Nintendo. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  17. ^ Roberts, David (May 17, 2017). "Try out Nintendo's upcoming Switch fighter Arms with two Global Testpunch events, starting May 26". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  18. ^ Nintendo (May 17, 2017). "ARMS Direct 5.17.2017". YouTube. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  19. ^ McCarthy, Caty (May 17, 2017). "Arms Unveils New Characters, Modes, a Global Testpunch, and More in Latest Nintendo Direct". USGamer. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  20. ^ Nintendo (December 22, 2017). ""Theoretically strongest" fighter entry! "ARMS" Ver. 5 update". Nintendo. Retrieved December 23, 2017. 
  21. ^ McWhertor, Michael (October 5, 2017). "NINTENDO HAS 'NO PLANS' FOR ADDITIONAL ARMS CONTENT". IGN. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  22. ^ "ARMS demo now available". Nintendo. May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2018. 
  23. ^ Moyse, Chris. "ARMS comic series pushed back to early 2019". Destructoid. Retrieved 3 June 2018. 
  24. ^ a b "ARMS for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  25. ^ Carter, Chris (June 16, 2017). "Review: Arms". Destructoid. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  26. ^ a b Edge staff (April 27, 2017). "The art of fighting without fighting? Show me some of it". Edge. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  27. ^ Schaeffer, Emma (June 7, 2017). "Arms Review". EGMNow. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  28. ^ Romano, Sal (June 6, 2017). "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1488". Gematsu. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  29. ^ Shea, Brian (June 7, 2017). "Arms Review - Punching Up". Game Informer. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  30. ^ a b Plagge, Kallie (June 7, 2017). "Arms Review". GameSpot. 
  31. ^ Schilling, Chris (June 7, 2017). "Arms review: 'An invigorating blend of graceful movement and slapstick violence'". GamesRadar. 
  32. ^ a b Graeber, Brendan (June 7, 2017). "Arms Review". IGN. 
  33. ^ McFerran, Damien (June 16, 2017). "Review: Arms (Switch)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  34. ^ Ronaghan, Neal (June 7, 2017). "Arms (Switch) Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b McWhertor, Michael (June 7, 2017). "Arms review". Polygon. 
  36. ^ Swalley, Kirstin (June 7, 2017). "Review: ARMS". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved July 20, 2018. 
  37. ^ Hardawar, Devindra (January 12, 2017). "'Arms' brings shooter-esque boxing to the Nintendo Switch". Engadget. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  38. ^ Prell, Sam (January 12, 2017). "Switch game Arms is like boxing, if boxing starred anime characters with Slinkies for... arms". GamesRadar. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  39. ^ Shepherd, Jack (January 16, 2017). "Nintendo Switch hands-on review: Brilliant device, lacklustre line-up". The Independent. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  40. ^ Eurogamer staff (December 30, 2017). "Eurogamer's Top 50 Games of 2017: 10-1". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 30, 2017. 
  41. ^ EGM staff (December 27, 2017). "EGM's Best of 2017: Part One: #25 ~ #21". EGMNow. Retrieved January 14, 2018. 
  42. ^ Polygon staff (December 18, 2017). "The 50 best games of 2017". Polygon. Retrieved February 12, 2018. 
  43. ^ Cork, Jeff (January 4, 2018). "Reader's Choice Best Of 2017 Awards (Page 2)". Game Informer. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  44. ^ "Best of 2017 Awards: Best Fighting Game". IGN. December 20, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  45. ^ Dayus, Oscar (June 19, 2017). "Top 10 UK Sales Chart: Horizon Zero Dawn Beats Switch's Arms To No.1". GameSpot. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  46. ^ http://www.igea.net/2017/06/top-10-games-for-the-week-ended-18-june-2017/
  47. ^ Romano, Sal (June 21, 2017). "Media Create Sales: 6/12/17 – 6/18/17". Gematsu. Retrieved June 23, 2017. 
  48. ^ https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/index.html
  49. ^ "Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2017 (2017 Nominees)". Game Critics Awards. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  50. ^ Gaito, Eri (November 13, 2017). "Golden Joystick Awards 2017 Nominees". Best in Slot. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  51. ^ Weber, Rachel (November 17, 2017). "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild scores big at the 35th Golden Joystick Awards presented with OMEN by HP". GamesRadar. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  52. ^ Makuch, Eddie (December 8, 2017). "The Game Awards 2017 Winners Headlined By Zelda: Breath Of The Wild's Game Of The Year". GameSpot. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  53. ^ Whitney, Kayla (January 25, 2018). "Complete list of winners of the New York Game Awards 2018". AXS. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  54. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 14, 2018). "Game Of The Year Nominees Announced For DICE Awards". GameSpot. Retrieved January 17, 2018. 
  55. ^ "Nominee List for 2017". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. 
  56. ^ "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 

External links[edit]