Arguably the best thing Nintendo did for Splatoon was the global test fire. By giving players a chance to experience it, but only do so within brief windows, it forced people who otherwise might’ve blown it off to experience what Splatoon had to offer. Naturally, when the global test punch was revealed for ARMS, it seemed like a brilliant idea to get the small buzz Splatoon got. Now that more people have experienced ARMS, does it look like the next big things or is it overly ambitious?
After the brief introduction to the controls, the global test punch let you play against others online in one of three random modes and control one of seven different characters. Right off the bat, two things became quite apparent with ARMS. The first is that the controls will take some getting use to and it’s a lot more complicated than it looks.
During the test fire I tried motion and Pro, but neither felt quite right. With motion controls the inputs are straightforward. When you punch, your character punches, moving both together blocks and so forth. From time to time the controls didn’t quite work, but overall it was doable with some practice. The Pro Controller did a better job of this, making things more natural, though it didn’t feel quite as natural hitting opponents.
To hit someone, you not only need to attack, but move your arm in their direction. Outside of a couple players, it seemed like most opponents, along with myself, had issues hitting their mark. Sometimes attacks would miss by a mile, with others coming up short. With practice the system will likely become second nature, but it’s impossible to determine how long that will take.
Part of what makes ARMS hard to play is that it’s much deeper than it looks. Intercepting someone’s punch will cancel them out, with each arm having a distinctly different playstyle. It seemed like Min Min was a popular choice for exactly this reason.
I found her dragon arm to be one of the most consistent ways to hit an opponent, since it shoots a laser in a general direction. Having said that, similar to how shooting hadoukens from a corner works against terrible players in Street Fighter, more complicated weapons will likely be a staple of competitive play.