Arms Test Punch - Impressions - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Arms Test Punch - Impressions

by Danny Bivens

Punching through the controls. 

Arms has been intriguing ever since it burst onto the scene at Nintendo’s Switch presentation back in January. The aesthetics were cool and the premise of Nintendo making a competitive fighter (outside of Smash Bros.) was just bizarre. Oh, and motion controls being the main focus left many, myself included, wondering if this would actually work out. Despite all of these questions being out there, gamers all over the world had a chance to actually try Arms out and finally can see if Nintendo’s new IP is as special as they say it is. 

My first twenty or so minutes of the game were played entirely with the motion controls. To be completely honest, I’ve been turned off by motion controls for ages mainly because there were very few games that could get it right. While there are many out there that had no problems at all with the motion controls for the Test Punch or at previous media events, they just didn’t click with me. Chalk it up to me being terrible (I’m probably the scrubbiest guy on The Famicast after all!) or just not getting the motions down right, I was just not enjoying the experience at all. My punches weren't curving the way I wanted them to. I couldn’t consistently get the blocking motion to work. I was having problems initiating grabs. The list goes on and on. After that first mini-session in the Test Punch, I just need to take a break to clear my head. 

Then I started playing with the Switch Pro Controller and man, oh man, what a different that made! Punching can be done with either B/A or the shoulder buttons (I believe ZL and ZR). You can perform a quick dash with Y, jump with X and guard by pressing the left stick. Movement was also a bit easier by being able to move with the joystick. For curving the punches, you simply tilt the joysticks in the direction you want them to go. After a few matches, I had everything down and was really starting to get acclimated to the control scheme. From then, I was able to not worry so much about fighting the controls but rather could focus on my opponents. 

From there, I only had about thirty minutes with the game using the Pro Controller and had a surprisingly great time. I got to play one-on-one matches, three player free-for-alls, four player team battles and even a round of volleyball. Once I had the controls down, matches were definitely more fun and I found myself being able to implement more strategic play. I’m really looking forward to playing more Arms over the weekend to get a better feel of the game. Hell, I'll probably even try out the motion controls again. I don't want to write those off completely just yet!

How about you, dear reader? Have you been enjoying the Arms Test Punch? What’s your control method of choice? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!


ffxi said...

I spent about 45 minutes playing the motion control method. The joycons felt surprisingly comfortable held sideways with thumbs resting on the triggers. I thought the punching was very responsive, although I was just wailing on my opponents with no real skill (it seemed like they were doing the same). Character movement felt a bit sketchy. This was particularly noticeable during the volleyball game. It could be one of those games that is easy to play and hard to master.

Famicomplicated said...

I'm just glad we finally know about the Pro Controller controls, Nintendo have been so friggin secretive about it, only allowing joy-cons at events etc.
So it is a normal fighting videogame after all!

Dannybiv said...

The character movement was something that I just didn't like with the motion method and I agree that it felt a bit sketchy. With the Pro Controller, it was more or less fine. One oddity that I came across was when you are trying to tilt your punches. That's all handled with the left joystick, the same stick you use to move. This makes it so you are moving when you are trying to tilt your punches. It didn't really put me at any disadvantage, but for super high level play, I could see people using motion controls having the upper hand.