You can scratch this idea off your head now, in case you were thinking about it: Arms isn't anything like Wii Sports, the hyper-popular Wii launch title that's also one of the best-selling games of all time.
Sure, like Wii Sports, the game features motion controls and a boxing game, for good measure. Unlike the 2006 title, however, Arms doesn't bear the same put-down games with motion controls often receive. For one, it features a traditional button-based control scheme, so you're not forced into flinging your arms to play. But most importantly, its motion controls feel rife with purpose — as if Nintendo managed to evolve a control scheme from one that's seen as a gimmick into something that'll genuinely merit seamless and complex gameplay.
At least that's what people who have tried the game have to say about it. Early impressions for the forthcoming Nintendo Switch fighting title have now surfaced online, and here's what they think.
Nintendo Has Learned From Its Mistakes With Motion Controls
Engadget is particularly impressed with the game, even more so with the implication that Nintendo has learned from its mistakes with motion controls. At first glance, and by extension, if one goes further and watches several gameplay trailers for Arms, one can easily assume the game is a way for Nintendo to milk the Wii's legacy. Engadget disagrees:
"[Arms] seems like a bizarre step backward, but don't worry: It turns out that Arms isn't repeating the mistakes of the Wii; it's showing how Nintendo has learned from them."
What's more, Nintendo seemingly wants players to forget about Wii Sports when Arms is discussed. It's proud of the motion controls, to be sure, but it stresses that they're different from the relatively simple "waggle" mechanic that defined Wii Sports.
For the uninitiated, Arms is, well — you could call it a boxing title. But Nintendo is Nintendo, so you can be sure Arms isn't your typical brain dead fighting game. The characters feature springed or coiled arms that extend far when they punch.
This means that in any given arena, the opposing players stand far from each other, and the chief goal is to land punches to inflict damage — using, of course, a variety of techniques and tricks specific to each character.
"This is a fighting game with a balletic rhythm and flow that feels unique," reads IGN's early impressions, which adds that Arms feels like a tried-and-true fighting game, which, while leveraging a unique control scheme otherwise delivers the tense and electric vibe of modern competitive titles.
As with Engadget, IGN also highlighted how Arms employs motion controls deftly and with nuance.
"This is not Wii Sports Boxing. In fact, carelessly throwing lots of punches more often than not leads to failing in Arms."
So there you have it. Arms's motion controls, while they can be turned off, bring the complexity of the game up a notch. The game features smart and clever motion techniques with which you can master to give you an edge during battles.
The Genius Of Minigames On 'Arms'
There are minigames on Arms that on their own make the game a hefty title overall. But Kotaku thinks they also serve as dojos, so to speak: a training venue for mastering Arms's control schemes.
Hoops, for instance, takes place on a basketball court, letting the player master the art of grabbing their opponent and throwing them through a basketball hoop. Skillshot, meanwhile, tasks players with punching a variety of targets, teaching them how to curve punches and aim shots precisely. Nintendo essentially made a "training center" that doesn't feel like an overbearing tutorial. Players can immerse themselves with the many minigames and in turn learn all about the main game's controls.
Arms: Final Thoughts
Based on these early impressions, the consensus seems to be that Arms is much more complex and nuanced than first assumed. Coupled with a winning motion control scheme, masterful level, character design, and fleshed out minigames, Arms is looking to be one of the best games headed for the Switch, further extending the console's streak of critically acclaimed titles, which includes Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Arms launches June 16.