Arms Global Testpunch Impressions

by David Loft posted May 30th 2017

File Under Gaming

I just spent the weekend with the Arms Global Testpunch on the Nintedo Switch and I wanted to share my experience with the controls, gameplay and the different modes of play. So let get into it, first up, controls.

First thing I noticed was how precise and responsive the motion controls were. They were much better than expected and as a result it was my main input method of choice throughout the weekend. I also tried with a pro controller, but felt no advantage and it lacked that extra level of fun motion provided. So I don't expect I'll play any other way, sore arms or not. And yes, my arms were actually sore after the weekend.

The next thing that stood out for me was the visuals, which were crisp and fluid, with never a stutter in action. I'm extremely impressed, but not surprised, Nintendo always seems to be able to outclass all others in making the most out of limited hardware.

My favorite mode was the traditional one on one fight.

Three and four player free for all matches can sometimes be frustrating, either team up or you get teamed up on. One key thing to keep in mind is it's not about who does the most damage or most knock outs, but instead, who has the most health at the end. So avoiding the fight, can be a good strategy. It's also frustrating when one player focuses just on you ignoring the other. Forcing you into a one on one fight while the other waits to pick off the winner. Ultimately dooming you both to defeat. Although the reverse, where you get the win, is extremely satisfying.

My favorite mode was the traditional one on one fight. It's slower which allows for more strategy. The best of which was to wait for them to over extend themselves, than dash out of the way and counter with a grab. Another thing I liked to do was to save my fury, to finish them off.

The sheer contrast to one on one was the two on two team fight where you're tethered to another player. It felt very random and hectic, almost favoring button mashing over strategy. As a result two on two was my least favorite mode. Also difficult was fighting against two players on one system. As they can coordinate, and since Nintendo has no voice chat implemented, you can't.

So does this game offer depth? Yes definitely, this is no Wii Boxing 2.

The last mode in the Testpunch was volleyball, which I actually enjoyed. It was a great break in the combat and added some much needed variety to Party Mode. But only in one on one, as two on two desperately needed voice chat for coordination. The ability to call for shots would allow your team mate to save their Arms if the ball is immediately returned over the net. As it is now, you end up fighting over the ball with your team mate. This is another mode where two on one system have an advantage.

So does this game offer depth? Yes definitely, this is no Wii Boxing 2. Every character plays fairly differently and there's a decent amount of strategy through Arm combinations, movement and blocking. But definitely not to the extent of a traditional fighting game like Street Fighter. One strategy I'm seeing overly used now is constantly jumping. Jump, dash, jump, dash repeatedly till an opening presents itself. Most fighting games have a good way to punish excessive jumping, unfortunately Arms does not.

I definitely would have liked to see the move set expanded upon. For example the grab, after you punch out with both arms, it would have been cool if you had to pull your arms back to pull the character in. Than maybe offer a couple different moves you can do. Including a character specific super if your super is ready that's difficult to pull off but devastating if done. I would also like if they added in a way to trip an opponent or do an uppercut if you can get in close.

One thing Nintendo absolutely nailed is the lobby, it's a shockingly genius design

One thing Nintendo absolutely nailed is the lobby, it's a shockingly genius design that's just better than anything I've used before. The fluidity in transition from lobby to match and vice versa is unmatched. The practice mode built in and virtually no wait time for matches to load is the icing on the cake.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed myself with the Arms Testpunch and I can't wait to get my hands on the final product. The combat is genuinely fun, and the team combat, if played with a friend, will likely be equally so. Its hard to judge the games depth at this early stage so time will tell. But much like Smash Bros, I think it will perfectly nail accessibility and depth unlike most fighting games.

Well there we have it. If you liked my impressions or thought I was wrong feel free to leave a comment. This is Letters From Dave signing out.


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