As of today, I still think ARMS is the best game on Switch

I haven’t played Xenoblade 2 yet, but still feel comfortable in my title of this thread.

Even factoring in Rocket League which I’ve gone on record saying is one of my favorite games of all time, as well as Zelda BotW which I think is the best exploration game I’ve played since polygonal graphics became a thing (other than perhaps Morrowind), Super Mario Odyssey which is just pure fun and lush with interactivity, and Splatoon 2 which at times is an even better platformer than Odyssey and has great multiplayer action…

I can’t help but think ARMS has the best gameplay of anything I’ve played on Switch hardware. It’s kind of absurd how overlooked this game is when people discuss reasons to own a Switch.

The combat system is ridiculously flexible and allows for countless trade offs when configuring your fighter/ARMS setups. There are unlimited strategies in how you approach each fight. Sometimes you just jab, stick, move and wait for your opponent to make a misstep. Other times, you try to corner your opponent and unleash a volley of combos. Then other times, you’ll want to amass chip damage until you can disable your opponent’s ARM(S) and attack once they are helpless. Sometimes you’ll want to circle/strafe around your opponent (east to west), and other times you’ll want to bumrush them or play a distance game (north to south).

ARMS is basically a very nuanced and complicated game of “footsies” where playing head games against your opponent permeates every aspect of the combat. There’s a ton of rock-paper-siscors action happening at each moment. And the learning curve is steep, yet shallow enough for novices to enjoy on some level.

It reminds me a lot of Super Smash Bros Melee in how deceptively simple it is. And while I don’t think it will ever have the same cult following a decade after its release, I still think it’s more deserving of discussion than it currently gets.

P.S., the graphics and sound kick ass too.

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I don’t like that it takes so long to hit people. The lack of immediacy to anything makes it difficult to react… and that makes it a lot less enjoyable. It’s a fun game, but not one that I’d consider anywhere near great. It’s a really dumb fighting game.

Edit: But it looks great.

I tend to agree with @Peltz. I think it’s criminally overlooked in this first year of Switch games. It’s a bonanza of excellent releases to be sure, but ARMS is right up there with the best of them. I think one reason it’s overlooked is that it’s very much an arcade game and not a deeper experience beyond skill-based 1v1 fights. You have to appreciate the nuance of fighting games in all their forms to truly appreciate the quality of this one. People get too hung up on huge, expansive quests and just miss the point of a tightly focused fighting/action game.

Nintendo has put out an embarrassing (for their competition) pile of incredible games in 2017 across two platforms. Things like Fire Emblem Warriors too, which in any other year would get a lot more attention, are completely lost in their incredible lineup of games. This year will go down as one of the best in their history, no doubt.

I need to play more ARMS…

Maybe it’s because I’ve main’d Mechanica since launch/v1.0, but I have to disagree. It’s a deeply flawed game that favors fast characters with disabling arms and knockdown arms. I don’t know what latest patches have been put out, but up until v3.0 the problems persisted. I played hundreds of matches and barely came across any Mechanicas or Mummies… because we were always at a huge disadvantage. I can’t tell you how many games I lost to opponents playing sloppy or spamming because they’re too fast and don’t need to worry about being countered.

I played a bit recently to try Misango, beat the game with him, get some badges and use all the credits to get a ton of new arms for everyone, but safe to say I’m done with online ranked. I think a sequel needs to consider that certain light/fast characters simply should not be wielding some arms. There should be some general use arms for all characters, some that are restricted to certain weight classes (such as the heaviest/most powerful), and a few specific to individual characters. This would make characters more unique and have their own special rush attacks and prevent light agile characters from weirdly having the same offensive attack power as heavy ones.

And I can’t offer any specifics but I think the game needs just a few more mechanics in the mix to help break up the monotony. Punch, throw, block, dodge, charge and generic super aren’t enough and it showed right away from the time Nintendo first demo’d the game and had that E3 tourney. I almost feel like Misango’s masks were added in to address the fact the game is lacking in tactics diversity. The entire game needs more of that.

Specific to heavies, flinch resistance (which is supposed to be a nice bonus) makes them and only them super-weak to electric arms because you get immobilized near 100% of the time and left open to grabs and rushes, whereas other character get knocked down and recover quickly. Was this fixed? I hope so because this, a straight up hard counter, seemed like a massive oversight from the dev and the people I played online knew this and would go for elec arms every time.

The parry/insta-counter is also nearly useless because of the aforementioned stuff about how you can play really sloppy/spammy and not worry about being punished if you have speed on your side. The game has promise but it’s more frustrating than any game of this kind I’ve ever played and it needs serious reworking. It’s a shame because the graphics, roster, presentation and music are great.

I think it’s a fine game to play local coop and I love that our friends who don’t even play games have been able to pick it up, flail their arms, and have a fun time but I don’t think it’s anywhere near the best game on the system. I wouldn’t say it’s even the best "fighter’ on the system.

What a fucking launch year for switch though!

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The pick up and play nature for any casual is the best part. I had a good play session going with three people who were completely new to the game, one of whom doesn’t regularly play video games. We didn’t need to use motion controls either.