Arms Review Roundup

What do critics think of the Nintendo Switch's new fighting game?

41 Comments

With Arms' launch for Nintendo Switch just around the corner, reviews have started to go live for the colorful fighting game.

You might have already played Arms in one of its Global Testpunch trials. When we played it at preview stage, we found it to be deeper than you might think, but how does the final game hold up?

In GameSpot's final Arms review, critic Kallie Plagge called the exclusive title a "strong, substantial fighting game that takes a while to really hit its stride."

"Its barrier to entry is unlike anything else in the genre," she continued, "but it's one worth tackling in order to get at the game's fascinating take on fighting. It may not have the same skill requirement as other fighting games, but the flexibility and fast thinking it requires secures it as one that works on its own terms and opens the genre up to a wider audience."

For more, check out our full Arms review. Alternatively, check out our roundup below, or for a wider critical view, take a look at our sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Arms
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release: June 16
  • Price: US $60 / £40 / AU $80

GameSpot -- 7/10

"Arms is a strong, substantial fighting game that takes a while to really hit its stride. Its barrier to entry is unlike anything else in the genre, but it's one worth tackling in order to get at the game's fascinating take on fighting. It may not have the same skill requirement as other fighting games, but the flexibility and fast thinking it requires secures it as one that works on its own terms and opens the genre up to a wider audience." -- Kallie Plagge [Full review]

IGN -- 8.0/10

"Arms' clever take on boxing provides a simple premise with a startling amount of depth for those who would seek to master the stretching appendages. Its rapidly evolving lobby system had me sticking around for 'just one more match.' There may not be a lot worth unlocking right now, but planned free updates may just give Arms some additional legs." -- Brendan Graeber [Full review]

Polygon -- 8/10

"Arms exudes a level of creativity and mechanical sophistication that feels uniquely Nintendo. It evokes memories of classic Nintendo games like Punch-Out!!, while also feeling equally fashionable and modern--and set next to Splatoon, suggests the publisher is already charting a path toward the future. With a stylish, memorable cast of characters, inventive gameplay mechanics and smart use of the Switch hardware, Arms already feels like Nintendo's next great new franchise." -- Michael McWhertor [Full review]

GamesRadar -- 4.5/5

"You could quibble over the odd character mismatch, the occasional cheap tactic, the lacklustre training mode. Otherwise, what's not to love? While Arms' offbeat rhythms won't necessarily suit all palates, this hectic and thrillingly distinctive fusion of brawler and shooter is a taste worth acquiring. It's conflict, and it's compromise, and it's very, very exciting." -- Chris Schilling [Full review]

VideoGamer -- 5/10

"Arms isn't really a fighting game, but the aim is to pummel your adversary in a best-of-three match-up. It can serve up methodically paced clashes between two competitors, and absolute car crashes when you introduce a third person into the mix. Using the motion controls allows you to finesse your jab, yet swinging your Joy-Con around the front room is more trouble than it's worth. Arms can dole out a battle of wits one minute, and a frustrating button masher the next. Yeah, Arms is a strange beast." -- Colm Ahern [Full review]

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darkSYNced

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Played the testpunch and had a lot of fun, very unique game, I played with a pro controller though, tried motion controls and while surprisingly accurate, just weren't easy enough to control, mainly moving. I'll wait for the price to drop though, doesn't seem like much content, should've been $40, but Nintendo loves overpricing things.

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BonzaiBillie_99

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I have no interest in Splatoon, and no interest in this. Aesthetically they are highly uninteresting. "Squid Kids"?? Ribbon-armed fighters?? Nope. Neither of those has the charm of a Mario, or Samus, or Link. I wish instead Nintendo would publish a new single player driven IP. These MP games seem like baby poo poo.

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Carpetfluff

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Arms; the game that reminds some reviewers how out of shape they are.

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Russianglowcaps

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5/10 seems a bit ridiculous. Based solely off my time with the Test Punch the lowest I could imagine someone scoring it is 6/10 if it's really not your thing. Judging it by the other reviews gathered I'd say it sounds like a great game.

2 • 
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wolfpup7

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Huh. That's good to hear it not only works with regular controls, but is better with them.

Initially I had no interest in this, but I'm starting to get interested... Would buy it for sure at like $20, though I'm still a little hesitant to try it at full price, but I may...

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GirlUSoCrazy

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@wolfpup7: Wish I knew this for the demo, I played once with motion controls and then said "meh," if I tried with normal controls I might have had a better time and been more interested

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Alexander_Mark

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Edited By Alexander_Mark

'Its barrier to entry is unlike anything else in the genre...'

'It may not have the same skill requirement as other fighting games...'

^^ Can the reviewer explain this? How can a game have the steepest learning curve in the 'genre', yet not have the same skill requirement as anything else in the 'genre'? What are you learning other than skill? It makes no sense.

5 • 
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Thanatos2k

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@alexander_mark: A high learning curve and a high skill cap are not necessarily the same thing.

2 • 
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Bread_or_Decide

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Here ya go, it's not mario or zelda. Nintendo always surprises with their new IP's.

Well done.

3 • 
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solid_snake1461

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Well, usually when a new game, especially those that have "background", came out, it would get get covered and streamed a lot. Mostly, they would appear on the first page of Twitch and stay there for about a week. But apparently this game just fall short.

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Jaxith

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@solid_snake1461: Hold on... You're judging the game based on how many people are streaming it before it actually comes out? ...That, doesn't seem to make sense, does it? If no one has the game except for reviewers, who's going to stream it?

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solid_snake1461

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@Jaxith: ok, the game has been out for 3 days now. Usually, this is when the game get the most coverage. But guest what? It's behind Age of Empires 1 and Final Fantasy 9. Games that were released eons ago.

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Jaxith

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@solid_snake1461: Yeah! The game's out, so I've been playing it, and having a blast! So, I don't really care how many people are streaming it. Or how to stream games on the Switch for that matter. Either way though, I don't really see much value in your point. You kinda shot yourself in the foot too but jumping the gun, so it's hard to take seriously. Please forgive my frankness.

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solid_snake1461

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@Jaxith: good for you. Also, I didn't jump the gun. Even if the game wasn't out, if it's hot enough, you would see people streaming it like crazy, days before the release date. While the supply is limited, the reviewers are definitely not the only one that gain access to the game. There is a will, there is a way. Unfortunately, the "will" of gaining possession to this game just doesn't seem to be high enough.

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Jaxith

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@solid_snake1461: That all sounds suspiciously vague. To be honest, I just feel like your criteria for judging games is kind of crazy. I mean, if we go off of Twitch the only games worth playing are what? League of Legends and Overwatch? That's a guess; I have no idea what's trending right now. But my point is that those are absolutely great games, but they're hardly the only ones worth playing. Being dismissive of games because of some smug attitude like that is just going to result in alot of people having fun anyway while you tilt up your nose at them.

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solid_snake1461

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@Jaxith: Twitch may not be the benchmark for how great a game is. But it's a good reference. It's an indicator of how much people care for a game. For a shovel ware gimmick like this, I wouldn't bother myself even if it's was free. Let alone paying a premium price of 60$. For that amount of money, I have much better options.

But oh well, it's entirely up to personal taste about how great a game is. Some people would even consider Big Rigs as the best game of all time. Have fun there.

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Jaxith

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@solid_snake1461: See, stuff like that's why it's really hard to take you seriously. It seems less like you have a legitimate point to stand on, and more that you just off-handedly hate the game and are reaching for anything you can grab on to. If you don't like it, you can just say that. That's fine. But making up some excuse to legitimize your dismissal of the game isn't doing you any favors. So why bother?

Anyhoo, there's not really too much more to say here. So, as you said, have fun. I do sincerely mean that.

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Tiwill44

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Edited By Tiwill44

That last one seemed a little harsh, but I agree with many of the points the reviewer brought up. I've played the testpunch and only the 1v1 battles were enjoyable, and both methods of control had their own set of flaws.

I also became pretty annoyed at how hard it was to actually land a punch, and how unsatisfying it felt. Imagine if landing a rocket in a FPS only dealt like 5% damage to your enemy. That's what landing a punch feels like. And so you get bored and start grabbing, since grabs deal a much more significant chunk of damage for roughly the same amount of effort...

Yeah, gameplay-wise, I can see why he would give it that score. And it's fair. But if we value music, visuals, innovation and overall polish at all, Arms deserves at least a 6/10. I didn't enjoy the gameplay enough to buy the game, but I can see it being a decent game if you enjoy it.

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TxuZai

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Edited By TxuZai

Looks like shit, just another Nintendo gimmicky crap.

I suppose my 5 year old nephew would like it.

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Russianglowcaps

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@txuzai: if you're going to troll could you at least put some effort in?

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Alexander_Mark

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@txuzai: You sound like dick. Your 5 year old nephew must be your only friend.

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fig56

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@txuzai: Typical graphics whore. Judging a game by how it "looks".

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LTJohnnyRico

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Edited By LTJohnnyRico

@txuzai: My Kids love their Switch's and they are older than 5 ... more to the point I also think its great ! maybe you yourself are not yet old enough to appreciate things ?

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Sgt_Crow

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@txuzai: Plot twist; you are 5 year old nephew.

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BryanWeary

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@Sgt_Crow: What a twist!

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aross2004

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@Sgt_Crow: You just got M. Night Shamalamadingdong'd...

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Knighthawk_X

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@txuzai: The reviews would beg to differ, but considering the fact that you're trolling, I doubt you care.

6 • 
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mistincat

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Gotta love Nintendo.

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wtf_666

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@mistincat: lol

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IndoJimbo

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Cant wait for this, had a blast playing the test punch demo.

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lostn

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Edited By lostn

How many will still be playing it in 3 months is the question.

In other words, does ARMS have LEGS?

6 • 
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fig56

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@lostn: Considering that the holidays are not to long from now I would say 100's of thousands more is my guess. Plus free DLC, free maps, free characters. Yes ARMS has plenty of LEGS.

5 • 
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SavageRodent

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@fig56: Yeah but Splatoon 2 might sweep Arms off its feet when it comes out a month later.

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iandizion713

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Pretty good reviews.

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AyatollaofRnR

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Not that keen on this one.

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Virtue777

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Edited By Virtue777

leave it to NOFRIENDO to get a multiplayer fighting game wrong

3 • 
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LTJohnnyRico

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@Virtue777: Well the reviews suggest that they didn't .. assuming that you actually read them .. I did .. and think this Game could be fun !!

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Knighthawk_X

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@Virtue777: Didn't realize that a 7/10, 8/10, and 4.5/5 is getting it 'wrong'. You probably don't even have a Switch and are just hating on Nintendo because it's the cool thing to do.

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Moonco

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Moonco  Moderator

Stretch Armstrong DLC - make it happen Nintendo!

5 • 
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Jaxith

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@moonco: Gut punches would have no effect. They'd just bounce off his squishy belly! Gotta aim for the head with this one!

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BryanWeary

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@moonco: Aww man, his arms stretch out forever!!

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