ARMS Coming To EVO Japan 2018 But Will Anyone Care?

  • Fighting
Max Brass, ready to kick some... butt
Max Brass, ready to kick some... butt Nintendo

For EVO Japan 2018, the international debut of the fighting game tournament overseas, ARMS will be part of the line-up. Nintendo will be in full control of the event, which is probably why Super Smash Bros. Melee won’t be playable. ARMS , the flashiest fighter for the Nintendo Switch, hasn’t really caught on in the fighting game community. The game about springy armed hooligans slapping each other in the face hasn’t had an official tournament yet, outside of Nintendo’s own for the launch of the game.

I loved playing ARMS for about two weeks after the game launched . Every day I’d turn on my Switch, grab my two bright yellow joycons and head into an online lobby. I ducked, bobbed and weaved with Twintelle and Min Min , ready to actually get good enough to play at a competitive level. I’ve always had the reflexes of a middle-aged man, while I wanted to be able to twirl my fingers like a Korean teenager who just won a Starcraft 2 tournament. ARMS was going to be my way into a scene I could never break into, or at least I thought.

After heading into a few ranked matches and getting my ass handed to me by someone who’s just inarguably better, I decided to devise a new strategy. Constantly losing to nameless strangers over and over wasn’t doing anything good for my morale. I’m used to losing in online games; I ascended past tilt after a League Of Legends match ended with a teenager threatening to come to my house for a fistfight. Still, I thought ARMS was going to be the game I was good at, the one I’d immediately pick up and climb the leaderboard,, because I was an expert Wii Boxing player when I was in high school.

After over a hundred matches, I just didn’t feel like I was getting any better at ARMS . Using the joycons was nice, but my tendency to walk around the room while I game just made me play worse. I tried using the Switch Pro controller, but I could never get the hang of aiming or punching with one arm. Like For Honor before it, I got frustrated and bored and moved back to my competitive gaming wife, Overwatch .

Most people I’ve talked to feel the same way about ARMS . Even with the Max Brass DLC and hundreds of fists to unlock, the game got stale really quickly. All of my friends who started boxing with Nintendo have moved on to other games, which is disappointing. I was so hyped to be good at a fighter, but I’ve learned that the my best games are the ones where little to no mechanical skill is involved. (I’ll beat any one of you in Hearthstone any day.)

The launch of ARMS reminds me a lot of another Nintendo fighter, Pokken Tournament. Pitting pocket monsters against each other is a dream every kid has had at least once, and this game promised to do that. Blowing up in the Japanese arcade scene, Pokken was eventually ported to the Wii U where it died a slow, unpopular death. Experienced fighting game players didn’t like the simplistic controls or annoying Wii U gamepad, while total newbies would get stomped whenever they went online, since the matchmaking was poor at best. With the launch of Pokken Tournament DX on the Switch, Nintendo has another chance to launch a successful fighting game, but can they do it?

Do you still play ARMS or have your bouncy arms already started collecting dust? Tell us in the comments.

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