ARMS

Ultimately, ARMS is Nintendo’s purest take on the fighting genre, mostly respecting the essence of one-on-one combats but doing so by adding a clever twist that makes it unmistakably a Nintendo product. And true to the tradition of the games that have walked out of the company’s Kyoto studios, it does not achieve universal appeal by a mindless dumbing down of a gaming style, but via its reconstruction with small bricks that amount to a structure that is far more than its individual parts let on.

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Born Under Punches

Where most fighting games rely on baffling combinations of buttons, ARMS leans on actions (punching, blocking, rushing, moving, jumping, grabbing, and dashing) that demand the execution of a simple move or the press of a sole button (depending on the control scheme of choice). And where those game thrive in complicated combos, ARMS just asks its players to study the quirks of each of its characters, dive into the effects of its dozens of arms, pick the set that suits them best, and use creativity and fast-thinking on the rings to employ the simple actions the fighters can perform in ways that are appropriate to the situations they will find themselves in.

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