Arms is Nintendo’s newest IP, a fighting game somewhat reminiscent of Punch Out!, with a third person over the shoulder viewpoint. There is much more movement in the former than the latter though, and the fighters all have extendable arms with can be thrown independently right from left. I’ve read many impressions online so far of people considering the game doesn’t have much content and not a real deep mechanic.
While it’s true you won’t find too many crazy combos being performed in Arms, the depth of the fighter is derived from some place much different. Your brain. Yep, this game can be just about as deep as you’d like, as creativity is rewarded, and a near-constant battle of the mind ensues. And it’s somewhat difficult to relay this into words, but Arms is only as deep as you make it. If you want to stand still while throwing straight punches, good for you I suppose, but you won’t see what makes the game so unique.
However, if you guard-dash, jump-dash, guard, charge, throw swinging arms and high arms, use the entire stage and all of it’s advantages…well, you are more likely to understand that this game can be such a deep challenge. When 2 fighters are battling it out in a virtual game of Arms chess, it truly is a wonderful experience. And while fighting purists might scoff at what might be deemed imprecise controls(hey, your arms can simply miss your target, making those that do connect all the more rewarding), it is the lack of combos that changes the dynamic. Without the combos, it’s all the more important to react and act, all while setting up your opponent for that next grab or hit. Arms changes the fighting genre, for better or worse, but don’t say it isn’t deep. It’s depth is only limited by what you do next.