With fantastic character designs and an atypical take on shooters, Splatoon set the Japanese market ablaze and sold almost 5M copies around the world. That may not sound like much compared to Call of Duty’s almost guaranteed 15M for every release, but Splatoon was a brand new, kid friendly shooter IP, exclusive to the dying Wii U. People originally thought it was going to flop harder than Wonderful 101, so 4.8M (at least ) is a huge accomplishment.
Now there’s ARMS, a fighting game that follows in the footsteps of Splatoon, bringing us stylish new characters and a fresh take on the fighting game genre. If you look at the characters and sense a sort of familiarity in them, that’s because ARMS is being developed by the Nintendo team that brought us Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
That’s a great pedigree, and the gameplay of ARMS looks to have the same ease of entry as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Also like the aforementioned racer, ARMS has a friendly facade belying a serious competitive depth that will crush many a friendship. Just look at this extensive footage from the recent Japanese invitational tournament:
ARMS has the same formula for success that Splatoon did, but it also has the benefit of portability, and when you pair that with its short, match-based gameplay, it becomes a perfect game on the go experience. Not to mention it will be releasing right after the E3 hype (E3 2017 ends on June 15, ARMS releases June 16), just in time to catch the eyes of Nintendo Switch owners looking for their first big post-Mario Kart 8 Deluxe purchase.
ARMS already has a sizable fan art following too. Fan art may sound like an odd metric to point out, but a strong fan art scene is generally a good indicator of a game’s impending success. See: Splatoon, Overwatch, Undertale, Nier: Automata, etc. I called it as soon as I saw Min Min and I’ll stand by my claim: If ARMS is anything short of a big success, I will eat my words.
Literally…I will literally print this article out and eat it on camera.
Nintendo has shaken up the fighting game world before with Smash, but ARMS is simple and easy to grasp: Whereas Smash has become the calculus of fighting games, ARMS is Rock, Paper, Scissors mixed with Rock’em Sock’em Robots. I would even say ARMS has potentially usurped Pokken Tournament as the perfect entry point to the fighting game genre.
What do you think? Will ARMS catch on with the Switch fanbase, or is it doomed to be a quirky one off between Mario Kart releases? Sound off in the comment section below, and feel free to place odds or get in on my word eating bet.
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