Ditching the more grounded world of Nintendo’s Punch-Out!, Arms is a far wackier take on the boxing genre. It’s an exciting face-off as you weave around incoming fists from afar, looking for that small opening to curve your powered-up glove straight into your foe or leap into the air for perfectly timed grab. Arms is bursting with fast-paced modes and colorful exploding gloves that make every fight a blast, and its stylish lobby system keeps me coming back for more.
As you engage in cartoony fisticuffs with the eponymous stretchable boxing gloves, of which there are many shapes and sizes, the combat of Arms is easy to pick up. You can fight any way you please: with motion-controlled Joy-Con controllers, Pro Controllers, or even a single tilted Joy-Con. The motion-control setup works well enough, since instead of throwing huge punches and tiring yourself out, subtle jabs and tilts will get the job done. Tilting the controllers to move, curve punches, and block does take a bit of getting used to, and I had the tendency to unconsciously move my Joy-Cons at the wrong time. This led me to gravitate more towards the Pro Controller or playing in portable mode, using the analogue stick for precise movements and using triggers instead of buttons to throw punches.