Over the past two weekends, I’ve been participating in as many ARMS Global Testpunch events as I could. At first, it was to see if ARMS was the real deal. Since then, it’s been a matter of wanting to play as much of this game as possible because it’s really fun.
I’ve had a chance to play with all eight of the characters that were available in the beta. Since Kid Cobra and Bark & Byte weren’t available, write-ups on them will have to come later. For now though, here are my thoughts on the characters we got to play with so far.
Spring Man is the Ryu of ARMS. With no real strengths or weaknesses, he’s an all-around character that works well for newcomers. I like that his constant charge when he’s under 25% is a passive ability, as it gives players a boost without having to input any specific commands. However, I never got a feel for his deflect ability. Executed by letting go of the dash button, it didn’t feel natural for me to deflect punches by letting go. I think he’s a serviceable character that works particularly well for newbies, but I don’t see myself putting much time into him.
Ribbon Girl is one of my two favourite characters thus far. She has the ability to jump and dash multiple times in the air, making her a very elusive target. My one gripe with her is that she sacrifices damage output for that extra mobility. Maybe with different combinations of arms, you’ll be able to get the right balance.
Ninjara seems like a very good character, but one that I think is a bit overrated at this early stage of the game. Much has been said about his ability to teleport dash in the air, oftentimes putting him in the perfect spot to land a clean throw. I think this is a gimmick, as his opposition simply has to wait for him to re-appear before reacting.
This particular tactic may fade with time, but his quick walk speed and ability to avoid chip damage are the real keys to his arsenal. In particular, the the latter can come in handy as he’ll simply avoid all of the hits in a rush attack when blocking. He will certainly be a force to be reckoned with, but not necessarily one that has crying foul.
Of the two tank characters in the game, I had a much better time with Mechanica. While she shares the armor trait with Master Mummy, she also has the ability to glide along the ground with her dash, as well as the ability to float by holding jump. It does help get in close where she’s most effective.
Master Mummy is the Zangief of ARMS. Big and burly, he hits the hardest, but is also the slowest and least mobile of the cast. To make up for his lack of mobility, I think that counter punching is critical to his success. Instead of dodging incoming attacks or throws, he’s probably better off just punching through all incoming attacks instead with his heavy arms. He’s not for me, but I’m glad he’s here to add some size to the roster.
One of the fan favourites, Min Min was kind of a letdown for me. I never got a feel for using her kick parry, nor did I like her selection of arms. At this point, I think she’s meant to be a bit more of a zoning character, as her combination of parries and heavy/long-ranged arms are meant to keep people out. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work out for me. Also, it’s worth noting that I didn’t really take advantage of her left dragon arm, cause I didn’t know that was a thing until it was too late.
Maybe the silliest character design in the game, Helix has a very interesting play style. With his ability to slide under or wobble around punches, combined with his long-ranged arms, and he’s perfectly suited to fight from a distance. Had the most fun when I would throw out the slow moving shield to deflect incoming attacks, followed by a ranged attack with the other arm.
An immediate fan favourite as soon as she was revealed, Twintelle is a beast on the battlefield. When she’s in the air, she can hold dash to float. If someone punches at her, their punches stall in the air, making it easy for Twintelle to dash out and counter. Personally, I didn’t wait for the incoming attacks when I floated, as I preferred to just burst into a different direction and attack at an awkward angle for my opponent to defend. She and Ribbon Girl are hands-down my favourite characters to play as so far.
Having played it a bunch over the last two weeks, I can’t wait for the final release on Friday, June 16th! Whose your favourite ARMS fighter and why?