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Friday, May 11, 2018

Thoughts on the new ARMS Demo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is a new demo! But are my thoughts on it new, too?

Let's get one thing out of the way: Nintendo just released a new demo for its failing fighting game, ARMS. This is completely different than the ARMS Global Testpunch, a dreadful experience that I wrote about here. Unlike the ARMS Global Testpunch, the ARMS demo is based off the game's current (and final?) build. That means all of its balance patches and new characters are in, though you can only play as a handful. On the other arm, you can potentially fight all the new characters, controlled by weak CPUs.

The main menu of the ARMS demo, with some interesting options.

The very way this demo is set up is worth talking about, but first let me explain what's in the demo. You can play with one player or two players. I assume the latter is local multiplayer, but I haven't tried it and never will. The Basics (1 player) gives you a mandatory brief tutorial on the game's controls, and then pits you against two matches of low-level computer players. I assume it's an excerpt from the game's Grand Prix mode.

The last option is “View Full Version Menu”, which gives you insight on what options are available in the retail version of ARMS. Trying to do anything from there will tell you it's only available in the full version of the game, which you can buy. The option's verb IS “View”, after all.

What did I do in The Basics (1 player), then? Well, take a watch:

That's right: Unlike the ARMS Global Testpunch, the ARMS demo supports video capture. Told you it's based off the real game. Anyway, playing against CPUs that basically do not fight back is actually more fun than struggling against humans.

A detail I didn't notice is the Testpunch: The audience members are based on the two fighters. There is a male and female version for the audience members. It's the most endearing part of the demo, and probably the entire game.

They fixed the controls a bit since I last played the game. It's actually playable now, at least with button controls. That makes the game somewhat tolerable.

ARMS Badge Stash launched for the first time that was an excellent decision Nintendo Switch
...I said it's somewhat tolerable. That's FAR from “excellent decision.”

ARMS is still far from an amazing game that I'd want to sink $60 and really get into. Not even for a substantial discount off that $60. I did say that beating up helpless CPUs is more fun than real players, didn't I? Doesn't bode well for the full game.

ARMS actually got a 30% sale recently. You don't see Nintendo putting Splatoon 2 on sale. In the same Nintendo Direct (the famous March 2018 one) that ARMS was getting another ARMS Global Testpunch far after the game's release, Splatoon 2 was getting its franchise first-ever paid DLC announced. ARMS was supposed to follow Splatoon's lead in that, but the extendable arm reach is obviously falling short.

That second Testpunch was testing nothing, except for how much interest Nintendo could force to a game that people don't want to play. Apparently, that didn't work, so now the developers made a permanent demo of it to try to salvage ARMS.

ARMS demo if you purchase the full version incentive bribe bonus badge currency Nintendo Switch
...Getting a badge and in-game currency (and they didn't even explain what the currency is for) is a laughable incentive for purchasing the full version.

I'm writing this article because, when I wrote my scathing review of the Detective Pikachu demo (and extrapolated it to the whole game), we got this comment from ShinyGirafarig:
“NoA launching a demo after release tells me this game sold very poorly like ARMS and they are desperate for new sales.”
Well... there you go. We know the sales of ARMS aren't doing too great as of March 31, 2018. This demo is here to try to aggressively drive people to the Nintendo eShop to buy ARMS. But... anywhere there is ARMS, something bad is bound to happen, kind of like AIDS.

Just look at EVO Japan 2018, which featured ARMS when the American EVO tournaments would not. Want to know what happened to it? EVO Japan 2018 lost a lot of money. Coincidence? I think not!

ARMS demo end screen game over back to main menu To Nintendo eShop Switch
Don't go to the Nintendo eShop.
Return to the Main Menu!
Third option: Scroll down to the comments section and leave a comment!

If you can think of something that ARMS can stand for, similar to how AIDS stands for something, contribute your idea in the comments section below. Ludwig's idea was deemed bad by the rest of the staff, so he won't share it to you. He wonders how much ARMS might drag down Super Smash Bros. for Switch... or E3 2018.

Did you know that Mario Kart 8 allegedly influenced ARMS? ...Mario Kart 8 doesn't have a demo, though.


  1. Maybe that means Labo will outsell it and I will get my retroactive Truth point.

    1. On the contrary, even though I didn't go for the full version, some additional people that wouldn't otherwise do so will.

      (No, I haven't forgotten about the retroactive truth point, but it's getting a statute of limitations for next financial release come July.)


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