Arms for Switch Review

Reviewers of games, or other technology products, sometimes feel it’s appropriate to let you know that a game was sent to them for free to be reviewed. The idea being that they might be a little biased if people are sending them games for free. Will Nintendo continue to supply them with early review copies if they say bad things about them?

I don’t have this problem, because nobody sends me anything for free. However, I do have a very different problem because I buy my own games. Here I am about to review Arms, and whatever I think of it, I went out and bought it with my own money. I’m not bragging, I’m just trying to point out that this also makes me biased, because I’m tempted to lead you to think that I didn’t piss away £49.99. With that in mind, here we go.

I love Arms! Arms is brilliant! I feel totally justified in dropping £49.99 on it. Except I don’t.

It’s a fighting game, very much like Street Fighter 2. You fight a person, then you go on to fight the next person. There are Grand Prix events, during which you fight ten people in a row. There are ten skill levels for a Grand Prix event, and you have to be on at least level four before the game will let you play online.

So you pick your character, play the single player Grand Prix, and try to beat level ten. Then when you’ve done that, you can pick a different character and try to beat level ten. That’s it. That’s the game. I know I haven’t touched on the multiplayer yet, but for the single player game, this is it. Ten Grand Prix events, for ten characters.

They try to mix things up by adding a couple of mini games into the fights. There’s a volleyball style that has you slapping away at a ball, trying to make it land in your opponent’s half of the court. It’s a nice change. There’s also a round where you’re hitting targets that pop up out of the ground, in an attempt to score more points than your opponent. Again, a nice way to break up the monotony of the single player game.

There’s a way to get different arms for your character. Arms are your weapons, and you have two of them. Who could have guessed. You get these different arms by competing in another mini game which involves hitting targets to win prizes. The important thing to note is that I didn’t say better arms, I said different arms. There’s basically no difference in the effects of the arms, so it’s pointless trying to get different ones.

All that being said, the game isn’t a complete waste of time, and does have more than a few good points.

It looks and sounds beautiful. Once again we are treated to a graphical and musical masterpiece by Nintendo. Arms reaffirms that the Switch is powerful enough to handle some fantastic looking games. If you ever thought that Switch users would be forever trying to justify a graphically inferior experience to that of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, then think again. We are now far beyond the point of graphics being something to worry about. I think the resurgence of retro games, or games, as I like to call them, has done something to help push the idea that 4K 60fps graphics aren’t needed to have fun.

While we’re on the subject, I have to once again point out how important it can be to have on screen characters moving in time to the game soundtrack. It’s difficult to get off the main menu because the music is so good.

Arms was the first game I’ve played with any kind of motion controls. For a while it felt like using those controls was the best way to play the game. Although I’m using the Switch mostly in handheld mode, it still feels like motion might be the way to go.

The main control problem I experienced was one that came from me. Once you make the action, there can be a few seconds for the resulting on screen motion to happen. Not a delay in control, the action starts immediately. I mean that you throw a punch, and it takes a few seconds for that punch to get to your opponent. This can lead to the dreaded button mashing, which always leads to panic and defeat.

Overall Arms is fun, but it isn’t grabbing me. I still have the goal of beating level four so I can play online, but then what? If you’re a student that drinks and lives with five other people, you’ll love this one. If you’re a man pushing 40 who lives with his girlfriend and has absolutely no social life to speak of, then Arms might be worth giving a miss. I’ve heard that there will be free DLC. Maybe that will add something to the game. If anything, I’d say that this game is a solid first game in a franchise. I can see them doing Arms 2, and that game being vastly improved by the lessons they can learn from what came before.

The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds

I’m on a mini quest to play and complete all the Zelda games. After a false start with Twilight Princess on the Wii, I found Ocarina of Time on the 3DS and have been hooked ever since. I think the delay in my discovery is down to them being puzzle games, and me being particularly bad at puzzles, but I’m a grown up now.

There are approximately eight million known Zelda games, and Link Between Worlds is the only one that was created entirely for the 3DS. I say that, but it’s based on the third Zelda game, Link to the Past. It uses the same map, and has the same top-down style gameplay, but it uses a fancy new 3D graphics. The two games play very similarly to each other. I’ve been thinking about this, and I’ve decided to recommend that you play Link to the Past first. It’s an old game that holds up perfectly, and currently has a meta critic score of 95. We could go on all day about whether or not it’s better to see the new version of a thing, or see the original first.


Link Between Worlds sees Link fighting to rescue Princess Zelda, who has been trapped in a painting by the bad guy. They introduce a really clever game mechanic in the form of giving you the power to being able to become a painting. That sounds odd, let me explain. Link is trapped in a painting, but manages to escape. That experience gives him the power to become a painting on a flat surface, and move around that surface to reach areas he might otherwise been unable to. It’s a really nice addition to the game that makes puzzles all the more interesting.

I must admit that of all the Zelda games I’ve played, this was probably the easiest. I don’t know if that’s down to me getting better at the games, or this game is actually easier. I’ve heard it said that this one was aimed more at children, but I didn’t experience anything while playing that would make me think that.

The environment of Hyrule is pretty and welcoming. If you have played Link to the Past, it will be instantly familiar to you. Sometimes it feels like you’re playing in a very small space. It isn’t exactly Breath of the Wild when it comes to environmental vastness, but you be constantly surprised at how much they managed to cram on there. It’s a fun place to be.


Along with the environment, you’ll also recognise the music from Link to the Past. I’m of the opinion that Nintendo is a company that always hits it out of the park when it comes to music, and this game is no exception. I highly recommend that you wear headphones while playing, at least for a while, because the tiny speakers on the 3DS aren’t quite up to the task of the cinematic soundtrack.

I managed to play through the game in less than a week, but that’s without exploring absolutely everything there is to find. There’s plenty of game there, and seeing as you can pick it up brand new for £13.99, you definitely get value for money. Both this game and Ocarina of Time are available as part of Nintendo’s Select range. I strongly recommend picking it up, it’s a fun game that further cements the 3DS as one of the best gaming platforms.

Making Sense Episode 29. GE2017 -0

Election day is upon is and it’s time to make a choice. I hope that I’ve armed you with everything you need, but I hoped that before Brexit too. These are the last words I have to say on the matter. The next time I speak to you it will either be to say that our nation did the right thing, or it will be to give you my first word of resistance against the Tories.

Making Sense with Richard Smith Episode 28 – GE2017 – 2

Recorded late on a tuesday night, there’s only one question to ask. Do you really think she’ll keep you safe?

Tech It Or Leave It Episode 227 – Googlio 2017

In this episode we cover the news from the recent Google IO event, and take a look at the Conservative Party plans for the internet.