Nintendo’s slinky boxing game Arms has come down with a cheese plague. A popular, cheesy playstyle of Arms‘ (probably) most popular fighter is pissing off a lot of players in the game’s Ranked mode.
Ninjara is Arms‘ chain-clad ninja. When his chain throw attack is paired with a jump and his Teleport dodge, Ninjara’s speedy grab is difficult to see coming and even harder to avoid. He just blips out of existence, and, when he’s back on screen, he’s suddenly a couple of metres closer with his arms halfway outstretched and poised to throw his attacker. And he can do it over and over and over.
It looks like this (and as a Master Mummy main, I resent it):
On Reddit, Arms players have been expressing frustration that Ninjara’s one-two throw is too hard to counter since the game’s first test punch, especially when players spam it. Ninjara even features first in an Arms subreddit’s recent list of “Things that should be banned from Ranked Mode”. A few weeks ago, a player asked whether they were “missing something” when countering him: “Is there an obvious strategy for how to defeat him that I haven’t caught onto? Or is he actually considered OP? It doesn’t help that Ninjara mains seem to constantly spam grab which makes him a big pain to deal with. Is there any good strategies I can try out to defeat him?” And another: ” Every single time I’ve fought a Ninjara in Ranked, all I get is Jump-Dash-Grab Spammed.”
In theory, Ninjara’s move can be countered with a good punch right through his outstretched arms or a well-timed dodge. In practice, it’s a serious challenge to nail with any consistency because of Ninjara’s speed and momentary invisibility. Surely in anticipation of this becoming a problem, Arms actually offers a Ninjara-specific training mode called “Don’t get thrown.” There, the move is easy to overcome, probably because it’s not being controlled by humans who more readily utilise it as an all-situations counter.
Also complicating the situation is Arms‘ poor communication of invincibility frames — it’s hard to know when your punch will magically go right through a grab, but also, right through your opponent, so their throw still lands.
Ninjara’s throw-spam move is a lot like Splatoon‘s Splat Roller, a giant paint roller that, in Splatoon‘s nascent months, was considered unfairly strong. Later on, strategies for avoiding it became pretty clear and the Splat Roller took a plunge in popularity. There’s a difference between a broken move and an annoying one, and it is the annoying ones that players eventually get on top of. Likely, in due time, Ninjara’s stupid cheese combo will be considered quite passe.