With ARMS around the corner, Nintendo aired a Direct dedicated almost entirely for their new IP. Before going into the details of this fighting game, I would like to say that the actual presentation itself had a great vibe. The tone was exactly what this franchise needs and, for me, created a sense of intrigue I thought was not possible. There appears to be a quiet buzz around this game and Nintendo rarely misses the mark with a new IP, so let’s see what ARMS is made of.
Ten characters have been announced with an eleventh teased at the end of the Nintendo Direct. Personal favourites are Min Min and the newly announced Byte & Barq. The full list is below:
Spring Man, Mechanica, Ninjara, Master Mummy, Kid Cobra, Ribbon Girl, Min Min, Helix, Byte & Barq, Twintelle, and a dark and mysterious extra character.
A genuine variety is very encouraging here, although who knows how long until the meta dictates which of the thousands of combinations dominates the battleground. There are thirty different types of ARMs, all attainable at the ‘Arm Getter’ and every type of ARM is available to every character.
You can take these combinations to a variety of modes. There’s 1v1, 2v2 and Party modes that include playful spins on volleyball and basketball, the latter of which sees you dunking your opponent; the first for the fighting genre, believe it or not. There is also a Grand Prix mode, which is a 10-match single player or co-op mode.
For multiplayer, there’s local and online options. Local wireless lobbies support up to eight Nintendo Switches at once so if you can find seven other Nintendo Switch owners then that could be fun. Online lobbies support up to ten systems, with up to two people per system. There’s ranked matches as well which is strictly 1v1 but you can play other modes while you wait.
Final Announcements – Nintendo has announced free updates which will include new fighters, new stages and new ARMs. These free updates plus what is announced for launch nearly guarantees no Street-Fighter-V-esque car crashes, and more consumer friendly content releases than something like Injustice 2.
The ARMS Global Testpunch, which is a multiplayer beta, is now available on eShop and playable the last weekend of May (5/27-5/28) and the first weekend of June (6/3-6/4). North America will also have exclusive access on Fridays 5/26 and 6/2.
After the ARMS outro, Nintendo provided a small feature showing off Splatoon 2’s campaign which looks to have some very interesting character models and wacky level design. Also confirmed is the return of the hub world from the predecessor and a familiar face in the form of one of the Squid Sisters.
ARMS is shaping up to be another successful new IP from the makers of Mario and Zelda and, as long as they can gain traction with consistent content releases, Nintendo might just have another permanent franchise on its hands.