First, I have some honourable mentions. Last month saw the release of both Ultra Street Fighter II The Final Challengers and Disgaea 5 Complete on the Switch – if you follow me on Twitter, you will have probably seen that I’ve picked both of those up.
There are also a couple of 3DS titles coming out later this month that I am particularly interest in: Ever Oasis and RPG Maker Fes. Consider those as honourable mentions here as well.
But now to focus on a Nintendo Switch title; a fighting game featuring characters with stretchy weaponised arms.
ARMS was developed by Nintendo’s Entertainment Planning & Development division. They developed an original cast of characters with extendable arms – in fact, the arms were the starting points for many of the characters.
The gameplay is simple; you take control of a fighter, and use their extendable arms to defeat other fighters. The different modes include standard one-on-one fights, as well as options for four players playing together.Versus Mode offers several different ways of playing ARMS. Fight is the basic one-on-one mode where the goal is to knock your opponent out. You can play against human or computer-controlled opponents.
Team Fights are two-on-two battles. Partners are chained together, so if your ally falls you’ll have to deal with your opponents as well as your unconscious partner. It’s also possible to hit your ally as well if your get too careless.
V-Ball, Hoops and Skillshot offer something a little different from punching people. V-Ball is volleyball with an explosive ball, Hoops has you trying to dunk your opponent and Skillshot has both you and an opponent competing to get the highest score by breaking targets.
1-on-100 is exactly what is sounds like; you choose a fighter and take on one hundred opponents.Grand Prix has you fight through 10 battles in order to become champion. There are seven different difficulty levels, and the game keeps track of which ones you have completed. Crowns show which difficulty levels you have completed, so I imagine completionists will be occupied for a while.
ARMS has online multiplayer too, with Party Match allowing lobbies of up to 20 players. Match-ups are decided automatically, and as such there will be matches for two-players, three-players and four-players. Party Match is also available in local wireless mode, with the option to create a lobby for up to eight players with eight systems.
Once you’ve beaten the level four difficulty in Grand Prix, you’ll be able to play Ranked Matches online. As you’d expect, you win fights to climb up the ranks in this mode. However, losing a match and your ranking will drop. I imagine this mode is where you’ll encounter high-level play.There’s a variety of 10 fighters to choose from in ARMS, each with their own distinctive abilities. Seen above is my personal favourite, Min Min. The Ramen Bomber from the Mintendo Noodle House can knock down her opponents’ attacks with her kicks.
The fighters of ARMS make for quite an interesting bunch, particularly as a couple of them don’t actually fight using their own arms – Mechanica has a mech suit she built herself, and Twintelle uses her hair to fight.
It’s not just the fighter to take into consideration when you play ARMS; you also need to choose a set of ARMS to use during battle. Above you can see Ribbon Girl using ARMS called Sparky. They are electric gloves that can shock opponents, thus stunning them.
Min Min has Dragon, which spreads heat over a wide area with its fire attribute. She also has the Megawatt, which a slow-but powerful weapon with the electric attribute.
Different ARMS have different attributes. Ice type ARMS can freeze opponents for a moment, whilst others are capable of blinding foes. I’ve found that stunning foes with electricity and then throwing them is quite effective.
A variety of control methods are available for ARMS. Motion control with the Joy-Con controllers is the recommended method, but traditional button controls are available as well – whether it’s with both Joy-Cons or just one.
I haven’t played too much of ARMS so far – I’ve gone through the easiest difficulty of Grand Prix mode with Min Min and Mechanica at the time of writing this, as well as having participated in only two sessions of the Global Testpunch – but I really like what I have played so far. I intend on taking all the fighters through all the difficulty levels of Grand Prix, and collecting all the ARMS is something I would like to do as well.
There’s also online multiplayer, and I’ll probably be getting defeated on that more often than I’d like – but, hey, ARMS is fun, and losing can be used as a learning experience to come up with new tactics and ARMs combinations.
ARMS is a great new IP from Nintendo, and I look forward to seeing what they add to the game with the upcoming add-on content.