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ARMS Direct Impressions

Every Nintendo console generation we get our normal collection of games starring classic characters. While I’m always excited for the next iteration of Mario and Zelda, I feel the same excitement, with a little added anxiety, when the company releases a brand new gaming franchise. We have seen ARMS since the Switch reveal in January and I, admittedly, have been apprehensive about the game. While it looked interesting as a concept, I was worried about about the depth of the game to keep players coming back for more. Wednesday, Nintendo released their ARMS Direct to give us more details about the game and I’m hoping it will make me more confident in the games success.

Here are the highlights of the presentation if you don’t want to watch the full 20 minute direct.

  • Arm types have three different weight classes and seven elemental attributes
  • It introduced three new characters to the battle (Kid Cobra, Byte & Barq, and Twintelle) and showed their unique fighting stages
  • Showed off each character’s special abilities and signature arm weapon choices
  • Multiplayer modes include six different options ranging from a standard fight, 2v2 to even volleyball and basketball modes.
  • The main single player options will be Grand Prix as you fight to win 10 matches in a row and Online ranked matches for online supremacy
  • Players will use in game currency to get new arm types and upgrade ones you currently have
  • Free upgrades after the game releases with new fighters, stages, and arms
  • Announced a Global Testpunch demo for the weekends of 5/26 – 5/28 and 6/2 – 6/4


This is everything I wanted Nintendo to show in this direct. Starting off strong and showing the depth of the game with all the different weapon types to choose while you are battling. Having thousands of weapon combinations to choose from will keep players trying out new options until they find the one that fits them best. This is just like what Splatoon did with the different weapon types and sub-weapons. I kept playing trying to earn enough to purchase and try out all the unique weapons and ARMS is trying to do the same. This wasn’t the only time I was reminded of Splatoon during this direct but more on that later.

The direct made sure to show off each character with a little highlight reel about their special abilities and default weapon options. These characters are all so unique with their art style and design but, more importantly, their special abilities. Each one has a generic fighting ability like from health regeneration, multi jump, increase agility, and even a robot dog that helps you fight. What makes this more interesting is how these are woven into the character’s backstory. Rather than just stating they have them, the character spotlight explained why they can do this, such as the movie star Twintelle can use her star power to slow down attacks. This melding of ability and character design gives a reason to try out each fighter.

Much like Splatoon, ARMS seems to be focused on the multiplayer experience more than the single player. While there might be enough in the Grand Prix for a player to enjoy the game by themselves, it’s clear you need to take full advantage of the online and local multiplayer modes to get the full ARMS experience. I don’t think this is a deterrent because it was pulled off so well in Splatoon, but just something that players will need to know before they buy the game. The game does have a ton of options for different modes for players to test their skills. Leave it to Nintendo to find away to get basketball and volleyball modes into a fighting game.


One thing I have heard consistently from gaming press is they were skeptical before they started playing ARMS, but enjoyed it once they had a chance to play. I have been wanting some sort of demo of the game to give the rest of us this opportunity. Luckily for all of us, Nintendo was clearly listening to me and decided to do a two weekend online demo for the game in just a few weeks. While I’m glad they are giving us these one hour chances to play the game, I wish they would just release a basic demo of the game to give us the chance to play it in our own time. I feel that this game needs to be experienced to fully appreciate and having only the limited scheduled times might force some people to miss out.

I’m definitely more excited about ARMS after this presentation. It showed the depth of strategy for the characters, modes, and arm types that seems to be able to keep players come back for more. I also like how they are giving us free content after the game is released. That being said, I’m about 95% sold on this game. I still want to feel how it plays during the Global Testpunch before I pull the trigger and purchase it. You can preorder ARMS for about $55.



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