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The ARMS Nintendo Direct has just wrapped up, so let’s go over what was revealed! We’ve got a full character roster to go through, details on all of the game modes, and the announcement of the ARMS Global Testpunch Event. If you missed it, you can watch it on Nintendo’s website or on their YouTube channel.

Starting things off, Nintendo has announced four new characters for their upcoming fighting game bringing the total of playable fighters to 10. Kid Cobra is a “snakeboarder” with snake-like arms. Byte & Barq are a robotic law enforcement duo who can join up for even greater punching power. Helix is a gooey, flubber-like genetic anomaly that is as wiggly as the game’s titular weapons. Finally, Twintelle is a Hollywood Actress who breaks the mold by punching with her hair as opposed to slinky-like appendages. Right after the conclusion of the Nintendo Direct, a Nintendo Minute feature was released showcasing the newest characters in action:

Overall, here is a breakdown of the characters, their Signature ARMS, and their general playstyles:

  • Spring Man has hair as springy as his fighting appendages. He has a shockwave ability that can deflect attacks once it’s charged up. He also gets stronger as his health gets lower. The Toaster Arm can be charged up to release a fiery punch. The Boomerang can curve, and it can also be charged up to knock enemies back. Finally, the Tribolt shoots three projectiles in a horizontal spread.
  • Mechanica heads into the fray in a handmade battle suit that can take a good bit of punishment and features hovering capability. The Revolver Arm shoots three electrical bullets that stun enemies. The Whammer is an adorable but nonetheless hefty hammer that hits hard. Rounding her Signature weapons out is the Homie, a missile-like Arm that chases after opponents and explodes on contact.
  • Ninjara (or as I like to refer to him, “Slinky Genji”) is a character with better overall movement speed as well as the ability to do short teleport dodges. His Chakram Arm swings around opponents and hits them from the sides. The Buff is a boxing glove that gets bigger as you charge it and has excellent curving ability. Lastly, the Triblast shoots three horizontal projectiles that can explode on contact if they’ve been charged.
  • Master Mummy has knockback resistance and he can restore health while guarding; this makes for an excellent turtle-type character. The Megaton Arm is big and slow (and it gets even bigger when it’s charged), but it hits really hard. The Retorcher is a fire-based Arm that shoots three projectiles at once. The Phoenix tends to move on a high-arcing trajectory and damages opponents with fire.
  • Kid Cobra is one of the new kids on the block. He can charge up a quick dash to quickly flank an opponent. His Slamamander Arm acts much like a whip with an infusion of Wind elemental power. The Hydra fires three projectiles in a vertical alignment, making it ideal for zoning. Finally, the Coolerang is a curving boomerang that can freeze opponents.
  • Ribbon Girl can jump while she’s in the air multiple times, and she also has the ability to bring herself back down to the ground just as quickly. The Sparky Arm can be charged up to stun opponents and knock them down. The Popper is an Arm much like a party popper with an emphasis on speed. Rounding out her Signature ARMS is the Slapamander, a fire-enchanted whip.
  • Min Min can deflect enemy punches with a somersault kick, and after performing a throw her left arm turns into a Dragon Arm. The Dragon Arm shoots opponents from a distance with a laser. The Megawatt is a hefty ball that electrifies enemies. Lastly, the Ramram curves around enemies and sets them ablaze.
  • Helix is flubber personified: a gooey mess of genetic material that wiggles around. His entire body can stretch and distort. His Blorb Arm will blind the opponent by splotching goo on their screen upon a successful hit. The Ice Dragon fires a chilling laser at opponents. Finally, the Guardian Arm unfolds into a slow-moving shield that can intercept enemy attacks easily.
  • Byte & Barq are the game’s only duo comprising a robotic police officer and his clockwork canine companion. Barq moves about on his own poking the player with a single Arm out of his mouth. The player can use Barq as a launchpad for Byte to gain the proverbial high ground, and their Rush Attack will merge the two into a triple-punching transformer. Their Seekie Arm is a homing missile that shocks enemies on impact. The Cracker is a fast-moving Arm that sets enemies on fire on contact. The Bubb gets bigger after a charge and heads straight for your enemy.
  • Rounding out the roster is Twintelle, the only character in the game who still has her original arms. Aside from punching with her hair, she can slow down incoming punches whenever she is charging up an attack of her own. Her Chilla Arm is a straightforward boxing glove-type Arm that freezes opponents on contact. The Parasol is a quick moving shield that can intercept incoming attacks. Lastly, her Thunderbird Arm moves in a somewhat wide arc and shocks opponents on a successful hit.

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Next up is the Versus game modes. The game has a basic one vs. one “Fight” gameplay mode as one would expect. During the course of a Fight match, healing items and bombs will drop into the arena with AoE effects to keep players on their toes. Team Fight has players lashed together with a chain Gladiator-style and similar rules to Fight mode with the added hazard of friendly fire – players will have to be careful with their aim or they’ll hit their partner. V-Ball is this game’s version of volleyball with two minor changes – you can reach over the net, and the ball will explode upon contact with the ground. One might think Hoops is basketball and you’d be half-right – it has many of the trappings of the sport, but in this game mode players will be trying to shoot and dunk their opponents into the hoop. Skillshot is a shooting gallery mode where players on opposing sides will try to break as many pop-up targets as they can. 1-on-100 has the player going up against 100 NPC enemies that spawn into the arena a few at a time. Finally, an ARMS Test and Training Mode will let players try out new equipment set-ups and get some practice in, respectively.

As you work your way through ARMS, you’ll earn in-game prize money. This money can then be spent at the ARMS Getter, a shooting-gallery event where players will break targets in an effort to unlock new ARMS for themselves. In the event that they acquire a duplicate, it will become a stronger version that does additional damage compared to the previous one.

Outside of Versus Mode, Grand Prix will be this game’s version of Arcade mode where you must work your way through ten enemy fighters and eventually conquer a boss. Unlike many other fighting games, the fights will take place in a variety of different game modes (such as the aforementioned Hoops mode). Party Match will let players form an online lobby of up to 10 Nintendo Switch consoles supporting 2 players each for a total of 20 players in an online lobby; players within this lobby will then be automatically sorted into groups for matches. Ranked Match will be for 1-on-1 Ranked battles where players Rank will increase or decrease depending on their performance. Finally, a Local Lobby will let up to 8 players on 8 Nintendo Switches play the game together locally in a lobby. Finally, new fighters, stages, and ARMS equipment will be released throughout the course of the game’s life completely for free.

Aside from the game’s roster being rounded out and all of the game modes being detailed, the ARMS Global Testpunch Event – a demo event – has been announced. The ARMS Global Testpunch Event will take place in one hour blocks of time during the weekend of May 26-28, 2017 and June 2-4, 2017. Friday will have a single hour, Saturday will have three separate hours, and Sunday will have two separate hours. In the meantime, interested players can download the demo in preparation for the event right now.

Will you be participating in the ARMS Global Testpunch Event? What do you think of how the game is shaping up overall? Do you think you’ll pick it up when it releases? Let us know in the comments below!


Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!