We here at Switch London were very lucky to be invited to a special review event by Nintendo UK to show case the upcoming game for Switch - ARMS.

Punch him onto the venue Ribbon Girl!!

Punch him onto the venue Ribbon Girl!!

For those of you living under a rock that have never heard of ARMS it's the new fighting game from Nintendo.  Nintendo looked at the genre, broke it down and rebuilt it in the colourful Nintendo way.  Think Punch Out but with elastic arms on the fighters and you've got the basic idea.

This event gathered the greatest ARMS players in London...well just ARMS players since it's all new to everyone, except those that played in the Test Punch.

Let's get ready to RUUUUUUUMBLE!!

Let's get ready to RUUUUUUUMBLE!!

The day started with James Bowden giving a warm up presentation, easing us all into the wacky world of ARMS.  James was aided by Bowie Alexander; a Twitch Streamer and living legend in the Smash community and J. Miller; one of the country's top Smash players who mains Luigi complete with his own take on the Legendary Death Stare.  Through a mix of presentation and performance, the trio gave us an ARMS down.

Bowie Alexander, James Bowden and J. Miller ARM(S) themselves for battle

Bowie Alexander, James Bowden and J. Miller ARM(S) themselves for battle

The default way of playing ARMS is by using the Joycon in two halves.  Each Joycon represents one arm of the character.  By holding the Joycon vertically, one uses it for the commands.  Move the fighter by tilting both Joycons in a direction, Punch by moving that hand forward, both hands forward results in a grab and crossing hands results in a block.  The Z buttons are used to jump and pressing Z on both Joycons together activates the fighter’s special Flurry attack.

 

For those of you who aren’t fans of motion controls and waving your own ARMS around, the game does support all the controller variations the Switch is well known for,  Playing in Table Top mode is the easiest way to play multiplayer right out the box, and the best way to host an ARMS party on the Tube.

James reminds Lee who the real ARMS pro is in Table Top Mode

James reminds Lee who the real ARMS pro is in Table Top Mode

This game operates a basic triangle of power for attacks.  Much like how types in Pokemon function (for example Fire beats Grass, but is weak to Water etc), ARMS also has the following “types":

Better know the basics before you play!

Better know the basics before you play!

Mixing it up event more are the fighter’s own ARMS.  These are the weapons players can bring into a match.  Three are available and players must select two (one for each arm), the same weapon can be selected for each arm if a player desires it.  The ARMS choices can be reselected at the start of each round.  This is useful for adapting to your opponent and even the battle stage.

Lee ARMS himself for the upcoming battle!

Lee ARMS himself for the upcoming battle!

Experimenting with ARMS and characters is the key to victory in this game.  In this game it is recommended that you keep moving and dashing for to “flail is to fail”.

Each selectable fighter within the game is unique and has special abilities.  For example:

  • Master Mummy recovers lost health when he successfully block and opponent’s attack.  
  • Ribbon Girl gets extra air time when jumping.  
  • Spring Man has permanent Flurry available when he is low on health.  

Other characters have access to elemental powers like Frost, which slows down the opponent, Fire which deals extra damage to a connecting hit and Electricity which stuns the opponent.  All of the above must be considered when selecting your fighter to be the very best ARMS player.

 

Once the presentation was over, we were then allowed to free play on the game itself.

So many consoles too play - not enough ARMS to play them with :0

So many consoles too play - not enough ARMS to play them with :0

Lee and I played with many different characters, experimenting in different game modes.  One of which is the V-Ball mode.  Unfortunately the V doesn’t stand for Viewtiful, but Volley.  In this mode players use their ARMS to pass a volleyball over and back.  However this isn’t the chilled out game you play in the sunshine, in this game the ball contains a bomb.  If the ball touches the ground, it explodes.  If the ball has been hit too many times, the bomb is exposed and it explodes.  The aim is to make the ball explode on the opponent’s side of the field.  The controls function exactly the same as the fighting modes except that a Grab holds the ball in the air, which can be useful for pinning it into place so you can unleash a strong attack against it.

 

There was also a tournament held between all the attendees, with the winner walking home with an belt and the proud title of having the best ARMS in the Room.  Lee did better than me, but unfortunately not well enough to bring the belt to Switch London HQ.  Clearly we both needed more practice on the Test Punch, but by the time our ARMS event on the 24th June comes up we’ll both be pros at the game.

ARMS is released in the UK on the 16th of this month and we here at Switch London will be holding a tournament of our own ARMS Tournament on the 24th at Secret Weapon Bar in Stratford from 2pm.  Don't forget to Bring Your Own Switch (BYOS) and get ready to RUUUUUUUMBLE!!