ARMS beta impressions and gameplay video

Posted May 27th, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Nintendo is holding online beta sessions for its new IP that’s set to launch late next month, ARMS, over the course of both this weekend and next. Hype has been building on the game since its original announcement and consumers with the Switch have been looking forward to something new in the months since the system came out. It’s evident after playing for an hour that ARMS has the potential to be the next big thing for Nintendo.

The fighting game features a number of unique characters and variety of weaponized arms that can be equipped. In the beta each of the seven characters included was locked to their default loadouts but that’ll all be customizable in the full game.  All of them felt very different and players are going to find preferences as far as who they select and what they choose to equip. Personally I liked Ninjara and Helix the most of the bunch.

There are different configurations for the fights, with 1v1, 1v1v1, and 2v2. In the 2v2 you’re tethered to your partner. That one I found I didn’t like as much as the others because there was so much chaos on the screen it trended towards button mashing to try and survive. 1v1 allows for more strategy, ability to pick your spots, play defensively and counter. The other way to play, with three people involved, is interesting because you have to be aware of where both opponents are and not leave yourself vulnerable to one while attacking the other.

Also thrown in was a volleyball variant. The ball is placed above the net and then players use their arms to try and get it over and hit the ground for a point. That can be played with both 1v1 and 2v2 and was pretty fun. It made me wonder what else they could do, along the lines of Rocket League, by introducing different concepts that utilize the arms in interesting ways. It doesn’t just have to be about the fighting.

I played with the Switch docked to the TV and a Pro Controller. It of course can also be played in tablet mode as well, and there are several different control options for the game including playing with the Joy-Con grip or the Joy-Cons detached. Motion controls are not required to be used. Online ran practically flawlessly, from the first minute to the last, which is remarkable on its own right. One of the benefits of ARMS is that the matches are quick and you get in and out of them efficiently so a lot can be accomplished in the time you have available to play.

Check out the video below which features some of the matches from that first hour with the online beta and the initial tutorial at the start.