This past weekend Arms went live with Nintendo’s own brand of beta access. For those unfamiliar Nintendo started this unique take on beta access with the original Splatoon on Wii U. They Dubbed this the Splatoon Global Testfire. For a weekend at specific hour intervals, players could get a taste of Splatoon’s multiplayer action. It seems that the new Nintendo brand of beta is here to stay as Arms, Nintendo’s up and coming fighter for the Switch wrapped up its first beta this weekend. Aptly named the Global Testpunch, Switch owners were given 6 hour long blocks of playtime that kicked off this past Friday at 5:00 PM PT.
I managed to squeeze in three out of the six play sessions, and I have to say it looks like Nintendo has a winner on their hands. I was initially hesitant with Arms. Nintendo managed to blend its own style and charm into a third person shooter with Splatoon, but fighting games are a very different beast. When I first saw the goofy motion controls used by Arms I was worried Nintendo was making the mistakes of the Wii all over again. Of course, you can play Arms with a standard controller if you wish, and that is the best option competitively. If you don’t mind losing a few matches due to the slightly unprecise controls, you’ll have a fun time playing with the Joy cons.
Controls are easy to pick up, but there’s a bit of a learning curve. You hold the Joy Cons like you’re boxing, movement is controlled by tilting the controllers in the direction you want to move. Throwing a fist straight out will punch with that arm, putting a bit of an angle on it will widen your punch. Throwing out both arms at once uses your grab move, and pointing the Joy Cons towards each other guards. You can also use the left trigger to dash and the right to jump respectively.
The Testpunch had seven playable characters like Spring Man my personal favorite Master Mummy. Each of these characters can equip three diffrent types of arms, from heavy mallets to ice beam shooting dragons and boomerangs it’ll be fun to mix and match and find great combos. From the matchmaking lobby, Arms would toss you into multiple different game modes. One on one fights, two on two a three fighter free for all, and even a strange volleyball mode. Ribbon Girl’s slap fist comes in handy for spiking in that mode.
Arms has that same Splatoon style and makes for a fun time for casual players but seems to have the potential for a finely tuned competitive scene. It looks like Nintendo has captured lightning in a bottle yet again. I hope to see you all in the ring when Arms launches on June 16th.