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More ARMS Details: Control Options, New Modes & Characters

ARMS is one of the new pieces of intellectual property (IP) introduced during Nintendo’s Switch Presentation in January. It’s sort of a Punch-Out!! meets Virtual-On one-on-one fighting game. During its reveal and at hands-on events across the world, the game was playable by placing a Joy-Con in each hand and holding them vertically with the players’ thumbs pressing the top L & R buttons. Players could then simulate punching with the motion controls and slight turns of the wrist would allow for the fists to curve slightly to the left or right.



When playing against another person, each player was shown using two Joy-Cons, so many thought the game would need a total of four Joy-Cons to play. This is not the case, as explained by the game’s producer Kosuke Yabuki:


During the Switch’s development, we were wondering how we could hold the Joy-Con to play games. Even though it supports the standard grip, the Joy-Con fits in your palms nicely if you tilt them. I thought, if we were to make a game that involved swinging the Joy-Con around, it should use that kind of grip. So, we decided to combine the prototype that became the basis for Arms with that grip style. And, since the internal sensors are more accurate, you can control it with much lighter movement, so I don’t think it will be that tiring. Since there will probably be some people who aren’t good at the physical controls, we made it possible to play using the buttons as well. They can use the buttons on the Joy-Con, or the Pro Controller. It is also possible to play using just one Joy-Con, so you can share the fun and play with others.


So far the playable demo for ARMS has featured five different characters, each with three different types of arm attachments. Mr. Yabuki confirms there will be more for the final release:


There will be more characters, with more arm types. What we have available today is just a portion of what will be available in the full game. You can look forward to more information gradually coming out as the release date approaches.


The entire game won’t just be focused around the standard one-on-0ne fighting that we’ve seen so far. When asked if there are other modes in the game, he teases:


There are many more that everyone can look forward to… but I can’t talk about them (laughs). Having only 1v1 matches in the online mode would be too exhausting, so there are other modes being prepared. However, the game is boiling down to 1v1 battles in the end, with them as the main focus and the other modes being on the side.


For the rest of this interview, be sure to check out Nintendo Everything. More information, screens, and videos of ARMS can be found on our preview page. The game is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch this spring.


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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