Nintendo Direct Recap (5/17): ARMS Free Updates, Splatoon 2 Story Mode, and More

If you've got ARMS or Splatoon 2 on your radar, you need to check out the juicy info that dropped during today's Nintendo Direct.
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Nintendo held a Direct today which featured its biggest upcoming Switch games: ARMS and Splatoon 2. The company revealed all kinds of juicy information on game modes, new characters, and future updates.

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Whether you missed the live stream or couldn’t keep up with Biff the Announcer, we’ve got everything you need to know covered. I hope you like bullet points!


Arms have Weight

So we knew that Arms each have their own elemental attribute, but today we learned that they also have their own weight. Light Arms are good for quick, low-damage attacks, while heavy Arms are great slow yet hard hitters.

Arms that clash in battle will even interact with each other differently depending on their weight. If they’re the same weight, they’ll just bounce right off each other. However, heavier Arms will plow right through lighter attacks, allowing for a more direct approach.

3 New ARMS Characters Revealed

Three new characters enter the fray, completing ARMS‘ solid 10-fighter launch roster. Each come with their own unique abilities and Signature Arms.

  • Kid Cobra has the ability to dodge opponent’s attacks by charging up consecutive dashes. He utilizes the Slamamander, Hydra, and Coolerang as his Signature Arms.
  • Byte and Barq team up to take out their enemies together. While you swing Byte’s Arms around, Barq will automatically fire at opponents. Byte can even jump on Barq’s head to gain some serious air. Their Signature Arms are Seekie, Cracker, and Bubb.
  • Twintelle is a movie star that has the ability to slow down punches in motion. Her Signature Arms are Chilla, Parasol, and Thunderbird.
Signature Arms for Revealed Characters

We’ve known about the other 7 characters and their abilities for a while now, but we never knew that characters had Signature Arms before now. Each fighter specializes is 3 of their own rather unique arms.

  • Spring Man – Toaster, Boomerang, Tribolt
  • Mechanica – Revolver, Whammer, Homie
  • Ninjara – Chakram, Buff, Triblast
  • Master Mummy – Megaton, Retorcher, Phoenix
  • Ribbon Girl – Sparky, Popper, Slapamander
  • Min Min – Dragon, Megawatt, Ramram
  • Helix – Blorb, Ice Dragon, Guardian
ARMS Game Modes

They introduced a surprising amount of different and creative game modes for ARMS that make it feel like a game you can share with the whole family. The two broad modes, Versus and Battle, house a number of types of games you can play

Versus modes include:

  • Fight: A 1v1 fight with Shock Bomb and HP Juice drops around the arena.
  • Team Fight: A 2v2 fight where team members are tethered to each other. Avoid hitting your ally and outsmart the other team to come out on top.
  • V-Ball: A stretchy match of volleyball — if your volleyball was explosive, that is.
  • Hoops: Throw your opponent into the basketball hoops to score points.
  • Skillshot: Break as many targets as possible to score points.
  • 1-on-100: Quickly defeat spawns of enemies before they overwhelm you.
  • Arms Test: Try out randomized combinations of arms in an arena.
  • Training Mode: Practice varied drills to learn the nuances of how to play.
  • Arm Getter: Spend prize money to play a minigame and get more Arms. If you happen to receive a duplicate Arm, its attack power receives an upgrade.

Battle Modes include:

  • Grand Prix: A “story mode” where you need to win ten matches with various rulesets in a row for the chance to fight against a final boss.
  • Party Match: Play matches in a lobby of up to ten systems, two players each. The lobby divides you into groups automatically to join into a variety of matches.
  • Ranked Match: A 1v1 fight where winning raises your online rank and losing lowers it. You can play other modes while queueing for Ranked Matches.
  • Local Multiplayer: Create a Party Match lobby with up to 8 systems locally.
ARMS Gets Splatoon‘s Free Update Model

The Direct revealed that ARMS will receive free updates after it launches, a la Splatoon. These updates will incrementally add new fighters, stages, and Arms to the game for months to come.

ARMS Global Testpunch

The online servers will be open for public testing for two weekends starting at the end of May. You can download the Global Testpunch now on the Nintendo Switch eShop to access the demon when the servers are live on 5/26, 5/27, 5/28, 6/2, 6/3, and 6/4.

First Look at Splatoon 2‘s Story Mode

At the end of the ARMS Direct, they interrupted the broadcast to show a gameplay trailer for Splatoon 2‘s Story Mode. There’s a good variety of enemies floating around, which is a breath of fresh air compared to the octolings of the first game.

We even see the player using a variety of weapons, rather than being stuck with the Splattershot. It’s not much to go off of, but it makes me really curious to see how the single player experience pans out this time around.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t too enthused to see a Direct on these games so soon after the last one, but Nintendo really hit a home run here. I was on the fence about both titles due in part to a lack of info, but now I’m confident I’ll get gobs of fun out of each of them.

Are you picking up ARMS or Splatoon 2 for your Nintendo Switch? Did this Direct sway you one way or the other? Sound off in the comments section below! And keep up with GameSkinny for more ARMS and Splatoon 2 coverage.

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Autumn Fish
Autumn is a freelance writer that grew up on GameFAQs walkthroughs trying to suss out how to get through her favorite PC and Nintendo games. These days she's a capable game pioneer, mapping out guides and tips so players of all skill levels can join in on the fun.