Friendly Arms commentator Biff returned to narrate match-ups and explain game mechanics. Arms break down into categories. Multi-hit arms rack up hits quickly but do less damage, while heavy arms are slow but powerful, for instance. Opponents who strike simultaneously, and who have arms in the same weight class, cancel out each other's hits.
Besides categories, each arm comes equipped with one of several attributes. Fire, for example, knocks down enemies, while stun holds them in place for a couple of seconds. Other attributes include explosion, wind, ice, and electric. Biff, who I trust implicitly, gave the sagely advice to mix and match arm categories and attributes in matches in order to spice up your attacks.
Arms will offer several game modes besides standard one-on-one and two-on-two matches. The two-on-two option ties you to your teammate, so you'll have to communicate with your ally to coordinate movement and attacks. When punching gets old, try Hoops, a mode in which you grab your opponent and stuff them into a basket; or V-Ball, a cross between volleyball and hot potato where the objective is to knock an explosive ball onto your opponents' side of the net before it explodes.
Those modes complement a Horde-style multiplayer mode that Nintendo announced a previous Arms Direct presentation.
Nintendo—that is, Biff—explained how in-game currency works. As you play different game modes, you'll accrue virtual currency. When you get a hankering for new arms, choose Arm Gettter and break targets to win arms. Winning duplicate arms enhances the power of that arm, making every item you win in Arm Getter valuable.
Arms is shaping up to be a versatile fighting game—much more versatile than I expected, which was "Like Wii Boxing, but with longer arms." The game launches exclusively on Nintendo Switch on June 16, but you can try it early during two upcoming Global Test Punch demo weekends.