Nintendo surprised fans with a Direct Mini this week, releasing a slew of information about new and upcoming Switch games. The 30-minute video covered a ton of games, including a new perk available right now for subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online, the company’s online membership. From March 26 through April 6, subscribers can access a free trial for Arms, a fighting game released in 2017 where fighters battle using extendable, customizable arms. The free play period includes access to the full game.
The free play period coincides with news that an Arms fighter is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This will be Challenger Pack 6, the first new character as part of Fighter Pass 2. The Arms fighter will be available in Smash sometime this June.
In Arms, up to four players can choose a fighter and battle together at once. The extendable arms can perform standard actions like punching, throwing, blocking, and dodging, and each fighter also has unique combat abilities. You can also charge up your attacks and customize your arms, which have various weights and elemental attributes that affect your gameplay.
Arms was one of the first games released after the Nintendo Switch itself launched in 2017, earning a 7/10 in GameSpot’s Arms review. “As a quirky Nintendo take on fighting games, Arms doesn’t start off on the right foot,” wrote editor Kallie Plagge. “Its unique fighting mechanics are hard to get used to, and learning its unusual controls and cadence can initially be frustrating. But once you wrap your head around the basics, you begin to recognize what it takes to win–clumsy punches become complex counters, and reacting to your opponent becomes instinctive as you settle into Arms’ peculiar pacing. If you can get past its unavoidable learning curve, you’ll find that Arms packs a fighting challenge that’s unlike anything you’ve played before and is fun in ways you wouldn’t expect.”
The temporary free play period is the latest perk for subscribers to Switch Online, which is required to access online multiplayer in games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Overwatch, and more. The membership also gets you access to a hefty library of classic NES and SNES games on Nintendo Switch. The pricing levels include one month for $4, three months for $8, and one year for $20, significantly cheaper than similar services like PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold. You can pick up a three-month or one-year individual subscription at Amazon or sign up directly at Nintendo. If you know a lot of other people who play Switch, a family membership is the most cost-effective option. A one-year family membership sells for $35, but you can add up to eight Nintendo accounts, allowing you to split the cost with others.
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