Nintendo reaches for a brand new hit on the Switch with Arms

Nintendo has proven it can hook its fans with games based on its familiar Zelda and Mario Kart franchises. But the new brawling title Arms for the Switch will be a major test about whether Nintendo can attract new fans to its game console with a brand new idea.

From what I’ve seen in a hands-on preview, Arms is surprisingly fun for such a simple idea. In the third-person fighting game, you get into a punchfest with another player using extendable arms. At a preview event in San Francisco, Nintendo showed off some new game modes and characters that show that Arms has gameplay depth. The final game debuts on the Switch on June 16, and I think it will be a hit.

You start a match with your arms coiled. You hold the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers vertically in your hands. Then you physically punch forward with your own arms to launch a blow at your opponent. The coiled arms spiral outward at your opponent, and if you have calculated correctly, the blow will land on your opponent’s body or face.

Above: JC Rodrigo, marketing manager at Nintendo Treehouse

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

But you can’t just slug straight at your enemy, said JC Rodrigo, manager of product marketing at Nintendo Treehouse, in an interview with GamesBeat.

You have to anticipate where your enemy, who can dodge, will be. You also can’t just flail or swing over and over like you could in other games like boxing on the original Nintendo Wii.

Above: Nintendo Arms Hoop

Image Credit: Nintendo

Rather, you can continue to guide your punch as it uncoils toward your opponent. You have more fine-grained control of the punch through your own motions.

Arms has 10 characters, including a few Nintendo is revealing today. The new characters include Kid Cobra, who rides a hoverboard. Each character has three different arm types, and you can mix and match those types at the beginning of the match.

Each type of arm has a different payload. One may simply be a boxing glove that packs a solid punch. Another may be fan that spins around and blocks other blows coming from…

How to Play Mario Kart With Your Friends On the Nintendo Switch (Online and In Person)

The new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is out for the Switch, and it’s awesome. There are more ways to play with your friends (and subsequently lose them) than ever before. Some of those options are a little confusing, so we’re going to break down how to play with your friends, no matter where you are or how many Switches you have.

Several people can play on one console with a split-screen. Up to eight people can play on their own Switches with wireless play. You can also play with up to twelve friends over the internet with online play. The Switch also supports several controller configurations. Let’s go over how to do each of these one by one.

Note: The Switch’s controllers work a little differently than most consoles. Each Switch comes with a pair of Joy-Con controllers that can be used as a single large controller for one person, or as individual, smaller controllers for two people. So, if you want to play with four people, you only need two pairs of Joy-Con controllers. You can also use Pro controllers, though those are obviously limited to one per player.

Play Local Split-Screen With Up to Four Players On One Switch

The easiest (and cheapest) way to play Mario Kart with your friends is local multiplayer. This mode only requires one Switch and one copy of Mario Kart (plus controllers for everyone). It will also be familiar to everyone who’s been hurling blue shells at their friends and relatives since the Super Nintendo.

To use this mode, choose Multiplayer from the main menu. Here, you can select how many people you want to play with—up to four players.

Next, choose your game mode. If you choose Grand Prix, you’ll need to choose your difficulty (50cc, 100cc, etc.) before moving on to the next step.

You’ll see a screen like the one below where you can assign controllers to players. Press and hold the L and R (or SL and SR) buttons on your controller in the configuration you want to use. At the top of the screen, you’ll see the three different configuration options you can use your controllers in.

For example, if you want to use the left and right portion of a Joy-Con controller separately, you would turn the controllers sideways and hold the SL and SR buttons on each controller. Your screen should look something like this.

If you want to use both Joy-Cons to make a full size controller, press L and R on the two halves of the Joy-Con at this screen. Your controller configuration should look something like this.

You can add up to four players using any combination of controllers. For example, if you have two Joy-Con pairs, each half can be a standalone controller, allowing four people to play. In that case, your screen would look like this.

During this phase, you can easily pair controllers from other consoles…

Nintendo packs big screens into its small new $150 2DS XL

Nintendo packs big screens into its small new $150 2DS XL

Not to be distracted by the success of its Switch console, Nintendo has just added the new 2DS XL to its lineup of portable gaming systems.

The device offers 2D gameplay across two large screens that are the same size as those on the 3DS XL, and comes with the same processing power as well. Plus, it adds a new C-stick control for things like camera angles above the ABXY buttons, a step up from the…

Nintendo sets date to launch new 2DS XL handheld

Nintendo added a new family member to its handhelds today.

The Japanese company will launch a new 2DS XL handheld on July 28 in the U.S. for $150.

The New Nintendo 2DS XL system gives consumers a third choice of handheld systems, one that offers pricing and features that fit between the Nintendo 2DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL systems.The Nintendo 2DS XL will launch on the same day as two big new games for the Nintendo 3DS…

Nintendo May Release an SNES Classic

It’s been an interesting time for Nintendo. In 2016, the company appeared to be blindsided by the demand for its NES Classic, a palm-sized Nintendo Entertainment System pre-loaded with 30 games. Even though all its titles were decades old, the $60 console sold for hundreds of dollars due to a lack of supply and a surplus of nostalgia that created a secondary market. Then, Nintendo announced they were discontinuing the item, with final shipments arriving at retailers through the end of April.

One possible…

RIP NES Classic: Nintendo Is Discontinuing Its Retro Console

Last July, we were all abuzz about the news that Nintendo was bringing more than two dozen of its classic old-school games back in one tiny package via the Nintendo NES Classic. Over the next several months we wrote about the retro game system on several occasions, including how the video game giant was bringing back its Nintendo Power Line and how hackers were adding even more games to the system. But mostly we were writing about how damn-near impossible it was to even find an NES Classic Edition to buy, as Nintendo woefully underestimated demand for the product (which, let’s face it, could have been the point all along).

The bad news for those of you who’ve still been actively trying to purchase the NES Classic is that the seemingly impossible-to-find system is now going to be really impossible…

How to Set Up Parental Controls on the Nintendo Switch

You can play the new Nintendo Switch on the TV or on the go…which means your kids can get twice as addicted to it. Here’s how to set time limits, bedtime reminders, and content restrictions on the Switch.

While the Switch comes with some basic parental controls, like filtering games by their rating, the real star is a new parental controls companion app that you can use to set time limits, monitor your child’s activity remotely, and even block access to the console entirely.

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How to Set Up Nintendo’s Parental Controls App

To get started, you’ll need to download the app for Android or iOS. Open the app and make sure your Switch is nearby.

When you first open the app, tap Next (you can also tap About Data Usage, if you’d like to disable Nintendo’s analytics tracking). Then, tap Sign In/Create Account to link your Nintendo Account.

Tap “Sign in” to log into an existing account or tap “Create a Nintendo Account” if you don’t have one. We’ll assume you already have an account. If you don’t, check out our guide to Nintendo Accounts here. Enter your email address or User ID and your password, then click “Sign in.”

Tap “Use this account” to link your Switch console to your Nintendo Account.

The next screen will tell you to get your console ready. Tap Next to see your registration code, then grab your Switch for the next few steps.

On your Switch’s home screen, tap the Settings button.

Scroll down to the Parental Controls section and tap Parental Controls Settings.

Choose “Use your Smart Device.” If you don’t want to use the app, you can choose “Use this console” here, but you won’t have access to features like limiting play time or getting notifications when your…