The Legend of Zelda

Atari CEO confirms the company is working on a new game console

Atari CEO Fred Chesnais told GamesBeat in an exclusive interview that his fabled video game company is working on a new game console.

In doing so, the New York company might be cashing in on the popularity of retro games and Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition, which turned out to be surprisingly popular for providing a method to easily play old games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda in HD on a TV.

Last week, Atari began teasing a new product called the Ataribox.The video released on a non-Atari web site showed a picture of some kind of hardware product,…

Only Nintendo could give an idea like Arms some legs

Arms

Above: Another benefit of having arms like that is reaching all of those itchy spots on your back.

You’ve explored Hyrule and raced your friends in karts. Now its time to beat people silly with Slinky fists.

Arms is a big deal for Nintendo. Its Switch console is an early success, but it needs more hit games if it wants to keep that momentum going. Following the launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and last month’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, this is Nintendo’s third big software release for its new system. Many could have guessed that those games would be hits, but Arms could be the surprise success story of the Switch’s early days thanks to its unique, fist-flinging gameplay.

Unlike Zelda and Mario Kart, Arms doesn’t have a big franchise name to back it up. It is an original game, something that’s become rare for a company like Nintendo that likes to depend on its established brands. But as we saw with Splatoon for the Wii U back in 2015, these new franchise gambles can pay off. That ink-splattering team-based shooter was Nintendo’s first notable new franchise in years, and Splatoon 2 is coming out for the Switch on July 21.

So, is Arms the next Splatoon? It’s just as offbeat, featuring a cast of colorful characters, like a robot dog-and-cop duo and tea-loving movie star that fights with her giant pigtails. And, just like Splatoon, it’s mostly a multiplayer affair. Most of your time with Arms will be spent fighting against friends around the couch or strangers online.

But Splatoon succeeded because it took a familiar format — the multiplayer shooter — and added a Nintendo spin to it by making it less about killing people and more about covering stages in your team’s ink color. And that’s how Arms earns its Splatoon comparison. Nintendo took something familiar like the 3D fighter and made it its own.

A simple idea with great execution

Arms is a game about punching people. Every character has elastic appendages that can send out swings over long distances. The concept is simple. You want to hit your opponent a lot. But you’ll find depth in the simplicity. You can slightly curve your punches, and anticipating where you think your target will be is a big part of strategy. And since you have two arms, you can send one fist flying in one direction, wait to see how your opponent reacts, and then shoot out the other punch.

The elastic arms things is a bit unconventional (Dhalsim from Street Fighter aside), but fans of fighting games will find a lot here that’s familiar. Fights have a paper-scissors-rock triangle: blocks beat attacks, attacks beat throws, and throws beat blocks. You also have a super meter that slowly fills up during matches. When it’s ready, you can push a button to activate a flurry of strong…

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…