Back when Nintendo Switch launched last year, a quirky fighting game from Kouske Yabuki and the Mario Kart team hit the console just in time for Summer. That game was ARMS, a third person arena fighter that was one of the first and best demonstrations of Joy-Con Motion Control. The game was well received, but lack of content, relative slow pace, and some questionable design choices limited it's shelf life compared to other Switch titles, and reduced its tourney scene to a small niche. Still, it's got a great and well executed concept that's ripe for a sequel to tweak and polish it to a higher level. I have some ideas as to what could be good for an ARMS 2, assuming Nintendo is making one (which I think they are).
More single player options - One of the biggest problems with the original ARMS was it's lack of single player modes. Outside of Arcade, there just wasn't much to do alone. So this is the first thing that needs to be fixed. Build on the single player, give us a story of some sort to follow, even if simple. Along with more to do.
* Punch up the speed and combo game - Compared to other fighters, Combos in ARMS aside from one two punches and rush attacks aren't really there, the focus is more on spacing and mind games rather than flashy aggressive combos. Now you don't need to change the basic concept of the game, it's perfect as is. But it would be good to speed up matches, making them not only more fun to play, but also more exciting to watch. One new addition should be a sprinting mechanic, double tap the dash button and your character will run around the arena. I would also increase the travel speed of each punch and reduce the knock back, allowing for a deeper, and more varied combo system. To compensate, I would also make the arenas bigger and wider to still allow the player room to aim their punches and punish running. Which ties into my next point.
* Special moves for each character and their ARMS - Each character in ARMS has different characteristics and attributes, but not much in the way of attack variation, making their play styles feel relatively samey compared to other fighters. For ARMS 2, let's mix it up by adding different moves for each character and their ARMS. You can punch as you normally would, but you can also do special attacks with different simple motion gestures of the Joy-Con or directional inputs on buttons. For example, on one character, you can slam either Joy-Con down to do a downwards slam punch, or another character can have a move where you quickly swipe a Joy-Con left, then right after punching for a double slap. It adds a layer of strategy and offensive tactics to the game,
* Scrap the ARMS stats and load out customization - Remember in the original ARMS where you can buy different ARMS and equip any one for each character, and duplicate ARMS actually made your existing ARMS stronger? Well that needs to be gone for the sequel. I wasn't really a fan of this mechanic, it makes high level play harder to learn and shifts the focus away from pure character mastery. Instead, every character should have a fixed load-out exclusive to them. You can still change ARM combos from a set of 3 each round like the first game, but you're stuck with the ARMS that character began with. This makes matches more consistent, and makes each character's play-style easier to learn as well, as all you now need to worry about is using the tools the character has, rather than finding the best load-out.
* New generation of fighters - One idea I think would be cool, is focusing on a new generation of ARMS fighters. The starting roster will consist of entirely newcomers, with veterans from the original game like Spring Man being available as un-lockable characters and in post-launch content updates.
That's about it. ARMS is a great game, but a sequel that refines the concept and fixes many of the problems can be even better.Last edited by TheMisterManGuy - on 04 August 2018