Nintendo want ARMS to be a franchise ‘spanning decades’

Edge Magazine also spoke with ARMS Producer Kosuke Yabuki and Design Director Shintaro Jikumaru in Issue 306 (ARMS cover) who explain what ARMS is, how they intend to make the game more accessible, that there’s plenty more fighters to be announced, the benefit to using motion controls, fighting games are not a niche genre and their hopes for ARMS in the short term and the future. Check out the magazine for the full interview. Select answers added below…

What is ARMS… 

“ARMS is a fighting-sports game that makes use of characters with extendible arms. It’s similar to boxing, where you trade blows with an opponent at close range, as well as shooting, where you aim at an opponent some distance away. I love fighting games and shooters; I feel ARMS isn’t either of those genres, even though it includes elements of both.”

On making the game accessible… 

“I wondered if there was any way to make ARMS a little more accessible as a fighting game. Specifically, whether it would be possible to replace the elements that make up a fighting game with something more visually intuitive. For example, instead of having openings in your defence during or after an attack, we have the arm extension and retraction mechanic. And instead of strong and weak attacks, we have light-but-fast and slow-but-heavy weapons.”

Many more fighters to come… 

“The fighters we’ve announced are just a fraction of what’s to come. We’ll be introducing fighters all the time, with all sorts of abilities.”

ARMS doesn’t require you to use motion controls… 

“The true feel of ARMS comes when you’re holding both Joy-Con controllers in the Thumbs-Up grip. You can throw punches from each hand with real precision as you dash or jump around, allowing for a lot more depth for your fighting style. It’s possible to throw a straight punch as a feint for your first blow, then curve your second punch to where your opponent runs to. But ARMS doesn’t require you to use motion controls. I hope people will pick the play style that suits them.”

Fighting games are not a niche genre… 

“I don’t actually consider fighting games to be a niche genre. There are a lot of big games, and a lot of titles that are prominent on the esports scene. It’s a fiercely competitive game. We designed the appearance and systems of ARMS so that people can feel like it’s the kind of game they’d like to play, too, by making it so you could see the trajectory of your arms, and by reducing the amount of things you have to memorise. And because we were using motion controls, we worked hard to make sure that while you could play simply by waving your hands, you couldn’t win against a good player by just doing that. Making games accessible while still maintaining plenty of depth is a never-ending problem in videogame development, and we have taken on that challenge with ARMS as well.”

The hopes for ARMS and for the future… 

“It would be like a dream for this to become a franchise spanning decades. But right now, only a small number of people in the world know about ARMS: those who closely follow new games and technology. First I’d like those people to play ARMS, and have fun with it. This game offers a brand-new play style, brand-new characters and brand-new strategic gameplay.” 

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