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July 13, 2017 / Jett

Breaking Down the ARMS 2.0 Patch

The latest update for ARMS is a doozy. Featuring the inclusion of a new playable character, a new stage, and balance changes, this is the biggest shake-up to the game to-date. If you want to see the full patch notes, head over to Nintendo for those. Otherwise, come with me for my breakdown of what’s new!

Max Brass is Now Playable

The penultimate boss character Max Brass is now a playable character. He seems to have the parry and always charged abilities of Spring Man, while also having Master Mummy like armour when you charge up his dash. In exchange,  he’s a bit less mobile than Spring Man, with a wider hitbox, and his wide shoulders make hitting things right up the middle a bit trickier. So far, I really like him, but time will tell if he’s too overpowered.

Max Brass’ Default Arms Have Been Added

With Max comes three new arms: Nade, Roaster, and Kablammer. The Nade is similar to a standard punch, but with explosive properties when charged. The Roaster is a variation of the Toaster that’s faster and does more damage, but has a shorter reach and doesn’t curve as well. The Kablammer is like the Whammer but with explosive properties. Nice additions to the arm sets for Max and the rest of the cast.

Sky Arena Stage Added For Use Outside of Grand Prix

Max Brass’ championship ring can now be used in all modes. This square arena is a bit small with gutters along the side, adding a level of height to the mix. I like this stage and am glad it’s available in other modes now.

New Hedlok Scramble Mode Added

In this mode, players can unlock and play as Hedlok, gaining access to six total arms and his fireball Rush attack. However, if you get hit too many times, Hedlok will pop off of your head, leaving it open for the player who can punch or touch it first. This mode is a bit silly, but playing as Hedlok sure is fun and it makes for a great addition to the Party Mode lineup.

Stats have been added

With this new update, you can now see a number of different stats, from your winning percentage, most used arms, and more. Hopefully this becomes more robust with future updates.

Events Added to the Menu

At this point, all you can do is opt into events. No word yet on what this entails, but I’m excited to see if we get events similar to Splatfests in Splatoon or something along those lines. Fingers crossed that this adds even more ways to play!

Snake Park Has Been Removed from Ranked Match

While I would have preferred to have seen Snake Park removed entirely, this is a fair compromise. Snake Park is hands-down the worst stage in the game, as the inclusion of rideable snakeboards dramatically changes the way the game is played. This becomes especially irritating in Ranked, as your ranking may be compromised in a match that doesn’t play like a standard ARMS match.

Replacing it with the far more balanced Sky Arena is a great choice. As for it still being available in Party Mode, I’m still a bit bitter about it, though the lower stakes make it an easier pill to swallow. Someday, I hope that Snake Park is either relegated into its own mode or the boards are removed entirely.

The Highest Rank is Now 20

For players who already capped out at 15, you now have new heights to ascend to. As for mediocre players like me, it spreads out the player base in a way that gives me a better chance of climbing the ladder at my own pace. I wonder how high Nintendo will push their ranking system before leaving it alone.

Rage Quitters Will Be Punished Harder in Ranked Match

Not really sure what this steeper penalty is, but it’s a badly needed one. Hope it’s enough to greatly reduce the amount of people who exploit this scummy tactic.

Balance Changes

It may be early in the game’s life cycle, but Nintendo thinks they’ve seen enough to make a number of tweaks to existing arms. Megaton, Megawatt, Revolver, Retorcher, and Boomerang arms have all had their recovery times reduced to make them more viable. The Guardian has had its speed increased to make it better. The Popper, Cracker, and Hydra got nerfed, with the Hydra getting hit extra hard with a damage decrease during Rush attacks. An issue with the Blorb and Megaton catching on the ground before fully firing has been fixed as well.

Throws, while not as powerful as some claim for them to be, got somewhat nerfed. When broken with a single punch, the recovery time has been increased, making throw punishing easier.

A few characters also got adjusted. Kid Cobra’s jump distance has been decreased, though that isn’t necessarily the nerf I wanted to see. Maybe it will have more of an impact that I think at this point in time. A few specific issues with Ribbon Girl and Ninjara got fixed as well.

Online-Specific Issues Fixed

These are very specific in nature, so I’ll just list them directly from the patch notes:

  • In online play, fixed issue where the appearance or non-appearance of items could differ between devices.
  • In online play, fixed various issues with V-Ball including an issue where the ball would remain grounded and play would not proceed.
  • In online play, fixed an issue where sometimes Barq would continually defend against an opponents’ rush attack for a set period of time.
  • In online play, fixed issue where sometimes pillars in the Scrapyard would not be destructible.

Overall Thoughts

This update adds a lot of the most requested stuff to the game. New character, new arms, new stage, balance adjustments, and the removal of Snake Park from Ranked are great steps forward. I doubt I’ll be breaking down every ARMS update with this level of detail, but I’m really looking forward to future support from Nintendo on this one!

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