Eurogamer.net

Arms' new mode lets you play as an even tougher enemy than Max Brass

Plus details on what balance changes are coming with this week's patch.

Arms' first significant update - which will be introducing Max Brass as a playable character - will also introduce an all-new versus mode that allows players to control Hedlok, the fighter who has served as the game's ultimate challenge.

The update, which goes live in the UK tomorrow, sees the first major new mode added to Nintendo's fighting game, and up until now there were scant details on what it would entail. Speaking to Eurogamer in London this afternoon, Arms producer Kosuke Yabuki shared some more details.

"I can talk about it a little bit now - Max Brass is the main part of tomorrow's update, but there is a new versus mode where in a fight between two or three players there's a Hedlok mask players battle over, and when you get the mask your own character can turn into Hedlok," Yabuki explained. "If one player turns into Hedlok it'll be up to the other players to take him down. The Hedlok mode won't just be available in one v one versus modes - it'll be available online and in every multiplayer mode."

The new update will also introduce balance tweaks, and while Yabuki wouldn't go into specifics - and noted that a full changelog will be published alongside the update - he did give a general idea of what him and his team are hoping to achieve.

"One thing with a balance update - if you say we've nerfed this character, fans of that character won't be happy about it! That's something we're aware of, and with this update the balance adjustments are done in a way not to make any character less good than they are at the moment.

"One thing I definitely think about, and that I'm not a fan of, is when it's possible to win using one technique over and over again, repeating the same thing and winning like that. That's something, in terms of the game balance, that we're thinking about and trying to adjust it so that's not possible."

Maybe that's an allusion to the grab-spamming that's encountered at lower levels of ranked play, but it also pertains to specific instances such as Ribbon Girl being able to keep airborne on one particular stage and Kid Cobra's ability to repeatedly jump and punch his way to victory. "We don't want to completely stop him from doing that," said Yabuki, "but adjusting the balance so it's not quite so powerful."

Speaking to that last point, Kid Cobra might not quite so prevalent amongst the upper tiers of Arms play after the update (browsing the top-ranked Japanese players shows that the character, alongside the Bubb arms, is suspiciously popular).

"After the update, that will probably change. I'd like to create an environment where one particular technique or one character with a certain combination of Arms isn't too dominant, and that everyone can enjoy the game using a wide variety of characters and techniques."

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