Last month, Nintendo released ARMS for the Switch — a frantic, fast-paced fighting game stocked with some of the most colorful, expressive characters in recent memory. Less than a month after launch, the first major update for the game arrives today, bringing a brand new character, a new stage, a new versus mode and tons of improvements and adjustments for competitive players.
The big news is that Max Brass, the ARMS League Commissioner and final boss of the Grand Prix, is now a playable character. He’s one of the bigger, slower characters available in the game, but he really packs a punch. Plus, when he’s charged up, he bulks up, moves faster and won’t flinch when he gets punched. Max Brass brings three new arms with him — Nade, Roaster and Kablammer — which can be unlocked by all of the other fighters as well. And finally, his Sky Arena stage has been added to the game.
Beyond Max Brass, Nintendo is also introducing a brand new versus mode to the game called “Hedlok Scramble.” In this mode, players will be able to hit a capsule to turn into Hedlok, another of the game’s most dangerous characters, for a limited time. This mode can be selected in Versus, Friend or Local and will also start popping up randomly in Party Mode.
Those are the highlights of the ARMS 2.0.0 update, but the patch notes indicate that they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Nintendo has also added stats to the main menu, raised the highest rank in Ranked Match to 20, increased the penalty for disconnecting during a Ranked Match and balanced some fighters:
- ARMS League Commissioner Max Brass added as a playable character.
- New ARM “Nade” added.
- New ARM “Roaster” added.
- New ARM “Kablammer” added.
- New stage “Sky Arena” added.
- New versus mode “Hedlok Scramble” added.
- Punch or touch the capsule containing the Hedlok mask to become Hedlok for a period of time.
- This can be selected in Versus, Friend, or Local and it will also appear in Party Match.
- ”Stats” added to the Top Menu.
- Check stats such as your most used fighter, best stage, and ARM accuracy.
- ”Events” added to the Top Menu.
- Here you can set whether or not you want to join official online events.
- Snake Park has been swapped out for Sky Arena in the Ranked Match stage roster.
- Raised highest rank in Ranked Match to 20.
- Increased the penalty for disconnecting during Ranked Match play.
- Shortened the amount of time necessary for the following ARMS to return after being extended, making them easier to use: Megaton, Megawatt, Revolver, Retorcher, Boomerang
- Increased movement speed of the Guardian.
- Improved visibility during charge attacks for the Popper and Cracker.
- Increased the amount of time necessary for the following ARMS to return after being knocked down, increasing risk: Popper, Cracker, Hydra
- Increased the amount of time it takes to recover when a grab is deflected with a single punch.
- Decreased the amount of damage when the Hydra’s rush connects with multiple consecutive hits.
- Decreased the distance Kid Cobra travels when jumping.
- Fixed issue where in some instances Ribbon Girl could remain airborne for an overlong period of time while continually attacking.
- Fixed issue where Ninjara would not destroy the light boxes on the Ribbon Ring stage when getting up.
- Fixed issue where the time necessary for the Triblast to return when deflected was shortened.
- Fixed issue where ARMS such as Blorb and Megaton would catch on the ground and fail to fire.
- Fixed issue where explosive ARMS would sometimes fail to explode when receiving an attack.
- Fixed issue where the Slapamander would sometimes fail to hit Helix when he is extended.
- 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.
As long as the ARMS community remains active, Nintendo will continue to release updates for the game periodically. In the meantime, another competitive Switch game — Splatoon 2 — launches in just over a week. All of a sudden, Switch owners are going to have a ton of new content to play with. And if you own a Switch but haven’t bought ARMS yet, it’s currently on sale on Amazon.