ARMS might’ve been a little light in terms of content, but today’s update adds a lot of exciting changes and additions. The biggest is the Grand Prix boss, Max Brass, plus his stage and a number of other things. With all these updates, is it enough to give ARMS a second look or are you better off waiting?
Max Brass might not be the most complicated character, but fills a very specific role. On paper, Max Brass is a larger version of Spring Man with an additional charged perk. So when his health is low, he is permanently in a charged state like Spring Man, with the added bonus of unflinching. This can also be enabled by holding charge. While this might make you think he replaces Spring Man, I wouldn’t say that is the case.
Similar to other large fighters, Max Brass is on the slow side. And, as nice as unflinching is, it also makes him an easier target. One of the challenges to mastering him is knowing when to charge and when not to. Once he enters the empowered state, there is an aura effect, which seems to be able to cancel out an attack. So, ideally, you’ll enter this state in time to cancel the enemy attack, leaving them open to a counter attack. Those uninterested in mastering the mechanic will have plenty to work with, though his basic range of arms could be better.
The hammer and fist should be familiar to anyone who has played ARMS in the past, but his grenade arm is all new. This is an interesting arm, due to the high risk, high reward nature. While the arm isn’t anything special in is natural state, charging it enables some interesting advantages and disadvantages.
Charging causes the grenade to explode on contact. This means hitting a wall near an opponent can deal damage, in addition to blocking. However, if your opponent makes contact with the arm near you, it will explode, causing you to take damage. There were many times someone used this to their advantage and is something to strongly consider before using that arm, especially given how charge dependent Max Brass is.
Another is none of his starting arms are fast. This will put him at a disadvantage, especially if you face someone who uses this to their advantage, but this can be corrected by unlocking other arms for him to use. Likewise, his arms have been added to the pool, allowing other fighters to use things like grenade.
Besides Max Brass, the new update also includes some quality of life updates and Hedlok mode. None of these are terribly exciting, though it’s nice to see your win/loss, top used fighter/arms and other such data. Hedlok is also a neat party mode that might not mean much in terms of competitive play, but is sure to make a fun mode for friends to engage in.
While a large initial update is expected, it makes the future of ARMS quite hopeful. Even if every update doesn’t add a character, stage and mode, it does show Nintendo is listening to fans. The choice to remove the Skate Park from ranked matches is sure to make hardcore players happy and make the online experience more enjoyable overall. So, if you haven’t bought ARMS, you might want to consider purchasing it in the future.