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Arms producer on the game’s origins, more news about content to come, controls, more

Posted on February 5, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Famitsu continued its extensive Switch coverage this week by publishing an interview with Kosuke Yabuki, the producer of Arms. This is the first time we’re really able to hear from Yabuki about the game in-depth since its reveal at the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017.

Yabuki explained to Famitsu how Arms came to be, talking about how it emerged as one of Nintendo’s various prototypes and wanting to try something new in the fighting genre. He also teased more content news to come (including characters, arms, and modes), touched on the controls, and more.

We’ve posted our translation of the interview in full below.

Arms was announced at the presentation. How did its development come about?

Nintendo is always coming up with various prototypes for games, and we were involved in that process where ideas go on to become new games. Out of these numerous prototypes, we chose one that would fit well alongside the Switch’s launch, and it became the basis for Arms.

I’m assuming that these prototypes are created to test very basic gameplay concepts. So, what kind of concept did Arms originate as? I would imagine it started as a boxing game where the characters’ arms would stretch out…

No, it was not originally a concept for a boxing game. There are many fighting games, like Street Fighter or Super Smash Bros., or even “3D fighters” like Tekken, where the game is viewed side-on. Since the beginning of fighting games, the side view has been the mainstream, but I’ve always thought, why couldn’t we do it a little differently? However, it can be difficult to gauge depth in games where the camera is behind you. So I was absolutely convinced that it would not be suited for fighting games, which require precise distance control. But the fact that your arms extend, and that it takes a bit of time for them to impact, makes it quite likely your attacks will succeed. My idea was to have the game’s tactics revolve less around whether your attack would hit or not, and more around the timing and delay between your attacks connecting. So in pursuing a new kind of fighting game where the camera is behind you and your arms extend, Arms was born.

When playing, it almost feels as though there’s a shooting mechanic in the game.

They’re punches, but there is an aspect of them that’s similar to missiles, which you’re aiming and looking for a chance to fire.

Honestly speaking, when I first saw the game, I thought it would be like the boxing in Wii Sports, where you’re engaging in very exaggerated punching motions. But, even though you can play Arms like that, if you become skilled enough, you can also evade your opponent’s attacks perfectly, and predict their movements to land your own attacks. So if you put some effort into playing, you’ll be able to enjoy that sort of strategical gameplay.

We had no reason to create another Wii Sports. As someone who worked on Mario Kart, I’m always coming up with ideas to spice up the gameplay by adding unrealistic movements and gimmicks.

At this event, there are five characters available, each with three different types of arms. Will there be more characters in the retail version?

There will be more characters, with more arm types. What we have available today is just a portion of what will be available in the full game. You can look forward to more information gradually coming out as the release date approaches.

I see. And the five characters available here can be divided into the Balanced type, Power type, and Speed type, correct?

That’s right. Everyone has unique basic actions available to them, and stats such as movement speed and the amount of damage they inflict are also dependent on the character.

Surely some are more effective in certain matchups?

Of course. Not only the character, but the type of arms they have equipped as well.

A character can reverse their weaknesses and strengths depending on their arm choice, so players can balance them out.

For example, the Power-type Master Mummy has heavy attacks that can deflect almost any attacks thrown at himself. But if his opponent chose something like the Boomerang Arm, they could bypass his deflection by going around it.

I see. It seems like it would be strategically sound to keep at least one arm ready at all times, instead of sending both out to attack at once.

We’ve let all sorts of people play the game, and after spending some time with it, most of them decide “I shouldn’t punch too often”, and wait to react to their opponent’s attacks instead. But once they pass that stage, they do things like manipulate their opponent’s movements with constant attacks or force them into corners. Their strategic capabilities grow more advanced, so there’s a big difference in how people fight depending on their skill.

Leave a Reply

  • Dio

    I think the game looks brilliant. The Splatoon of fighting games. Day one for me.

  • Anonymous1234567

    I would love more hands-on impressions of the non-motion based, button oriented controls, and how they compare in terms of precision and enjoyability. (I don’t do motion controls.)

    • Kenshin0011

      Nobody has been able to try the game like that as of yet

      • Anonymous1234567

        Figured. Hopefully soon.

    • Kaine Morrison

      Quit being a lazy bee-yotch!

  • ForeVision

    I may be able to play this properly, as opposed to most other games in the fighting genre.

  • Ser2k2
    • ForeVision

      Those are definitely not my size of hands, as you’d probably be unable to see the Joy-Cons from what I’ve heard, when I’m holding them.

      Good thing we can choose how to play this game.

      Also are we talking about the same appliance here?: http://oyster.ignimgs.com/mediawiki/apis.ign.com/nintendo-nx/thumb/5/52/Switch_Setup4.png/468px-Switch_Setup4.png

      • Ser2k2

        Me neither. My hands are big.

        • ForeVision

          Hmmm, our pictures don’t add up at all do they? Is that a different model, or is that photo-shopped?

          • Ser2k2

            Can you post that picture, here?

          • ForeVision

            I’m afraid you’ve lost me. Aren’t the pictures included?

          • Ser2k2

            If I confused you, I’m sorry. It’s better to wait until Nintendo release more information about ARMS to get the big picture.

          • ForeVision

            I know, I’m just trying to figure out how the middle picture is the same as the other we’ve posted. If anything I’ve confused myself….

          • Ser2k2

            You can watch a few videos about ARMS at Nintendo’s channel on YouTube to watch how other people play the game. Check the Tree House videos.

          • UndaKuva

            Joy-Con straps.

          • ForeVision

            I see, thanks for the clarification. That said, it still seems smaller, but it may be the picture itself.

      • Justin McQuillen

        You’re here to shill in anyway possible. You’re like the people who go to social media to say stuff like “I voted for Trump, but now I am regretting it” to try and damage control the spread of positive messages.

        • ForeVision

          And you’re as delusional as a candy-hungry child at a supermarket’s vegetable section. In what way is anything I’ve said “shilling”? I am merely voicing my positive expression of the developers allowing choice in their game, because people may be negatively affected by the Joy-Cons size? Which would be a shame?

          • Tlink7

            Got big hands eh ForeVision? Did you have any concerns about any other consoles perhaps being uncomfortable to hold before launch?

            People here with dog avatars seem to be a bit weird 😛

          • ForeVision

            I’d consider them of the larger variety, aye. Still nothing compared to my teacher when working a bakery though, that man had hands that we in Dutch would call “kolen schoppen”.

  • R.Z.

    This game looks really interesting.
    I’m not into versus fighting though, so I don’t consider buying it at launch (actually I’m not even sure I will get a Switch early), but probably sometime down the line as a Nintendo classic or if some opportunity shows up.

    • ForeVision

      Want me to keep you posted on my impressions regarding Bomberman/Zelda, in case you’d like some extra opinions?

      • R.Z.

        Sure, even though these are games that I’ll probably buy “preemptively” anyway.
        (My getting the Switch or not mostly depends on a potential money sink that could happen in March, I’ll have to see how it goes before spending on the console)

        • ForeVision

          Ahh, I see. Yes those are things that come before a console, you’re quite right about that. I hope you’ll get some financial pluses so you can get it at your convenience then.

  • metalpants

    Definitely getting this one. I’m down with the motion controls so far. This one guy that got interviewed during one of the Switch events said what I suspected.

    Just like in Wii Sports, most people start flinging and swinging around their arms like they’re actually boxing, but once this guy realized that the Joy-Cons were extra sensitive, he literally started just flicking them and got the same effect. But with less motion, you get faster move response so you still get a fast paced experience that requires just as much strategy and technicality to execute properly as buttons… but with more precision.

    • ForeVision

      The slower more strategic aspect he talks about is definitely a plus for me. I might be able to play this one online properly, without my reaction time getting in the way.

  • Devonte Griffith

    Inb4 “Arms for Smash” comments

    • Evan Baranowski

      Ribbon Girl for Sma…

      Dammit!

      • Dio

        You know it’s gonna happen. And it should.

      • Storme J Prince

        I’d smash ribbon girl any day.

        • Devonte Griffith

          Oh my.

    • Annie

      SPRING MAN FOR… oh…

    • Storme J Prince

      ARMS™ for evo!

    • Smash for Arms or gtfo

  • JJ

    Am I the only one who thinks this game looks more like a tech demo than a full game and not very fun? Certainly not worth the $60 price for a full game.

    • theFooFighter

      If it’s content is comparable to other $60 fighters then the price doesn’t seem like an issue to me

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      Street Fighter V released at $60. I don’t think there is a standard anymore.

      • JJ

        Well I certainly put games like this and Bomberman, 1 2 Switch, Tetris, the SF 2 remake in a different category than BOTW, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Different level games deserve separate price points.

        • In this interview he said there’ll be plenty more fighters and many modes. So we’ve only seen a small portion of the game.

    • Felipe M.

      This is more or less based on the tech-demo of Wii Sports Boxing. I played it and it was fun but after five minutes it got boring.

      • Evan Baranowski

        Have you watched the Treehouse demo? There’s a lot of movement options and variation in approach. Just because you input attacks via motion doesn’t mean this is Wii boxing.

        • Felipe M.

          More than watch. I’ve played it and it’s not like a normal fighting game that can last for hours.

          • ≈ KobobKC ≈ ^.^

            it’s a demo

    • KnightWonder

      Just like Splatoon…wait a minute.

    • Annie

      People said the same about Splatoon

    • Supporter

      We’ve only seen a bit of the game so it’s kind of hard to judge. People likely said the same thing when we first saw Splatoon and only knew about Turf Wars. Let’s wait and see.

      • ForeVision

        I was on the fence about this personally, but after seeing some footage while listening to ProJared’s impressions, I can see myself liking this game. If anything, because I might actually be able to play this online and not horribly lose every single match due to my slower reaction time, as opposed to something like Pokken.

  • Felipe M.

    It would be interesting if the game could be changed into a 2D perspective and play it as a traditional fighter though with the long arms, not sure how that’d work. A task for the developers to think of. 😛

    • Wizpiggleton

      Essentially you’re just telling them to make another game…

    • ≈ KobobKC ≈ ^.^

      Basically like Pokken Tournament. I think they should just stick to 3D though.

  • Jacob Groves

    DAY

  • Jacob Groves

    ONE

  • Jacob Groves

    BUY

  • Jacob Groves

    FOR

  • Jacob Groves

    REAL!!!!

  • Jacob Groves

    HYPED!!!

  • Annie

    Punch-Out + FPS = This, and I like it

    • + missle launching mechs + whacky comic book superheroes… and I love it

  • Mando44646

    “Our goal is to make a game with an enjoyable physical control scheme” – that sentence just sold me the game. Its not primarily focused on motion

    • Storme J Prince

      The physical control scheme refers to the motion control scheme.

      • Mando44646

        …huh? Physical controls doesn’t mean *physical controls*?

    • Travis Touchdown

      Idiot.

  • raith

    Having played it extensively at the Switch event, I have to say this game was my favorite of all the games I played there, even Splatoon 2. Please don’t confuse this game as Wii Boxing part 2, see it as this game strays as far as that as Super Mario 3-D World does from Super Mario Run. From the time I played it, it had some deep mechanics and a good amount of strategy. Because what we saw/played was a demo and the final product will deliver in spades, I know ARMS will be a great game. I just love it when Nintendo gives its teams the freedom to experiment and create NEW IPs. Keep em’ coming Nintendo!

  • Bruno_Ostara

    I dont really like the name of the game and characters. But it kinda makes sense if they were going for that comic book vibe, im pretty excited to try this one out, seems like a really fun game that could end up with a good competitive value, especially since he said they will be looking to the game community in order to make the game better.

    • Tlink7

      I agree with what you said, but I probably won’t be buying it if I can’t like try a demo of it first.

      …but I have the admit, the main reason I am replying to you is because I love your avatar 😀

  • Tlink7

    Would have preferred a different visual style

    • Storme J Prince

      Really? What would you have referred? Next to BoTW this game probably has the art style I enjoy the most in the last few years.

      • Tlink7

        Good question… I don’t know really. Not that the visual style is bad, but I just find it rather unoriginal. To me it is just ”generic colourful”

  • Matt Mayatt

    Got ARMS on pre-order… Can’t wait

  • Hermione Granger

    so basically the game is unfinished and what you pay for is pretty much a glorified demo. also the game is a garbage indie game, 10min with this game and you have seen everything it have to offer. without of course paying for the dlc, but the dlc will be the rest of the game. this is a perfect example of double dipping.

    • Storme J Prince

      That’s the opposite of what was said.

    • …You didn’t even read the article, did you? Funny, you’d thinks someone who calls themselves “Hermione Granger” and has her picture as their avatar would be smarter than that, or at least, actually pay attention to what’s being said by the producer.

    • Ser2k2

      If you gonna talk like that, please read the article first then talk. And they didn’t mention anything about DLC.

  • Man, I’m so excited for this game! I’m so glad I got to read this, I love learning more about games I like!

  • Travis Touchdown

    I imagine the decision to give the game inferior, traditional control schemes is due to all the crying from Star Fox Zero haters who couldn’t figure out the motion controls because they were too obese them properly. Looking at you, Boogie2988 and Jim Sterling.

    The game is very much a motion based game and all of the technical depth will come from using the motion controls.

  • Xstream

    I am beyond thrilled to hear there are more characters than the 5 we know of. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling the game looked like it didn’t have much depth, but hopefully this is an indicator that there is much more than meets the eye.

    Personally I’d love a campaign mode that worked like a 3d version of old school 2d beat em’ ups like double dragon or TMNT.


Related Game Info


Platform: SWITCH
Genre: FIGHTING
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release date: Spring 2017
OWN IT: 0 [I own this game]
BEAT IT: 0 [I beat this game]
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