A big push for Nintendo of late has involved creating all-new franchises, like the colorful team shooter Splatoon or the wild fighter Arms. These games allow Nintendo to test out new genres, but also introduce brand-new worlds and characters, ones that are pretty far removed from Mario and Zelda. Arms, in particular, is a fascinating detour for the company, featuring a diverse lineup of surprisingly stylish fighters. And now the company is expanding on that world through a just-announced series of graphic novels.
Nintendo will be partnering with Dark Horse on the new books, which come out next fall, and right now the two arenâ€™t saying much about what to expect. â€œDark Horse is excited to announce a new publishing program for the energetic and strategic fighting game,â€ is about as much as the company has said. We donâ€™t even know who will be writing the series, though artist Joe Ng will be in charge of the art side of the production.
But even with that brief description, itâ€™s easy to be excited by the potential for the series. The game itself doesnâ€™t provide much information about any of its combatants; instead, you can infer things about the cast of Arms from how they dress and where they fight. But thereâ€™s clearly a lot lurking beneath the surface in terms of backstory. Why does Lola Pop dress like a clown? Is Master Mummy actually alive? And seriously whatâ€™s up with everyone having springs for arms?
Itâ€™s a strategy that feels similar to Overwatch. Just like Arms, Blizzardâ€™s shooter is a multiplayer game starring a large and eclectic cast. And just like Arms, you donâ€™t learn a whole lot about the characters from playing the game itself. You get the gist â€” the cast is made up of a team of former superheroes that span the globe â€” but if you really want to learn more about them, you need to delve into a wealth of supplemental material, including digital comics and some very impressive animated shorts.
Arms isnâ€™t a game with a deep story; since itâ€™s a multiplayer-focused experience, there isnâ€™t much a of narrative in the game at all. But Nintendo has clearly spent a lot of time developing the gameâ€™s distinct cast of fighters, and a graphic novel seems like a perfect way to explore them further. Now they just need to do Splatoon next.