I don't see the purpose of the Arcade mode to be a move forward or another story...
It's quite simple like every other SF game without complication just make it loosely interpretation of the Cinematic Mode based on what if venets that occurs in a similar timeline but gives you a preview of the possible possibilities like existence bosses. This is what my Arcade mode objective since last year.
Then have a new season 2 storymode then everything works fine, which still proves the canon as reference without complication. So that every season cinematic mode is the official canon while the arcade mode is just a loose interpretation.
Updating my previous Arcade Mode to fit the current SFV characters. Just adding Akuma and removing Viper then replacing Q with Twelve for Mirror Match Mode plus emphasizing buffs to Mid Bosses
Arcade Mode Plot - I did a concept of Arcade mode with a plot is never a big leap into the timeline because it will be a loosely interpretation of the Cinematic Mode so it won't bring complication and misunderstanding because it's from the same time line but mostly every encounter is based on what if events.
Secret Challenger/Mid Bosses - typical anti-heroes
-Necalli (Maxed Out V-Trigger and Ex-Gauge)
-Juri (Maxed Out V-Trigger and Ex-Gauge)
-Nash (Maxed Out V-Trigger and Ex-Gauge)
Default Boss - is Fang powered up version( Unli V Trigger and Ex-Gauge)
Secret Bosses - Like USF4 and like conditions of God Rugal and Shin Akuma in CVS2 or Athena and Red Admerer in SVC Chaos
Bison (Unli V-Trigger and Ex-Gauge) - why? to reveal that he will come back but not to emphasize his defeat from finishing the mode.
Urien (Unli V-Trigger and Ex-Gauge) - where? he is somewhere exploring the whereabouts of Shadaloo or SIN laboratory Experiments..
Akuma (Unli V-Trigger and Ex-Gauge) - Always a behind the scenes character
Arcade Matches Flow
-6 random characters
-Secret Challengers : Like Dan, Geese, Goenitz and etc in SVC
-Twelve Mode Mirror Match mode (Maxed Out V-Trigger)
-Mini Survival Match with 3 rounds but one life gauge against 3 random dolls : Like in World Heroes and SFZ3 World Tour
-Boss fight : FANG powered up
-Secret Bosses : Optional bosses if fulfilled certain conditions.
Overall 10 battles overall total.. together with secret boss and secret challengers
Endings would be just arts like KOF98 or MVC2 for default boss fight
Endings for Secret Boss fight have art and texts information like EX games about past activities of Shadaloo or Illuminati depending whom is confronted either Urien or Bison.
It's not to move forward* other than a loosely based story mode that is turned into a arcade mode that would reveal Bison did exist after the story mode events and their is another threat organization that is unknown.
Too much moving forward and many interpretation of new story after Cinematic mode S1 can just cause confusion. Let Arcade mode be just like the previous arcade mode and let Cinematic mode be the official lead of the story that's it.
SF EX BGM was awesome really like Garuda and Skullo tracks.
What made me like the stages was the breakable objects, interaction was always something that make it impressive. As a Ryu Fan I like Ryu stage because of being a Ryu stage not for being better of it than the other stages.
Ken, Claw and Guile were the most interested stage i really like.
Other than that I really like moving backgrounds that emphasize it being alive and lively even without any crowd or NPC around.
Beyond Capcom Stages other stage without crowds that I like are:
Like Psylocke both COTA and MSH then, Colossus, Blackheart, and Hulk Stage(The carousell roof breaking and the wind blew) .
A3 Shin Bison Stage (Rain) and Guile's Stage
CVS2 Osaka Tower Stage
CVS1 Train Stage
Other famous titles
I like a lot of the vibe in Samurai Showdown but I will give a few than SS2 Genjuro and Haohmaru's stage (The waves Clashing was always iconic)
T5 Moonlit Wilderness
I was hype once seeing SF4 Vanilla first trailer, I thought will be getting a stage base on Ken Vs Ryu trailer..
Kanzuki beach was interesting for having the judges and RS characters but overall it like an overdo of a callout and references which is not properly executed that resulted scattered all over the place.
What makes Ken a shoto was not his visual but his moves effectivity and his overall playstyle, Ken in MVC2 was very different from Ryu MVC2 that how difference work to un-shoto ken not changing his looks.
What they did is changing Ken's look instead of slightly altering the effectivity and usability of his hado, however they did the right thing with his Tatsu this time. That change in the Tatsu should remain and retain IMHO same with Akuma's new Tatsu.
I still wanted a projectile that travels full screen for Ken with the same speed, recovery and visual stance or slightly altered stance in a stylish gesture but with different properties from durability like can be disperse by a more recent hadoken without the recent disappearing. Only occurs when Hadouken vs Hadouken situation.
The other way around is instead of altering Ken's Hado is for Capcom would improved Ryu's hado like it can always be charged other than speed.
While Akuma like I said before should have lose his ground hadouken and interchange it with the other project the shakunetsu hadouken as his new primary hadouken, I like Akuma's HK Tatsu more in Tekken 7 but all the overall changes with him in SFV is okay overall especially with the Tatsu.