Well, it looks like the count down on Arc System Works's site was to announce that they would be porting this Examu female-only arcade fighter to PS3 and 360 this winter. As far as I've seen, the original two games won a lot of respect for a super solid and fun fighting system with a lot of customisation, but suffered nerd wrath for ripoff arcade upgrade prices and two pretty bad PS2 ports - AQ's port of the second game in particular being absolutely horrible, with most sprites being reduced to quarter resolution to save memory, horrible load times and game breaking slowdown.|
From what I've played, the designed-by-fanboys-for-fanboys character designs creep me the hell out, even as a former Dead or Alive player, but the fighting itself is precise and satisfying, and I'm looking forward to seeing a great conversion from Arc with some excellent net code.
Edit: Source link (Japanese)
Arcana Heart 3
Cappy 13,685 posts
Seen 6 hours ago
Registered 12 years ago
Are girl on girl fighters a distinct fighting game sub-genre in Japan?
It seems rather similar to a few other games I own, such as the Asuka 120% games, Advanced V.G. and Melty Blood etc.
Can't say I know(where is ilmaetro we need him back), I certainly think there are many obscure fighting games from Japan. Used to have 3 Ranma fighting games on the SNES(kind of) and they were total pants.
I am under the impression that Arcana Hearts 1 is a good one though.
Arcana Heart is a proper, popular fighter in Japanese arcades, and isn't an eroge spinoff (MB, Fate) or a doujin game (Akatsuki Blitzcampf, MB). The ridiculously creepy character designs are a side effect of the marketing, not the game design.
Examu as a company, though, leave a bad taste in my mouth. The stunt they pulled with AH FULL, charging half the board cost for a single chip bug fix patch, as well as their promotional materials (the banners for AH2 suggested that the game would save arcades - while SF4, Tekken 5 and VF5 were doing good business) are pretty bad.
TGS 10: Japanese Debut Trailer, hard to make out a lot from this video.
If anybody is interested in this game and is a fan of fighting games in general, you may find this arcade stick to be useful.
Great discount as usual from AmiAmi and a cracking colour stick with some decent artwork.
Wasn't aware of this series before, the game itself looks promising, but the artstyle holds it back, makes it look like shovelware.
Hurts the chances of it ever being picked up abroad but with PS3 being multi-region, will keep an eye on it for my Japan B-Team Primer thread.
/blatant thread pimping
Anybody playing this game then?
My stick is on the way but I haven't managed to source the game
It comes out tomorrow. NCSX should be shipping my copy then.
Pirotic Moderator 20,640 posts
Seen 4 days ago
Registered 16 years ago
My copy arrived yesterday, not sure what to make of it so far. The crazy characters are quite cool, the girl who fights in a blob of water while wearing her swimsuit and the toddler who fights alongside a come-to-life doodle monster are great fun to watch.. But I think the decision to go 'all female' cast has resulted in far too many generic onesan character types. Plus only one character has boob jiggle animation.. is this honestly developed in Japan?
Need to find a decent (English) FAQ, the moves are all so weird that it's hard to even figure out which button does what attack - so far I've come to the conclusion all of them just hotkey to 'go batshit mental'. Feels like a sloppy darkstalkers style game so far.
If anybody else has this on PSN, befriend LobsterBoy please and we'll have a few matches sometime
Right, my copy arrived yesterday. It's excellent fun, just don't let anyone watch you playing it.
Piro - a quick primer. mizuumi.net has a good wiki on AH3, which should help a lot. the buttons ABC are attacks, D is homing and E is Arcana/charge attack. The manual doesn't seem to show the 'proper' order, which is:
Many characters have Revolver-style combos going up through ABC, which you can finish off with a special. A lot also have launchers on crouching E, which you can then cancel with a D homing charge to make an air combo. Generally, there are double-jumps and air/ground dashes, but Homing is something which is of tremendous use anywhere on the screen, and makes it tremendously easy to apply pressure. Special moves on ABC are usually per-character, while the arcana influences E button specials and supers.
There are loads of moves per character, so have a look at the wiki, go into Training and see how everything slots together. A lot of the characters, while superficially archetypes, often have elements which make them a lot more versatile, particularly when you consider Arcana choice. Each character's 'assigned' Arcana is often not their most suitable, so bear that in mind, too.
I've been messing around in training and story mode, so here are some early impressions:
The port is a bit basic. They ressed up the character artwork and the backgrounds, but not the sprites. The scaling options are either a poor-looking bilinear filter or a filter-free option which looks frankly hideous in 720p. There is an install, which makes loading pretty quick - checking videos online it's not too far off the arcade, which is nice. Mode-wise it's a little thin, with Story (Arcade mode), Score Attack, Training, Gallery and online. There are no tutorials or anything, but the command list in the pause menu is ok, albeit as ridiculously oversized as usual. One interesting thing is the screen size option - the arcade version is 4:3 but you can switch to 16:9. This changes some characters' combos though, so this is optional. In 4:3 you have the option to switch on some gimmicky character animations down the side of each screen.
The fighting itself is excellent fun. With 23 characters and 23 Arcanas, there are loads of options. Of course, not every character is useful with every Arcana, but you can either go with one which suits your play style or one which suits your character. Something like Love complements most characters well and is easy to use, while Luck seems to be almost a joke - until you see what you can do with it. Each character I've tried has good, fun, strong points to them. For example, Catherine feels like a faster cross of Sentinel, Colossus and Juggernaut, Kira is a flying Zangief with a ridiculous 1080 throw, Saki is a charge character with charges on all four directions of the stick, Maori can control just about the entire screen with her ranged specials, Lilica has enormously fast branching specials and Mei-Fang hits hard while launching herself in a straight line - up to three screens high!
It's really fast-paced action, with characters throwing out super moves ridiculously often thanks to the super bar - it charges itself, but only starts out at level 1. Doing moves and taking damage increases the upper limit the bar will charge to - unless you are using the Steel arcana, where you have to slowly charge it manually SNK-style.
I suppose that kind of sums up the game, really. The game is full of exceptions and special cases, and that makes each character feel more unique. It's fast and furious, but unlike (say) Blazblue it feels much easier to do decent damage starting out. The Arcana system must have been a pill to balance but it helps give the player even more options, while still not scuppering someone totally if they make an unusual choice. I like it a lot - it's just the artwork that is the problem, and I don't think it's fair to penalise the people who designed the game system for that.
I'm Baltordian on PSN - add me (saying who you are!) if you have it. I've just added you, Pirotic. My net connection has been very unreliable these last few weeks though, so I can't guarantee that I'll be much of a match, though.
Thanks for the great write up uiruki. Have you had a chance to play it further Pirotic?
It appears that I was dead wrong about its chances of being signed outside Japan:
Don't know if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but Arcana Heart 3 (PS3 & 360) is up for pre-order at The Hut/Zavvi. At £17.85 I reckon it's worth a punt.
Whether it'll actually be out in June, well, who knows. This is Zen United we're talking about.
Have not read yet, but looks interesting.
Daisuke Ishiwatari On The State Of Fighting Games And How ArcSys Got Arcana Heart 3
Arcana Heart 3 Tactics Guide
Available to preorder now for PC, Xbox and PS3.
Standard version £49.99
Limited edition £54.99
Much cheaper limited edition versions available elsewhere.
I see Amazon have reduced the price now.
Zen have delayed it to August!
BlazBlue all over again.
I wonder if it has anything to do with SSF4AE releasing in the same month?
Right, this is out today. I will probably be double dipping, depending on whether I can find a copy in town this afternoon. Feel free to hit me up for some matches - I'm out of practice so don't worry too much as I will probably try and beat you with SF4 combos!
Just ordered the Ltd Edition from GAME for £16.18 using the code GAMEFEST11.
Is it any good? Was interested when it came out, slipped off the radar. I like 2D Fighters (despite not really being any good at them, Rival Schools on the DC is one of my favourite games ever), will this satisfy my wacky-fighter craving?
Yep, it is the best of the 2D fighters released over the last couple of years.
It really is. In terms of the satisfaction you get from just controlling the character and executing moves, there is little to match it, and the cast is varied enough to almost guarantee that you will find multiple characters fun to use, and that's before you consider the Arcana.
Does the game have a tutorial mode à la BlazBlue: CS? And on what console is everyone (well, all three of you) playing?
It doesn't, but it's also far less obtuse than Blazblue can be. mizuumi.net has some good tutorials, and just practising in Training Mode should take you pretty far. As for systems, I've got the game on both but I've let my Gold subscription lapse as I'm going to be out of the country in October. If you're up for games on PS3, lob me a friend request - but say who it is!
Excellent, looking forward to getting the game now then.
And I'll be on 360, vyseofhr is my GT, like I said, I won't be very good, I just like my 2D fighters to have a 'wackier the better' sort of feel and this looks like it'll fit the bill nicely.
I have the game on both, too. Put your headset in for once and I could talk you through the mechanics, Fabby!
Also, Frostbolt (best player in the UK) and a couple of other guys have been putting together some tutorial videos (most recent three):
michaelius 809 posts
Seen 4 years ago
Registered 10 years ago
Does it have story mode similar to BlazBlue?
No, not in the sprawling multi-hour, stand-alone visual novel style of BB, there is just the standard "bit of dialog during arcade mode" stuff.
driptray 368 posts
Seen 4 years ago
Registered 14 years ago
Got this and loving it.
Recommend you turn the charcter filter off though. IMO it they look just fine with it off, but look horribly murky with it on.
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