The all female fighting Arcana Heart series returns with a third instalment that features new fighters, an online mode and a more accessible control scheme for first time gamers.
The storyline is certainly unique. Strange rifts appear across Japan and rumours suggest they contain wish-granting celestial stones. Such gossip draws people from all around the world to Japan in a bid to find them, with most people willing to cross anyone to succeed.
Players can battle in the air and on the ground as one of 23 fighters. There are three new characters available, each with their own quirky ability. For example, Eko can bring drawings to life while Scharlachrot can summon deadly chains.
Each of the characters can be paired with sprites called Arcana to unlock a range of new attack forms and styles.
With 23 girls and 23 Arcana to choose from, there are over 500 different combinations and over quarter of a million different battle match-ups available.
A new homing system also allows players to unleash devastating air combos, transferring the action to the skies.
Fans can enjoy the arcade-style story mode alongside a score attack and training mode. There is also a new ‘Simple’ mode that removes complicated control schemes for first time players, as well as an online system complete with a ranking table and the option for online replays.
“Arcana Heart 3 is an all girl fighting game from BlazBlue developers Arc System Works,” says publisher Zen United’s marketing manager Geraint Evans.
“Boasting beautiful anime art and animation, Arcana Heart is a super-fast paced fighting game with sweet looks but a huge amount of depth.”
PQube and Zen will be promoting Arcana Heart 3 with a highly targeted online and print campaign, but getting the game into consumers hands will be just as important.
The game will be showcased at both London MCM Expos in May and October, giving fans the chance to compete in tournaments and win exclusive prizes.
Ads will also highlight the Limited Edition, which features collectable anime cells, lapel pins and more.
Evans adds: “BlazBlue was a huge success for us last year – and fighting games are definitely in the ascendancy. We decided to release Arcana Heart in Europe after we recieved an overwhelming amount of consumer requests to bring the title over.
"Given these factors we felt the time was right to bring this distinctive new fighter to Europe.”