Arcana Heart 3

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Arcana Heart 3
ArcanaHeart3.jpg
Developer(s) Examu
Publisher(s) Examu (Arcade)
Arc System Works (Console Versions)
Designer(s) Sakuraitooru
Series Arcana Heart
Platform(s) Arcade
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
PlayStation Network
PlayStation Vita
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP December 22, 2009
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • JP January 13, 2011
  • NA April 19, 2011 (PS3 only)
  • EU August 19, 2011
Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!!
Arcade:
  • JP May 8, 2013

PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita:
  • JP May 29, 2014
  • NA September 23, 2014
  • EU TBA 2014
Genre(s) 2D Versus fighting
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Distribution BD-ROM, DVD-ROM
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system eX-BOARD

Arcana Heart 3 (Japanese: アルカナハート3 Hepburn: Arukana Hāto Surī?) is a 2009 2D arcade fighting game developed by Examu (formerly Yuki Enterprise) and published by Arc System Works. It is the third entry in the Arcana Heart series, following the events of Arcana Heart 2.

The game went through location tests in Japan starting in late 2009, and was officially released on December 22, 2009. An official PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version was later released on January 13, 2011. An American (PlayStation Network only) version was released on April 19, 2011 by Aksys Games.[1][2] The game was released in Europe on August 19, 2011, though not in Sweden due to concerns that it would be banned, as Sweden had previously banned Japanese fighting games that featured sexualized underage girls, such as Dead or Alive: Dimensions, due to the country's restrictive child pornography laws.[3]

An update for the game, called Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! (Japanese: アルカナハート3 LOVE MAX!!!!! Hepburn: Arukana Hāto Surī LOVE MAX!!!!!?), with rebalanced gameplay and the survival and training mode added (before only on console version), has been released in Japan on May 8, 2013.[4][5] A console port of Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! was released on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on 29 May 2014.[6]

Plot[edit]

The game's setting takes place in a fictional, somewhat futuristic Japan combined with fantasy elements. In the previous game, Arcana Heart 2, a dimensional distortion occurred in the country's Kanto region, caused by the primordial being known as Angelia Avallone. This event came to be known as the "Great Kanto Incident." The international Holy Spirit Institutions suffered harshly after the "Great Kanto Incident," but restoration has begun and about two months have elapsed.

In this time, a family that had received technical assistance during the war in Europe created "The Drexler Institution" to resume its activities around the world. The Drexler Institution was hiding in Japan. Western Europe was devastated by the Office of the Holy Spirit led by Mildred who had since defected. The West Branch of the Holy Spirit Rosenberg Agency had to be completely reconstituted. Shortly thereafter, a large number of dimensional distortions were observed throughout Japan. "Drexler" was a little unusual and unnatural with its authority behind the scenes too. Japan embarked on a convergence of the Holy Office to gain control of the situation. They were looking closely into part of an area in Japan that educates several "Maidens". This newcomer given the ability of a "Maiden" had begun her activities from the branch in Rosenberg. With the authority acquired from Drexler, a major order had been given to sink the entirety of Japan after six days.

Gameplay[edit]

Arcana Heart 3 continues the series' usage of Arcana, or celestial beings based on the characters from the Tarot. In addition to the 23 playable characters, the 23 Arcana each have their own unique powers, to augment the abilities of the girls. The game adds a Force Gauge to the fight system. When completely filled, the Force Gauge allows the player to perform an Extend Force, a maneuver similar to the Arcana Burst from earlier games. The game also adds a "Simple Mode" which simplifies the control layout into a single button for each major function: one button for normal attacks, one button for special moves, one button for moves involving Arcana, and one button for the game's Homing Dash ability. The console version has a fully voiced story mode and HD anime graphics for super moves. It also includes the usual training mode, score attack, and online play.

Characters[edit]

There is an all-female cast of 23 playable characters in the game.[7] Twenty of the characters are returning from previous games in the series, while there are three new playable characters (and corresponding Arcana): Weiss, Scharlachrot and Eko.

  • Heart Aino (愛乃はぁと Aino Hāto?), a normal high school student, is the main character of Arcana Heart and Arcana Heart 2. She is currently investigating the Drexler Institute to stop their plans to destroy Japan. She possesses one of the most powerful arcana, Partinias (Love). An angel with two pairs of wings who can manipulate light. She is Heart's partner and friend. Heart is voiced by Mikako Takahashi.
  • Weiß (ヴァイス Vaisu?) is the main character of the game. A girl working in a secret company named "Valkyria", a branch of the Drexler Institute. She is sent to investigate the cause of the catastrophe that is happening around and to stand on one's own. Little is known about her. Her Arcana is Gottfried (Sword), an artificial Arcana called a Geist, which takes its name from Gottfried Feder. Drexler has developed an armored Holy Spirit inspired by the Norse war god Tyr. She is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro.
  • Saki Tsuzura (廿楽冴姫 Tsuzura Saki?) is Heart's childhood friend from Britain, who joins Heart in investigating the Drexler Institute. She has painful memories of getting sucked into the Elemental World with her friend, Fiona. While Fiona was unable to return, Saki was saved by her Arcana, Bhanri (Thunder), who resembles a woman trapped in a giant crystal and was once a queen revered as the Goddess of War. Saki is voiced by Yumi Shimura.
  • Scharlachrot (シャルラッハロート Sharurahharōto?) is also one of the young girls trained by the Drexler Institute, much like Weiß. However, Scharlachrot stands against her in an extremely obsessive manner bordering on dependence. After the organization was taken down by Petra, Scharlachrot went missing. However, she reappears in order to oppose Weiß and the rest of the cast. She is the mid boss character of the game. Her Arcana, Baldur (Fang), is also a Geist, which shares its name with Baldur von Schirach. The Drexler Institute based Baldur on Fenrir, the massive wolf from Norse mythology. Scharlachrot is voiced by Yuki Matsuoka.
  • Petra Johanna Lagerkvist (ペトラ・ヨハンナ・ラーゲルクヴィスト Petora Yohanna Rāgerukuvisuto?)* comes from a long line of holy maidens from the Lagerkvist family and is the most powerful yet. Like her predecessors, she works for Sweden's Spirit Sector and is the youngest member to be selected to join their group. Her Arcana is Zillael (Sacred), a highly revered winged unicorn. She is voiced by Marina Inoue.
  • Elsa La Conti (エルザ・ラ・コンティ Eruza Ra Konti?) enlisted in the Western Europe Spirit Sector after losing her entire family to demons. Elsa is usually mild-mannered and straightforward, but sometimes she's also airheaded and too strict on herself. Her Arcana is Koshmar (Punishment), who saved her life when she was mortally injured in a fight with Clarice. She is voiced by Kaya Miyake.
  • Clarice Di Lanza (クラリーチェ・ディ・ランツァ Kurarīche Di Rantsa?) used to be a noble from the Demon Realm, but she abandoned such a lavish life style and decided to live in the human world due to the influence of Lilica's father, Felchenerow. She always has a composed personality and a smile on her face. When the Western Europe Spirit Sector sent Elsa to fight her to the death, Clarice saved her life by imbuing the power of the Arcana "Punishment" into Elsa. Clarice took for herself the power of the opposing Arcana Sorwat' (Sin). She is voiced by Ohara Sayaka.
  • Eko (えこ?) is a girl who has the unique ability to move energy into something so that it can move on its own, which she mainly focuses into drawings. She shares a mutually dependent relationship with her "brother," Kazu (かず Kazu?), which resembles a large child's drawing. Since Petra had destroyed some of these "protection organizations", not much was known of Eko after that. She does seem to want to find Petra so that they can draw and play together. Eko's Arcana is Saligrama (Luck), which resembles a spirit with a die inside. Ayumi Tsuji voices Eko and Yoshimasa Hosoya voices Kazu.
  • Zenia Valov (ゼニア・ヴァロフ Zenia Varofu?) is taciturn and quiet. An orphan in Moscow with no memory, she joined a team of Spirit Investigators and received training at a young age. When the organization was cutting back on personnel, she took the opportunity to leave and traveled the world as a Freelance Spirit Specialist. Her Arcana is Almacia (Ice), a globetrotting penguin which became a higher being after years of experiences. In the ending, it is revealed that her real name is actually Elfriede Achenbach,Liselotte's sister. She is voiced by Kaori Shimizu.
  • Lieselotte Achenbach (リーゼロッテ・アッヒェンバッハ Rīzerotte Ahhyenbahha?), the "Crimson-Eyed Criminal", became a cold-hearted assassin after losing her family. She travels the world alone, accompanied only by a leg-less ball-jointed puppet which carries the consciousness of Elfriede, her older sister. Her Arcana is Gier (Shadow), a creature composed of purely negative emotions that Lieselotte summons with drops of her own blood. She is voiced by Yōko Honda.
  • Dorothy Albright (ドロシー・オルブライト Doroshī Oruburaito?) appears to be a young boy at first glance. As "Dorothy the Wizard," she performs with her parents on the stages of Las Vegas. She has a strong sense of justice and, like her mother, helps the American Spirit Department whenever she can. Her Arcana is Heliogabalus (Mirror), which resembles a giant swarm of ladybugs, spiraling like a kaleidoscope. She is voiced by Yu Kobayashi.
  • Kamui Tokinomiya (朱鷺宮神依 Tokinomiya Kamui?) is also known as the Thousand Years Protector, who works with the Ministry of Elemental Affairs to protect the human world from crisis. She remains in a state of perpetual slumber until awakened by her Arcana Anutpada (Time). It is a mysterious clock-like mechanism that has lasted since ancient times and has the ability to manipulate time and space at its whim. She is voiced by Hiromi Hirata.
  • Konoha (このは?) is from the Koinumaru clan of ninja warriors; members of her clan have the ears and a tail of a dog. Every time the Thousand Years Protector awakes, a member from the Koinumaru clan is selected to become the Millennium Guard and accompany her on her mission. Konoha's Arcana, Moriomoto (Nature), has the ability to freely manipulate plants. She is voiced by Mayumi Yoshida.
  • Nazuna Inuwaka (犬若なずな Inuwaka Nazuna?) is the younger sister of Akane and part of the clan that rivals Konoha's. Nazuna seeks to find her own destiny outside of the Inuwaka clan. To prove herself, she goes off to find out more about the Drexler Institute's recent movements. She fights using her three sacred weapons Tsumiko (cane), Fusumi (crow) and Hayata (wolf). Her Arcana is Kayatsuhine (Flower), the protector the Inuwaka clan, who governs over growth, prosperity and harvest. She is voiced by Mai Hashimoto.
  • Akane Inuwaka (犬若あかね Inuwaka Akane?) is the older sister of Nazuna and part of the Inuwaka clan, a family of shinobi that aid the Thousand Year Protector. She is overprotective of her younger sister but doesn't let it show and always appears calm and composed. She is a strategic genius who always tries to do what she considers "cool." Her Arcana is Phoenix (Sound), who was charmed by her singing voice and now lends its power to her. She is voiced by Mayumi Shindou.
  • Mei-Fang (めいふぁん Mei Fan?) is not actually a girl, but a product of China's technological advances: a humanoid robot created by Professor Mei Ling Hua, a colleague of Kira Daidohji. Mei-Fang was programmed with 4,000 years’ worth of Chinese recipes and a wide array of martial arts knowledge. Her Arcana is Lang-Gong (Fire), a wolf that lived an extremely long life in Shangri-La and seeks further evolution. She is voiced by Juri Takita.
  • Kira Daidohji (大道寺 きら Daidōji Kira?) is a genius young girl who wished to go to a medical school due to her doctor's degree, but failed and got sent back to kindergarten. Afterward she turned to world domination. She was invited by the Rosenberg branch to monitor spirit disasters in Japan. She fights using a giant semi-solid blob which she controls through her Arcana, the leviathan Niptra (Water). She is voiced by Hiromi Tsunakake.
  • Catherine Kyohbashi (キャサリン京橋 Kyasarin Kyōbashi?) is a blond-haired, blue-eyed American of Japanese descent, from the Osaka region. She has a bright and friendly personality, as well as an intellect that rivals Kira's; she enrolled in MIT's College of Spirit Research at the age of ten. Her Arcana, Median (Magnetism), appears as a giant turtle and helps Catherine with her spirit research. She is voiced by Ai Matayoshi.
  • Angelia Avallone (アンジェリア・アヴァロン Anjeria Avaron?) is cheerful and openhearted, but egotistical. Seven years ago, she willingly traveled to the Arcana World from the physical world and, since then, has stopped aging. Her Arcana is Mildred (Halo) ("Light" in the English version), her twin sister who was caught in a dimensional split between her world and the spirit world and received new powers as a result. She serves as Angelia's guardian. She is voiced by Eri Sendai.
  • Fiona Mayfield (フィオナ・メイフィールド Fiona Meifīrudo?) hails from a wealthy family in Britain. She became good friends with Saki (who came to Britain as an exchange student from Japan) until one fateful day when they were both sucked into the Elemental world. Saki managed to escape, but Fiona was trapped and now seeks to find a way back home. Her Arcana is Orichalchos (Metal), a reptilian beast believed to be the oldest Arcana in existence. She is voiced by Maria Yamamoto.
  • Yoriko Yasuzumi (安住より子 Yasuzumi Yoriko?) is introverted, bookish and fascinated with the occult. One night, with Lilica's help, she decided to try to summon a low-level demon servant for herself. As a prank, Lilica re-drew the magic circle, and Yoriko summoned Mike, the self-proclaimed “Demon King”. A contract was formed between the two of them, and now she is unable to part with him. Her Arcana, Dieu Mort (Evil), was formerly a man sentenced to be executed known as the "God of Death." She is voiced by Yui Itsuki.
  • Lilica Felchenerow (リリカ・フェルフネロフ Ririka Ferufunerofu?) is the daughter of a human mother and a demon father. She enjoys skipping school and skating around town on the roller blades her father bought her, which she enhanced with ether-powered motors. Her Arcana is Tempestas (Wind), who was once gravely wounded but nursed back to health by Lilica. She is voiced by Mayako Nigo.
  • Maori Kasuga (春日まおり Kasuga Maori?) comes from a family who has been performing blessings, exorcisms, purifications and other rituals to assist in all matters related to the Elemental world for centuries. Maori lives with her older sister Tsuzune and her younger sisters Koito and Kouta, whom she directs during the rituals. Her Arcana is Ohtsuchi (Earth), a giant clay figure that draws its power from the faith of mankind. She is voiced by Maki Tsuchiya.
  • Ragnarok (ラグナロク Ragunaroku?) is the final boss of the game. It is the ultimate creation of the Drexler Institute, a giant artificial Arcana created to resemble Gottfried. Due to its huge size, its powers were beyond the usual Arcana.

Reception[edit]

On release, Famitsu magazine scored both the PS3 and Xbox360 versions of the game a 27 out of 40 each.[8][9] Toshimichi Mori, an Arc System Works employee and designer of Blazblue series, stated in an interview that it has sold over 50 thousand copies.[10]

The updated Arcana Heart 3: Love Max received a Famitsu score of 28/40 for both the Vita and PS3 platforms.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arc System Works Bringing Arcana Heart 3 To Consoles". Siliconera. 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ [2] - Sveriges Radio
  4. ^ "アルカナハート3 LOVEMAX!!!!!". Examu.co.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  5. ^ "Arcana Heart 3 Love Max Adds New Moves Like The Arcana Eclipse". Siliconera. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  6. ^ 2014-02-25, Arcana Heart 3: Love Max coming to PS3 and PS Vita, Gematsu
  7. ^ Arcana Heart 3 official website
  8. ^ New Game Cross Review - アルカナハート3 (PS3). Famitsū. No.1153. Pg.38. 20 January 2011.
  9. ^ New Game Cross Review - アルカナハート3 (XB360). Famitsū. No.1153. Pg.38. 20 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Arc System Works Interview". Play. March 31, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ 2014-05-20, Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1328, Gematsu

External links[edit]