Arcana Heart 3

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Arcana Heart 3
ArcanaHeart3.jpg
European cover art
Developer(s)Examu
Publisher(s)Examu (arcade)
Arc System Works (console, PC)
Designer(s)Sakuraitooru
SeriesArcana Heart
Platform(s)Arcade
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
ReleaseArcade
  • JP: December 22, 2009
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • JP: January 13, 2011
  • NA: April 19, 2011
(PSN-only)
  • EU: August 7, 2011
Genre(s)2D Versus fighting
Mode(s)Up to 2 players simultaneously
CabinetUpright
Arcade systemeX-Board
Taito Type X2 (Love Max!!!!!)

Arcana Heart 3 (Japanese: アルカナハート3, Hepburn: Arukana Hāto Surī) is a 2011 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 2011, and was officially released on September 20, 2011. An official PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version was later released on February 6, 2013. An American (PlayStation Network only) version was released on August 20, 2013 by Aksys Games[1][2] and in Europe on October 2, 2013 by Zen United.

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!!!!!, written with multiple exclamation marks), with rebalanced gameplay and new game modes was released in Japan on May 8, 2013 for Arcades, and later released for PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows.[3][4] This was followed by Arcana Heart 3: Love Max Six Stars!!!!! (Japanese: アルカナハート3 LOVE MAX SIX STARS!!!!!, Hepburn: Arukana Hāto Surī Love Max Six Stars!!!!!, written with multiple exclamation marks), which was released in arcades on December 4, 2014, and later released on Microsoft Windows on December 13, 2017.[5] The latest update version known as Arcana Heart 3: Love Max Six Stars Xtend!!!!! (Japanese: アルカナハート3 LOVE MAX SIX STARS XTEND!!!!!, Hepburn: Arukana Hāto Surī Love Max Six Stars Xtend!!!!!, written with multiple exclamation marks) was announced on April 24, 2019, adding two more characters who were originally meant to be DLC characters in original Love Max Six Stars update.[6]

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 fighting 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 versions have a fully voiced story mode and HD anime graphics for super moves. They also include a training mode, score attack, and online play.

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

Characters[edit]

Arcana Heart 3 released with a cast of 23 playable characters, with twenty returning from previous games in the series and three new playable characters (and corresponding Arcana).[7] The Love Max Six Stars!!!!!! update introduced the fourth character on release. As part of a stretch goal of the Kickstarter campaign for the Steam release of Love Max Six Stars!!!!!!, a fifth new character was added.

Introduced in Arcana Heart 3[edit]

  • Weiß (ヴァイス, Vaisu)
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro[8][9]

Weiß (ヴァイス, Vaisu) is the last and newest of the three main protagonists of the game, alongside Heart Aino and Petra Johanna Lagerkvist. She is 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, the Arcana of 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.[10]

  • Scharlachrot (シャルラッハロート, Sharurahharōto)
Voiced by: Yuki Matsuoka[11]

Scharlachrot (シャルラッハロート, Sharurahharōto), the secondary antagonist of the game, is another 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 is Baldur, the Arcana of Fang who is also a Geist. It shares its name with Baldur von Schirach. The Drexler Institute based Baldur on Fenrir, the massive wolf from Norse mythology.[10]

  • Eko (えこ, Eko)
Voiced by: Ayumi Tsuji[12] (Eko)
Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya[13] (Kazu)

Eko (えこ, Eko) 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 on 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, the Arcana of Luck, which resembles a spirit with a die inside.[10]

  • Ragnarok (ラグナロク, Ragunaroku)

Ragnarok (ラグナロク, Ragunaroku) is the main antagonist and 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.

Introduced in Arcana Heart 3 Love Max Six Stars!!!!!![edit]

  • Minori Amanohara (天之原みのり, Amanohara Minori)
Voiced by: Yuri Yamaoka

Minori is an “Hybride”, a special Valkyrie who can dually wield the powers of the Arcana and the Geist (armored spirits developed at the Drexler Institute). She escaped the facility with the help of Petra. “Doing good deeds in secrecy” is her motto, so she uses her ability to defeat evil without being seen. The dragonhead-like armor on her arms is the Geist of Fafnir and Schwarz. Her Arcana is Ichor, the Arcana of Blood. It symbolizes the essence of life. The Mobius strip represents the reincarnation of all life and enhances all potentials to their maximum strength.[14]

Introduced in Arcana Heart 3 Love Max Six Stars Xtend!!!!!![edit]

  • Pistrix (ピストリクス, Pisutorikusu)
Voiced by: Shiori Izawa

She's a "shark girl" creature brought to life by the influence of Parace L'Sia. Her nickname is “Peace”.[15]

Release[edit]

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!![edit]

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!!
Developer(s)Examu
Publisher(s)
  • JP: Arc System Works
  • NA: Aksys Games
  • EU: NIS America
  • WW: Arc System Works (PC)
Platform(s)Arcade
PlayStation 3
PlayStation Vita
Microsoft Windows
ReleaseArcade
  • JP: May 8, 2013
PlayStation 3
PlayStation Vita

  • JP: May 25, 2014
  • NA: September 23, 2014
  • EU: November 20, 2014
Microsoft Windows
  • WW: September 29, 2015
Arcade systemTaito Type X²

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!!!!!, written with multiple exclamation marks), with rebalanced gameplay and survival and training modes added (previously, only available in consoles), was released in Japan on May 8, 2013 for Arcades.[3][4] A home port of Arcana Heart 3 Love Max!!!!! was released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on May 29, 2014.[16] A version for Microsoft Windows was released worldwide on September 29, 2015.[17]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic73/100[18]
Review scores
PublicationScore
GameSpot70%
OPM (UK)70%
Play79%

On release, Famitsu scored both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game a 27 out of 40 each.[19][20] Toshimichi Mori, an Arc System Works employee and designer of BlazBlue series, stated in an interview that over 50,000 units of the game have been shipped.[21] Metacritic also gave the game a 6.4/10.[22]

Play magazine said, "the kiddy exterior masks a surprisingly complex game that rewards investment." GameSpot was that the game was "a fun fighter with a lot to offer". while the PlayStation Official Magazine said there was "a massively deep fighter hidden here".

The updated Arcana Heart 3: Love Max received a Famitsu score of 28/40 for both the Vita and PS3 platforms.[23] Hardcore Gamer gave the Vita version of the game a 4/5.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arc System Works Bringing Arcana Heart 3 To Consoles". Siliconera. 2010-07-20. Archived from the original on 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  2. ^ [1] Archived September 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "アルカナハート3 LOVE MAX!!!!!". Examu.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2014-06-21. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  4. ^ a b "Arcana Heart 3 Love Max Adds New Moves Like The Arcana Eclipse". Siliconera. 2013-05-08. Archived from the original on 2014-06-22. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  5. ^ James, Thomas (October 16, 2014). "Arcana Heart 3: Love Max Six Stars announced – Gematsu". Gematsu.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  6. ^ https://www.twitter.com/examu_PR/status/1120947560154161152
  7. ^ "Arcana Heart 3 official website". Archived from the original on 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  8. ^ "Voice Of Weiss - Arcana Heart". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  9. ^ "Arcana Heart 3". metacritic.com. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Character". Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! Official Site. Aksys Games. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  11. ^ "Voice Of Scharlachrot - Arcana Heart". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  12. ^ "Voice Of Eko - Arcana Heart". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Examu (April 19, 2011). Arcana Heart 3. Aksys Games. Scene: staff credits.
  14. ^ "ARCANA HEART 3 LOVE MAX SIX STARS!!!!!! - 2D fighting game by EXAMU Inc". Kickstarter. July 5, 2017. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  15. ^ "Pistrix"Shark Girl" Gameplay Revealed For Arcana Heart 3: Love Max Six Stars!!!!!!". Fighting Games Online. 2018-03-30. Archived from the original on 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  16. ^ 2014-02-25, Arcana Heart 3: Love Max coming to PS3 and PS Vita Archived 2014-02-27 at the Wayback Machine, Gematsu.
  17. ^ "Arcana Heart 3 Love Max!!!!! Coming to Steam". Archived from the original on 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-04-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ New Game Cross Review – アルカナハート3 (PS3). Famitsū. No.1153. Pg.38. 20 January 2011.
  20. ^ New Game Cross Review – アルカナハート3 (XB360). Famitsū. No.1153. Pg.38. 20 January 2011.
  21. ^ "Arc System Works Interview". Play. March 31, 2011. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  22. ^ "Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!!". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  23. ^ 2014-05-20, Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1328 Archived 2014-05-21 at the Wayback Machine, Gematsu.
  24. ^ Estrada, Marcus (2014-09-22). "Review: Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!!". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2014-09-29.

External links[edit]

Arcana Heart 3 Love Max!!!!!
Arcana Heart 3 Love Max Six Stars!!!!!!