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The Order 1886 Story Trailer promises an epic showing
Ready at Dawn released a trailer for The Order 1886 that will leave you stunned.... [read more]
Borderlands is handsomely arriving on PS4 and Xbox One
Gearbox Software will bring their debut PS4/Xbox One title with the Borderlands: Handsome Collection. ... [read more]
PAX South Tour Guide Pt. 3 - Quick Tips
So far we’ve told you what to do in San Antonio as well as where to eat and drink while at PAX South. Now we have a few quick tips for those traveling to our great city. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

PAX South Tour Guide Pt. 3 - Quick Tips
So far we’ve told you what to do in San Antonio as well as where to eat and drink while at PAX South. Now we have a few quick tips for those traveling to our great city. ... [read more]
The OG Replay for Jan. 19
We're less than a week from PAX South and everyone here is excited. Not only is one of the biggest gaming events coming to our home city of San Antonio, but we're going to have our own panel. ... [read more]
PAX South Tour Guide Pt. 2 - Where the locals eat and drink
If there’s two things San Antonians know, it’s good food and drinks. Although the city is the Tex-Mex capital of the world, San Antonio offers a wide range of food from classic Mexican to Japanese. Dowtown San Antonio has it all, and to save you some time, we have a few ... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Driveclub Review
Originally announced at the PS4 reveal event in Feb. 2013, Driveclub was due for release as a PS4 launch title. Development misfortunes led to an 11 month delay and the game was finally released in the first week of Oct. 2014. The game faced major challenges at launch as the... [read more]
This War of Mine Review: A new angle on war games
11 bit studios made a name for themselves with the Anomaly series where they flipped the script on the tower defense formula. They flipped the script again with This War of Mine that doesn't put you in the shoes of soldiers fighting a war, but rather the people trying to sur... [read more]
The Evil Within Review
When Shinji Mikami and the team at Capcom developed Resident Evil, they changed gaming. There were scary games prior to that first RE game, but those games didn't have nearly the impact. With The Evil Within, Mikami hopes to change the industry once again by bringing back su... [read more]

Latest Videos

8-Bit Eric: Shiny the Firefly Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at Shiny the Firefly on the Wii U. An indie game developed by Padaone games where you control a firefly on a rescue mission to protect its babies.... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Ping 1.5+ Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at the Wii U puzzle game Ping 1.5+ from Nami Tentou Mushi for the Wii U. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Top 10 Wii U games of 2014
2014 has come and gone, and the Wii U had such a kick ass year with several big releases such as Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros Wii U, Shovel Knight and more. 8-Bit Eric counts down his top Wii U games of 2014.... [read more]
Arcana Heart 3 Review
Posted on June 03, 2011 by

I’ll be straightforward with you: I suck at fighting games. They aren’t really my strength and forget about tournament play. But even though I’m terrible at them, I just can’t seem to put them down. BlazBlue, Street Fighter IV, Marvel Vs Capcom 3 and the list goes on. A recent addition to the games that I suck at but I love playing anyway is Arcana Heart 3. Solid fighting mechanics, a roster of cute anime girls, and a visual novel style story, what’s not to love about this game?

THEM'S FIGHTING WORDS

Uses Same Netcode as BlazBlue - BlazBlue (BB) had one of the best netcode for online play in any fighting game. It’s no surprise that Arc System Works decided to not only use the same net code for Arcana Heart 3, but decided to also upgrade it a bit making for faster matchmaking and less lag. Even when using a wireless network there was little to no lag during the match, only during the introductions when the girls are talking to each other.

2D Hand Drawn/Animated Sprites - As far as I know, Arcana Heart 3 (AH3) is the only fighter out there that uses hand-drawn 2D sprites. This harkens back to when everything was hand-drawn and animated with the utmost care. Using 2D sprite models in any game is getting rarer and rarer and I’m happy that they went in this direction on the art; it brings back the spirit of the arcade.

Simple Mode - AH3 follows Marvel Vs Capcom 3's lead and includes a simple mode button configuration for those who want to get right in on the action and not feel left out. Beginners are able to pull off signature, special and ultra like moves with ease. This also changes the five button normal layout to an easier four button layout.

Perfect Port With Extras - The arcade version comes home to the PS3 with extras we've come to expect in fighters: replay, training, score attack, it’s all here. Also new to the console version of AH3 are three extra characters and Arcana not in the arcade version; Weiss with Arcana Gottfried, Eko and Kaz with the Arcana Saligrama, and Scharlchrot with the Arcana Baldr. Story mode in the console version is fully voiced in Japanese with English subtitles.
 

KNOCKED OUT

No Upload Feature - A feature first introduced in BB was the ability to save replays on to the system and then upload them to YouTube. That was a great idea. For some reason or another, this feature was left out in AH3. Perhaps it was because this version of AH3 is a digital version and there were memory limitations involved so it couldn’t be added. I’m not totally sure why it was not included, but it was a poor choice.

No Disk - I understand that by going digital it saves Aksys costs and they are also able to reduce the price of the game from the standard $59.99 as a disk to $29.99 as a download. Unfortunately, not everybody has their PS3 online; those that don't will miss out, not to mention the recent PSN downtime. Hell, they could charge the full $59.99 by making the physical copy a limited edition with extra goodies. The point is that there should always be a disk available.
 


 

Arcana Heart is a solid fighter that can and has gone toe to toe with other fighting games, being good enough to be used in SBO and EVO. On the downside, though, Aksys should have also given customers a disk option in addition to a digital copy so that fans can choose what to get, and a lack of saving replays as a movie file bring the score down just a bit. On the upside, this is a perfect arcade port with button setups that can satisfy both the pro and the beginner, has great netcode and wonderfully drawn and animated 2D sprites. Arcana Heart 3 is a great addition to the series.
 

What was your GOTY for 2014?

Shadow of Mordor
Bayonneta 2
Dragon Age Inquisition
Divinity: Original Sin
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Dark Souls II
Destiny
Hearthstone
Far Cry 4
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Shovel Knight
Alien: Isolation
Child of Light
Sunset Overdrive
This War of Mine
Monument Valley
Transistor
Super Smash Bros. Wii U
Mario Kart 8
Other (Let us know in the comments)
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