Arcana Heart 3 is the third game in Examu's Arcana Heart series. Set in Japan, it features an all female cast of fighters, all of whom posses their own unique weapons and powers. Arcana Heart 3 is a fast paced sprite based 2D fighter, of similar style to Guilty Gear or BlazBlue. Arcana Heart 3 was originally released for Japanese arcades in December 2009. Arc System Works went on to release a boxed retail version in Japan, on January 13th 2011. A downloadable version that hit PSN on April 19th 2011Aksys Games, and a boxed retail copy that came to Europe on August 19th 2011, thanks to Zen United.
Arcana Heart 3 continues after the events of Arcana Heart 2.
A translated official summary:
“It has been two months since Angelia Avallone attempted to use the dimensional distortion above the Kantou area in Japan for her scheme. In that time, the organization "Drexler," whom once distributed demonic arts throughout Europe during a certain war, had resumed operations all over the globe. The secret branch in Japan was destroyed by the West Europe Spirit Agency and they established the branch office "Rosenberg" there in its place. Immediately following that, a large dimensional disruption was observed by many. The timing of this event was most unnatural, and there were rumors of secret activity from the defunct Drexler branch. In order to resolve these events, the Japanese Spirit Agency has dispatched their Scared Maidens. The Rosenberg office also sent their Sacred Maidens but in their way stands a new foe, opponents that have been granted the powers of a Sacred Maiden, Valkyries.”
Arcana Heart 3 is 5 button fighting game which, in comparison to other fighting games, is quite different. The main attack buttons being A (Weak) B (Strong) C (Heavy) and E (Arcana). Arcana Heart 3 forgoes links for an A > B > C > E chain system, much like Marvel vs. Capcom 3, making it easier to pull off impressive combos. The D (Homing) button is somewhat unique to Arcana Heart 3 however.
The D button or Homing Dash is used to propel your character towards your opponent, or away if a backward motion is input beforehand. A lot of Arcana Heart 3 is spent zipping around in the air, making this button almost mandatory if you are to catch your opponent, continue a combo or beat a hasty retreat.
There are a couple of special techniques that can also be executed with this button, each costing 1 bar of your Arcana Gauge, these are:
The D button can be used to cancel the majority of normal moves, allowing for longer combos.
Backwards/Forwards Guard Cancel
By hitting the D button and either backwards or forwards while in block stun will result in your character quickly dashing away or towards their aggressor with a large shield. Any attacks that hit the shield will cause a clash, momentarily protecting you from its damage.
Arcana Heart features a number of fight mechanics, some totally unique to it, and some found in other, similar fighting games. This part may be a little confusing at first, as everything has Arcana in or around its name.
As with most fighting games, the health of the characters in Arcana Heart 3 is represented with a life gauge. This gauge fades from orange to red as the character takes damage. The smaller notches below are helpful indicators of what % of health the character has remaining.
The Arcana Gauge is similar to a super bar in most other fighting games, but works very differently. When starting a round, characters will have 1 bar of their Arcana Gauge filled, using supers, special cancels or critical heats will deplete this gauge; causing the green section to turn red. However, unlike most fighting games, this gauge will regenerate over time without the character having to do anything.
To extend the gauge beyond 1 bar, players must have a full green bar and be attacking or being hit by the other player. If there is any red caused by using supers etc. you must wait for the bar to fully recharge to green before it can be extended.
The Force Gauge works similarly to Arcana Gauge in that it is always charging. It can only be used once at maximum when it will begin to flash and will recharge dependent on what Arcana you have chosen and how you previously depleted the gauge. This gauge is used for a variety of things; such as Arcana Bursts, Extend Force Activation and Arcana Blaze.
Your Arcana is the "Pokémon” type creature you pick after choosing a character. They provide your character with unique ways to expend their Force Gauge using Arcana themed special moves. They can also dictate how fast the Force Gauge recharges; the Arcana you picked will be displayed behind the character portrait.
Much like the BlazBlueburst; an Arcana Burst is your GET OFF ME move. It’s activated by having a full Force Gauge and pressing the C+E buttons together. Be warned however, this will cause your Force Gauge to recharge incredibly slowly after use.
Extend Force Activation
Extend Force Activation is activated by pressing the A+B+C buttons; doing so will power up your character for a short period of time, improving either their attack or defense and activating Arcana specific abilities. Extend Force Activation will also cancel the characters current animation when on the ground, allowing for extended combos.
During Extend Force Activation you gain the ability to use Arcana Blaze. This is a very powerful attack based on which Arcana you picked. It’s activated by inputting 236 A+B+C.
This is the characters ultimate move, dishing out a lot of damage. Critical Heats can only be used when a character has 3 bars of Arcana Gauge, the input and situational requirements for these moves vary on a per character basis. Critical Heats are also influenced by the activation of Extend Force, allowing them to do even more damage.
Arcana Heart 3 houses a total of 23 characters, all with their own unique fighting styles and moves.
Akane Inuwaka is a cat-girl from the Inuwaka tribe. Older sister to Nazuna, she is an agile, well rounded fighter.
Angelia Avallone was the previous boss of Arcana Heart 2, and the cause of the dimensional distortion.
Catherine Kyohbashi is probably most notable for piloting a massive robot. By far the largest character in Arcana Heart 3, though no slouch in terms of speed either. Akane Inuwaka is a cat-girl from the Inuwaka tribe. Older sister to Nazuna, she is an agile, well rounded fighter.
Clarice Di Lanza though dressed as a nun, has the ability to steal health from foes, making up for her lack of stamina.
As both her parents were magicians, Dorothy Albright followed suit. Being a magician she has a large array of tricks when it comes to fighting.
Eko is one of the newcomers to the series. She rides a large crayon creation of hers named Kaz, who does all the fighting for her. Able to transform into a variety of things Kaz is a potent fighter.
More nuns?! Elsa La Conti fights to free the world from evil.
Friend of Saki, Fiona Mayfield wields a giant sword, giving her a range advantage on normal attacks over most of the cast.
Heart Anio is the face of all previous Arcana Heart games. She is a very beginner friendly character.
Kamui Tokinomiya wields a samurai sword; she dresses in a traditional school girl uniform to compliment it…
The grappler of the cast, Kira Daidohji sits atop a large globe of water, letting it do the fighting for her.
A squirrel ninja! Konoha is very fast, catering for more advanced players.
Lieselotte Achenbach’s unique attribute is her doll, which she fights alongside.
Another Demon, but this time on roller skates… Lilica Felchenerow is one of the more unique members of the cast.
Maori Kasuga is a priestess with great zoning potential, using her followers to beat up her opponent from afar.
Mei-Feng is a Chinese made robot, she joins the cast to look for her missing maker.
Nazuna Inuwaka is another cat-girl and younger sister to Akane. She’s most notable for riding a giant wolf into battle.
Guns! Petra Johanna Lagerkvist not only has one of the longest names in the cast, but also one of the longest ranges too, thanks to her dual pistols.
Saki Tsuzura, much like Heart, is another great character to begin with.
Another character new to the Arcana Heart series, Scharlachrot is heavy on the zoning.
Weiß or Weiss, is the face of Arcana Heart 3, and is also new to the series. Able to summon swords, she’s a pretty versatile character.
Yoriko Yasuzumi may be slow, but has a variety of ways to offset this, making her a powerful character.
Finally we have the close range rush down character. Zenia Valov has a large metal fist she uses to pummel her foes into submission.
As well as a character, when playing Arcana Heart 3 you are required to also pick an Arcana. Arcana are mythical spirits who come in many flavors, augmenting the characters move set with their different attributes. They affect many different things, from the damage you do to the speed at which your Force Gauge recharges. Some are more offense focused, while some are more defense focused, so experiment to find which Arcana best suits your play style!
|Dark||Ability to turn opponent into Dark slime for 60 seconds.||Faster Arcana specific attacks.|
|Earth||Guard point on charged E moves.||Hyper-armor, slowed movement, no block.|
|Evil||Charged E moves poison the opponent.||Normal moves poison the opponent.|
|Fenrir||Charged E moves cannot clash.||Baldur takes up residence on the screen.|
|Fire||Charged E moves become un-blockable.||Extra damage on normal attacks.|
|Flower||Charged E moves deplete enemy arcana gauge. Invalidates counter hits.||All plants on stage level up.|
|Halo||Charged E moves summon Mildred. Increases jump height.||Mildred takes up residence on the screen.|
|Ice||Charged E moves slow opponent. Faster forward step.||Normal moves freeze the opponent.|
|Love||Charging E moves reflects attacks. Slower fall speed.||Ability to cancel super moves.|
|Luck||Random effects including the ability to nullify KO hit.||Passive abilities increased.|
|Magnetism||Charged E moves draw opponents in. Faster fall speed.||Continually pulls opponent in.|
|Metal||Charged E moves do more damage. Arcana gauge must be charged manually.||Increases Metal's level by 1.|
|Mirror||Charged E moves cause a mirror image to attack.||Player becomes harder to see.|
|Plant||E moves restore health.||Gain health while Extend Force is active.|
|Punishment||Charged E moves cause hit stun.||Attack and Defense increase. More special hits.|
|Sacred||Reduces E move charge time. Ability to regain health.||Ability to regain health.|
|Sin||Charged E moves become projectiles, but cause damage to you.||Lower health increases attack.|
|Thunder||Charged E moves have full body clash. Forward step will clash.||Every action will now cause clash.|
|Time-Space||Charged E moves cause a double that allows you to attack opponent on command.||Double speed.|
|Tone||Charged E moves cause a cannon to take up residence on the screen.||Cannon will appear for all attacks.|
|Tyr||E move charge time decreased.||Extend Force time increased.|
|Water||E moves block/hit stun increased. Nullifies chip damage.||All moves cause increased block/hit stun.|
|Wind||Increases number of air movements by 1.||Ability to cancel moves with air dash.|
Versions and Pricing
Standard Edition: 6,680 ¥
Limited Edition: 19,800 ¥
- Game disc.
- 24 lapel pins.
- Collection of art cells.
Standard Edition: 30 €
Limited Edition: 36 €
- Game disc.
- 144 page art book.
- Official Arcana Heart soundtrack.
- 12 Arcana and character guide cards.
- Home of the original creators of the series.
- Developers of the disc based Arcana Heart 3.
- Publishers of Arcana Heart 3.
- Publishers of Arcana Heart 3 in Europe.
- For fans of the game to discuss the title.