|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ecole||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 10, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As far as controls are concerned, Arcana Heart uses a very traditional approach to fighting games. It has several one-button mashes, but these will only get you so far. The secret to success in Arcana Heart is mastering long chain combos that utilize your character's specific Arcana powers. The four face buttons are used for light, medium, strong, and special attacks. One of the greatest things about Arcana Heart is that, even though it will definitely take time to master the combo system, the shoulder buttons are used for throw attacks and special Arcana moves. The game's fundamental controls are fairly easy to pick up. Even if you have never played a fighter before, Arcana Heart is still playable.
Visuals in this game are not exactly the best you have ever seen, but I have to say that the vintage look of the game was somewhat charming overall. The visual style looks a lot like Street Fighter II and uses 2D pixel-based animations. And when you consider that this title is basically a port from an actual arcade game, the graphics only seem appropriate.
Sound is pretty good in this game. The opening song is in Japanese and sounds very energetic and peppy. The stage music is not as energetic, and sounds a little generic. But it's not bad at all, and the whole music scheme is quite satisfactory. Voice acting is minimal and is only relegated to in-game fighting noises and battle cries. These are all in Japanese, which is pretty cool in my opinion. The Japanese sounds lend a bit of authenticity to the game and enhance the whole experience.
Arcana Heart is definitely not a trailblazer in the fighting genre. It is not the best looking or most fluid fighting game out there, but if you want a solid title, then Arcana Heart delivers. It has all the right mechanics, and satisfactory audio and visual qualities. So if you have a love for the ladies and a love for combat, then look no further than Arcana Heart. Just don't expect it to break any boundaries.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer