Browsing around MMCafe at the behest of a pal yielded me this, and I thought it was worth sharing…
Arcana Heart is Yuki’s (guys behind the last few Samurai Shodown titles) new fighting game series, just that they’re on their own with this one. (I would guess this was to be more or less expected, since SNKP is sending SS down another road with the upcoming, 3D SS Sen).
As you can probable see in the screen shot, and others in the links I’ll list below, it’s definitely a girly-centric title. For those rubes who can’t deal with it, sorry for ya. Everybody else who’s either willing to look the other way, or even embrace it in a similar manner to how Eternal Fighter Zero, Immaterial and Missing Power and, especially, Melty Blood handled the matter, may be in for a treat.
First of all, from what reports have given, the sprites for the ten characters are based in an all new engine, and also look quite good; combining the artistic style of the new characters based from SS (mainly Iroha and Mina, natch), with a higher animation count.
Secondly, the battle engine seems to be one that could support a good deal of depth. While the character roster in itself is rather small, the intricacy seems to stem from the whole “Arcana System”, which basically adds a few extra attributes and moves (based on elements from what I’ve heard) to your own character, which you select from a rather extensive list before a match. From what another dude told me, the best way to think about it is to remember SS3 and 4’s Slash and Bust system dynamic…only if each character had like several different “versions” to be selected from.
As of right now, there’s only two main things that “concern” me. One is about the characters themselves. I like the art style itself, I suppose, and I also understand that the characters are supposed to be stereotypical girl-archetypes. But honestly…these character designs don’t personally impress me, all that much; at least, compared to other “girly fighters” like EFZ and etc, which I thought had more interesting characters and designs. Maybe once I get to see this game more (and hopefully, in person), my opinions may change, but for now…
The other thing was how, while the overall impressions at the Japanese location test were positive, there were such things that irk-inducing, such as how balance was off, and the game’s speed and jump physics were a bit off. Since the game is not expected to officially touch down until December, I’m hoping these are the kinds of things Yuki can just iron out in the weeks ahead.
Any way, I just thought this would be something worth noting. It ain’t everyday you see a NEW 2D fighter emerge on the scene, and even rarer when it’s actually NEW (as opposed to being based off an established franchise, as was the case with HnK). So, needless to say, in spite of the designs not exactly instilling me with much interest, I’ll keep an eye on this one, and I guess can do nothing much else except just wait until vids, and eventual (PS2) port rolls on through any where between 6 months to a year later. ^^;
More links (plus original news source):