The original Arcana Heart is almost like the Dead or Alive of the 2D fighting genre, it stars an all-female cast of combatants — although it’s not nearly as lewd as Dead or Alive when it comes to character designs and physics. That said, the cast comprises of tried and tested female tropes from Japanese anime and pop culture. The cliches and stereotypes will be blatant to regular watchers of contemporary anime.
The last entry in the series, Aracana Heart 3, was released for consoles back in 2011 and it offered a pretty fun alternative to the likes of BlazBlue. It featured a cast of 23 characters that could be freely paired with any of the 23 Arcana creatures in the game. Since a character could be paired with any Arcana, it added a lot of diversity to the fighting system by allowing many unique combinations.
Of course, with the way fighting games are nowadays, it would be surprising not to see some ultra edition or expanded revision, and so Arcana Heart 3 follows suit with the enhanced release titled Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!!. This expanded edition arrived in Japanese arcades last year and is now confirmed for a home release in 2014. The game will be released for the PlayStation 3 and Vita on May 29, 2014 in Japan.
Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! adds a number of updates to the core gameplay, and these are mainly in the form tweaks to the balance. It will also add some new modes of play which includes a new story mode. There will also be some visual upgrades and perhaps a new character or two for the console version.
There are no plans for an official Western release yet, but that shouldn’t be a problem given the import friendly nature of fighting games and the region-free goodness of Sony consoles.