Way back in the early days of the blog, there was one company out of Japan that received some attention every now and then, known as Examu. Best known for the Arcana Heart 2D fighting series, Arcana Heart 2 actually received a limited release in the US via Andamiro back in 2008. Arcana Heart 3 did receive a limited release to arcades in Japan a little while later, but as far as I know, that release never found its way elsewhere. Other than that, Examu had supported Taito’s NesicaxLive, but again, that’s kept availability of their games extremely limited and not allowed operators to get their hands on the game unless they were a part of the Nesica network.
Now that is going to change as the latest version of Arcana Heart 3 – Arcana Heart 3 Love Max!!!!!! Six Stars Xtend, to be exact – is headed to arcades and will be available worldwide as it is being made available on the exA-Arcadia platform. Here’s the official game poster, which includes the Team Arcana logo (TA is made up of ex-Examu staff; the latter company shuttered last year right as the pandemic started, but TA has soldiered on):
Regardless of the long name, the AH series does carry some weight to it outside of Japan, although how much is difficult to say. There are a number of English YouTube videos about it, so that’s something – if you’re into “waifu fighters,” then you should know what this is already. Here’s the quick teaser that exA showed on Twitter:
『アルカナハート3 LOVE MAX SIX STARS!!!!!! XTEND』発売決定！
Team ARCANA・TEAM EXA-AM4
— exA-Arcadia 【公式】 (@exaarcadia) April 30, 2021
Here’s a link to the video on YouTube in case you have issues with the tweet.
This exA edition will bring with it everything that the previous release of AH3LMSSX had with it while adding “new characters, arcana & game balancing” that bring it in line with what is sought after in an arcade setting. As that tweet also mentions, it has 4K & widescreen support, and allows for 2-players on one cabinet. Per the new game page that just popped up, the key visuals are being handled by Hirotaka Akaga, with M.P. Yoshihira on sound.
Another interesting thing that I notice unless I’m interpreting this wrong, is that Team Arcana is now considered to be “Team EXA-AM4.” What that means for additional Examu IP and fighting titles remains to be seen, but it is certainly noteworthy.Disregard the original paragraph, Team Arcana and Team EXA-AM4 are separate entities/teams, so that was my misinterpretation.
Finally, the release date, while not exact, does say that this will be available this summer. This will also be available anywhere you find an exA-Arcadia system, so it won’t be limited just to Japan if an operator local to you decides to grab it.
What do you think about this from the news so far?