The next 2D, 1v1 fighter headed to arcades is now testing in Japan and there’s some name recognition to this one out West – Arcana Heart 3 Love Max Six Stars!!!!!! Xtend – or if you don’t prefer the mouthful, just Arcana Heart 3 Xtend.
The Arcana Heart series started back in 2005 and is an all-girls fighter, with mechanics similar to Guilty Gear, per this fan Wiki. It’s mainly seen action in Japan, but there have been some PlayStation and PC ports over the years that has given it some exposure to Western audiences. Way back in 2008, Andamiro USA tested the waters for the arcade version Arcana Heart 2, although I am not sure exactly how many (or if any) boards were sold to operators here. The 3rd iteration of the series has seen several variations and the latest build has been available on PCs since 2017.
It is finally headed to arcades on the exA-Arcadia platform and is currently testing in Shinjuku, Japan. Aside from the 2 frames of input lag delay, it doesn’t sound like there are any new characters or stages being added to it but if that info changes I’ll update this space. There are 26 characters to choose from and 4 game modes (arcade, survival, score attack, and training – I’d need the latter before going too deep, haha). I need to emphasize that this release is world wide, so it won’t just be getting action in Japan. Any operator with an exA can offer it.
I did get a chance to play an earlier build of this one at IAAPA 2022; Unfortunately as things stand right now, exA will not be at IAAPA 2023 due to a space issue there.
If past exA game tests are anything to go by, I would assume that this will go up for pre-order/sale some time this month. Axel City 2, another fighter, just started shipping earlier this week so locations that ordered one should start seeing those soon.
What are your thoughts on this next fighter release?