Arcana Hearts 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! – Review
Follow Genre: 2D fighting game
Developer: Examu
Publisher: Examu, Arc System Works, Aksys Games, Zen United, NIS America
Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation Vita
Tested on: Playstation Vita

Arcana Hearts 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! – Review

Site Score
Good: very fun, interesting characters, good soundtrack
Bad: no improved full hd graphics, new content is pretty scarce
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Arcana Hearts is one of those 2D fighting games that have been around for a fair amount of time. It also has been a custom in the recent years to release updated versions of fighting games, just like they tend to do with Street Fighter IV, but on a smaller scale. Arcana Hearts 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! is an update to the game, where the gameplay has been rebalanced and where a special After Story mode has been added to further develop the amusing times you will have.



The story is set in a more developed Japan where there was a distortion of time and space known as the Great Kanto Incident which took place in Arcana Hearts 2. This meant the devastation of the Holy Spirit Institutions, and it took them a total of two months before they could restore themselves.

In the present, there is a family that has resumed its activities under the name of the Drexler Institution and has been hiding in Japan for some time now. A large amount of distortions have been observed in Japan, presumably influenced by Drexler. Apparently they have given the permission to a Maiden called Scharlachrot to begin her secret activities of sinking the entirety of Japan in a period of 6 days, by collecting 5 celestial stones that have the power to summon Ragnarok, a giant Arcana created by the Drexler Institute itself.

It is up to the characters of the game, with a total of 23 different characters along with their own special Arcana, to go in search for the celestial stones and putting an end to Ragnarok and prevent world destruction.

Unique to the newly updated Arcana Hearts 3 LOVE MAX!!!!!, there is the After Story Mode which contains a new, more loose kind of story which is set after the main story mode. It comes with new voice acting and illustrations, but you’ll have no real bonus information as the extra stories for each characters are pretty much the same: a search for one celestial stone in a hot spring.



Like most 2D fighting games are, Arcana Hearts 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! adapts an anime art style together with character portraits when following the story through dialogues. The designs of each character are very unique, and will all be memorable. Together with the various illustrations that you will unlock during the different modes, they are definitely something to enjoy.

The one thing that was a disappointment in the newest edition, is the fact that the graphics in-game (sprite-wise) haven’t been made into high definition and are just the same as the original. It would’ve been pretty nice if they did, as it would have improved the reasons to buy the game even if you already own the original version.


The music is very well done, it is very memorable and is certainly a motivation during battles. There isn’t a single track in the game that’ll be disappointing. The voice-acting (including that from the new After Story) is also very well done, bringing the characters truly to life.

arcana heart 3 love max 04


Much like with the other 2D fighting games, Arcana Hearts offers the player a fast and action-packed fighting game for you to enjoy. There are a total of 23 characters to choose from, with each their own Arcana which you can also pick on characters that aren’t a pair (each character’s Arcana is an embodiment of the character which means that they are usually more effective on that specific character).

These Arcana offer extra attacks to perform, are greatly different from others and work well together with the original characters. Aside from this, you also have an Arcana Gauge that fills up upon taking and inflicting damage, which you can use to perform unique special moves.

The Critical Heart move is the ultimate move, available to each character, which consumes a total of 3 Arcana Gauge. Some have a condition before activating and can be broken in smaller parts for use with only one gauge.


The Force Gauge allows the player to use special moves and depletes to 0% when used. Firstly you’ll be able to activate your Extend Force, where you’ll power up your character for a small period of time. Your character will move faster and their attacks might change slightly depending on what character you chose. You can cancel this in order to perform combos that you might not have been able to do otherwise. Your Force Gauge will refill faster when you cancel it. Next we have the Arcana Burst, which is an invincibility burst attack when your gauge is at 100%. You can use this to break through enemy combos but the refilling of your Force Gauge will take longer. Lastly we have the Arcana Blaze that you can use during your Extend Force, making your Arcana perform its ultimate move.

Aside from these special functions, you have a pretty standard 2D fighting game where you’ll need to hit consecutive attacks to perform devastating combos. Unlike 3D fighting games like Tekken or Street Fighter, you can perform mid-air dashes which greatly increase mobility in battle. Aside from these mid-air dashes you can also perform a homing dash where you’ll directly fly towards the enemy but are unable to attack during this dash. So you should pay attention to not just carelessly use it as the enemy will have a good opportunity to counter you.

Aside from the Story Mode you’ll have the usual fighting game modes like Versus Mode, Training Mode, Score Attack Mode, Time Attack Mode, Gallery Mode and Online Mode, with the addition of the new After Story Mode. As stated before, this mode is nothing more than a small Story Mode that doesn’t add too much new stuff.



Aside from the fact that the graphics could’ve been full HD, and the newest mode not adding too much new content to the game, you’ll have a solid fighting game that you can fully enjoy with your friends or alone. The various interesting characters and the variety of Arcana to choose from, make the game fresh and different from others. I would recommend buying this game if you haven’t gotten the original yet, while deciding for yourself if re-buying the game for the small amount of extra content is worth it or not.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Arcana Hearts 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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