8
Our overall verdict "silver"

Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! is a fighter, a little pocket rocket that launches bursts of light and exaggerated animation by the heap load, and with a twenty-three all-female cast, all dressed to kill, Love Max looks sharp and exciting. But don’t think Dead or Alive here; it’s not distracting in that sort of way. LOVE MAX delivers a flashy 2D anime style fighter, and an extremely competent one at that.

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After you’re got over the fact that the on-screen boarders can’t be removed, which at first glance make for a slightly cluttered screen, you can start to get your head around the plot. The story is all about The Celestial Union, an organization called the Drexler Institute and saving Japan’s destruction in under a week. Depending on which character you select and which path you go down, the story will change. Don’t worry, this all may sound a tad confusing, but we’ve come here to fight and fight this game does well.

The story mode, whilst being short, consists of eight rounds with the best out of three fights winning the battle. With gameplay consistently throwing harder and wiser opponents at you, using the game’s continues come in handy for reaching the climax. As well as Training Mode and Trail Mode, After Story Mode kicks in for each character upon completion of the game. This extra, while being wafer light on content, does bring more reason to play each and every character on the roster. Memories are also unlocked throughout the fight which can be accessed via the game’s gallery. Each femme fatal has a story and background, and this extra gives you the opportunity to delve deeper into each lady’s history. This game wants to supply the full package to you, and does so with fever.

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Arcanas bring an added twist to the gameplay and with it additional powers. Each fighter has an Arcana which can be selected before each game. Also teaming-up different fighters with different Arcanas makes for a great deal of experimentation and some interesting gameplay. Mastering different character moves and fighting styles along with their Arcana combos, makes LOVE MAX an impressive fighter indeed.

Graphically everything looks sharp, colourful and adorable, and you’ll be drawn into the game’s bizarre and exotic surroundings. If you’re a visual novel gamer who loves a good brawl you’re in luck. Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! likes its cute story-driven text and sweet innocent graphics accompanying each passage. This may grate for some but it does give each fighter a personality under all that fluffy candy floss.

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Conclusion

Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! gives the PS Vita a loud and colourful full-on explosive fighter with some excellent animation. While battles are intense with some mighty huge combos, LOVE MAX dose cater for the casual gamer too. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the world of Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!! Highly recommended.

Lizard Rating 8/10

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