Super Arts tend to operate under similar inputs between all of the characters. These powerful attacks consume one meter in order to be used and typically have inputs similar to moving the controller in half-circle motions in one way or another before hitting A+B, differing of course from character to character. The game’s mechanics are lenient enough to allow a great number of attacks to be chained together into lengthy combos before finishing with a Super Art, albeit with greatly prorated damage. The stronger arts, Splash Arts, are the game’s version of a Level 3 Super Art. Utilizing three super bars, typically these can deal enough damage to swing the favor strongly towards the user, if they don’t take out the opponent first.
If there’s one thing that Aquapazza suffers from the most, it’s the wildly varying sense of execution. As an entry-level fighter, players can hop in first with a Simple Mode to the controls, with the game automatically deciding inputs and combos based solely on mashing one attack button at a time. Super Arts are a similar approach, with only needing to press A+B or B+C depending on the art wanted. It’s a nice crutch to help players get used to the mechanics of Aquapazza, but it really does limit people from truly enjoying the depths of the game. Blindly mashing buttons is the same way, with unintentional combos being pulled out at the most unlikeliest of times. Thankfully, the Super Arts usually require a little bit more finesse to pull off in the midst of a combo, but it’s not too surprising to see someone take their opponent’s life down halfway with a single combo at the start of a match. During my time with Karalau, there were a few simple combos that were easy to pick up and reliably perform to shave off a good 1/3 of an opponent’s life bar (of course, I had to pick the character with the largest sword, so that might explain a few things). Aquapazza is fundamentally sound and has even seen its fair share of tournament presence, with the highlight being an exhibition during the final Space Battle Opera from last year in Narita, Japan.
It wouldn’t be proper fighting game without a selection of diverse stages to battle across and Aquapazza is no exception. Taking reference from the roster, battles will take place across a various selection of locales, ranging from mountain tops to castles and even an abandoned freeway. My personal favorite is the Convention Hall from Comic Party, if only for the various cosplayers and cameos hidden within. One nice thing to note is that the sharp looking 2d characters definitely pop out against the darker, sometimes blurry backgrounds. It’s a small touch but it helps to keep the action noticeable without as many distractions, a fault that many fighting games seem to suffer from when they feature darker color characters against equally contrasting backgrounds.
While the characters aren’t polished to the same levels as Blazblue‘s high standards of 2d character models, they’re all well done in their own ways. For a title that originally released in Japanese arcades a couple of years ago, the pixels still hold up fairly well. There’s no sense that characters feel copycats of one another with each fighter having a different art and fighting style. Expect a large selection of palette swaps as well for those that want to customize their online presence. An additional Title system helps to give players in ranked matches a bit more personality, with most of the titles locked away behind unlocks for playing particular characters a number of times or performing certain feats in battle. Don’t be surprised if you see someone named Waifu Meat Cracker.
Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match is a fairly strong fighting game, although the characters largely are unknown outside of Japan. If you can forgive a roster filled with obscure characters, behind it all lies an easily accessible fighting game. While not quite on the same level as the BlazBlue series, Aquapazza performs quite well for a fighting game that’s been out in Japanese arcades for a couple of years. Reborn as a budget title, Aquapazza still has plenty of fight left in it that now a worldwide audience can appreciate.
[Editor’s Note: AquapazzaL Aquaplus Dream Match was reviewed on PS3 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match (PS3) Review,