I loved the first game when I imported it. For a doujin fighter that basically went straight to the arcade instead of PC was a big jump and not at all bad. After a year of the first game's arcade release, it was pretty quick for the developers examu to announce the 2nd game. So once the pre-orders went up on Play-asia, I was more than ready to pre-order. But was it worth it?....looooooooool
Well...not really. Sugoi! Arcana Heart 2 is a rather horrendous port of the arcade version. Why. Many reasons. But before I rant on and start showing off vids of the main problems, lets sugar coat this all girl cast with the "postives". First off, all the characters return from the first game (minus the boss...mildred..kind of...she's still around.) along with the new girls:
- Petra, your dual wielding chick who dawns all white and packin.
- Catherine a little girl in a big robot
- Dorothy, the girl in a circus who name and moves also reference to the wizard of oz (hmm...)
- Zenia, the russian chick with a pilebunker on her arm. Why she doesn't 1 hit kill is beyond me. lol
- Elsa, the "Simon Belmont" of the game. no really. Uses a whip, cross, holy water, etc.
- Clarice, the chick who's apparently dead but brought back to life somehow.
- Akane, Legs Legs Legs. Uses kicks and speed for her fights.
- Nazuna Akane's little sister who pays a bit of homage to Nakoruru and Rimiruru with the Wolf/Bird combo.
- Angelia the original "Boss" before the Sugoi! update. Mildred's sister who's basically wearing a big shirt to cover her naked ass. Eternally stuck as 10 or something thanks to the magical word.
See here, there's a good amount of new characters to already add to the big cast of characters. Not just 3 new characters here. Along with those characters are new arcanas but i'm not gonna go all into that. Let's just get to the root of the problem.
Now if you've played ANY fighter, you know it's all about reflexes, combos, and getting those wins in. Problem here? This game lags. BAD. not all the time, but enough to just say WTF. Words never do enough, so lets show off the famous "Lag" vid that's already been front paged on Kotaku and got so much hate on this port:
sad no? it's very. Our good newcomer there Petra, lags. BAD. To the point you can't play her seriously. Doing combos with her (or really even shooting with her gun.) slows the game down. Considering I wanted to pick up Petra since I first saw her in the famitsu scan, this hurts me a lot. My first runthrough in arcade, I ran into Petra. I literally continued about 10ish times. It's a problem. It's not only Petra that slows things down, about most of the arcanas that make a lot of things occur on screen (for example, Heart's love arcana.) lag/slowdown the game. Doing things like love balls and then the love beam will slow the game down. Even if no one is moving. To make matters worse, about all the new characters (minus maybe 2 or 3) slow the game down in some way it's pretty horrible. Then our boss's arcane, Holy, has Mildred (first game's boss) as the Arcane. She's basically a counter attack in a way. Not only do her sprites look god awful (which is next) she also...slows the game down. Now I haven't played with most people, but it seems if the character doesn't slow the game down, chances are your arcana will make up for it and do so.
Now our next problem is the poor excuse of animation. In the first game, it was rather smooth and nicely done. This time around...
now look at this. It's horrible. There's no excuse for this at all. No one is really a "clean sprite" as everyone has some fugly sprite animation (most from walking.) and our good Ex boss now Arcana, Mildred, Is probably the biggest of all. Her sprites are just as awful...even worse. If you try to put the game in progressive sca...whoops. Examu didn't bother adding that in this version also. So no matter what type of screen (HD or SD) it'll look pretty awful.
A lot of fans of this game are rather pissed at this shitty port. to add with the slowdown and awful sprites, the game isn't even the latest version out in the arcades. Which Examu said would be. So to top it off, we get bad sprites, awful slowdowns (which 1 new character unplayable.), and a version that's not the latest...but not an old version either. The worse thing of this all? Most feel this game will soon be ported to the 360/PS3 later down the road and just be called Kawai! Arcana Heart 2. Such a move is what you'd expect from Capcom.
do I recommend this to anyone? Not at all. If you want to play this game, get the first one as that's a better port than this poor excuse. One last gift...
Many people tried thinking of ways to kill the lag/slowdown problem. HD Loader doesn't do anything except kill the load speed. PS3 BC does nothing. what's the catch? PS2 Emulator. lololololololphail. Basically if you have a decent computer (not sure the standards) you can play this better on the emulator than the ps2. My computer can't do it as it's not that good...but it runs it.