Table of Contents
Attacking in Arcana Heart 3 is a little more complicated than in other games; with all of the options you have for creating combos, there is a considerable amount of difficulty in choosing which one to use and why. In this section, we will cover all of the basic attack options that each character has, so we have a good foundation for the more advanced stuff later. This is the last basic lesson in the entire series, so pay attention or get left in the dust!
Normal Attacks – Normal attacks are nothing new to the average fighting game player and can be done at the push of a button, literally. By pressing any of the A, B, C, or E buttons, your character will perform a corresponding normal attack. Your character will perform different attacks depending on what state they are in (standing, crouching, or jumping) and some characters have command attacks (directional input + attack button) that they can also perform. For the most part, this is familiar to a majority of players, and normal attacks are the cornerstone of any character’s offensive strategy. Normal attacks can often be canceled into one another by “Normal Canceling” them as they connect with your opponent, though there is a specific order to which this can be done. Normal Attacks also have all kinds of other special properties that vary depending on the character and the normal performed, so make sure to try out each one to see which normal are useful.
Grounded E Attacks – All characters can hold down the E button while standing or crouching to charge up their attack. The effect of a fully charged E attack varies depending on the Arcana, but a majority of them will cause a state called “Guard Crash” when blocked, where your opponent will be blown away from you and will be unable to block until they recover from the state. As such, fully charging an E attack can be good for catching an opponent unawares for some good damage.
Throws – A throw is a short range unblockable attack that is performed by pressing A+D together with no directional input or 6/4 + A+D. Throws can also be performed in the air, where they essentially perform the same function. While it is an attack that cannot be blocked, it can be escaped if the opponent inputs the throw command (A+D) right as you throw them. Throws are extremely useful for catching an opponent who is blocking too much, but they are also handy for throwing an opponent who has just recovered in the air.
Special Attacks – Special Attacks are another common motif in fighting games, which are performed by inputting certain directional commands followed by certain button commands. These are the attacks that are often iconic to fighting games, such as the Hadouken or Shoryuken from the Street Fighter series. Each character has their own set of unique Special Attacks and also a set of special attacks provided by the Arcana they have chosen. As you would expect, Special Attacks give each character a significant amount of flavor and can greatly influence how a character is played – they can be anything from an invincible uppercut attack to an attack where your character falls flat on her face. Special Attacks have numerous varying properties, so try each one out to see what it looks like and what it can do for you.
Super Attacks (EX Attacks) – A Super Attack is an attack that is performed similar to a Special Attack, except that it takes 1 or more stocks of your Arcana Gauge to perform. As with before, each character has their own unique set of Super Attacks and a set provided by the Arcana they have chosen. Super Attacks are basically very powerful Special Attacks and often have special properties that cannot be found elsewhere. They are mainstays in combos and can often be used for utility in areas that a character would otherwise not have at all. As with Special Attacks, the properties vary greatly, so experimentation is a definite must in attempting to find which Super Attacks are useful and when it is best to utilize them.
Extend Force – The Extend Force is a special power-up state that is performed by press A+B+C simultaneously. It can only be performed when the Force Gauge is at 100%, and will slowly drain the Force Gauge until it runs out. Once the Force Gauge reaches zero, it will slowly recharge until it is full again. During the Extend Force, your character will receive numerous buffs depending on which Arcana you are using, such as regenerating health or boosting attack power. While the effects of the Extend Force vary greatly depending on which Arcana you choose, all of them will increase your character’s speed and grant additional Normal Cancels that are otherwise not possible. As you would expect, these properties can provide a significant edge in battle, so make sure to utilize the Extend Force whenever possible.
Arcana Blaze – The Arcana Blaze is an extremely powerful attack that can be performed only while your character has an Extend Force activated. The Arcana Blaze will instantly drain your Force Gauge to zero and inflict a penalty on how fast it regenerates, but is capable of extremely powerful, game changing effects. Some Arcana Blazes will render an opponent completely helpless for a period of time, while others are simply an extremely powerful attack. Always look for an opportunity to land an Arcana Blaze whenever your Extend Force is active, it can quickly turn the tides in your favor.
Critical Heart – The Critical Heart is the ultimate special attack that a character can perform. It will consume all three gauges of your Arcana Gauge and often has other requirements that must be fulfilled in order to be performed. Though the conditions are quite strenuous, the Critical Heart is capable of causing a ridiculous amount of damage and can instantly overturn matches if it lands. It is important to note that the destructive power of a Critical Heart is greatly improved if performed during an Extend Force, so combine the two to deal an incredible amount of damage to the opponent!
With that, we’ve finally finished covering the basics in Arcana Heart 3! Tune in next time, when we’ll discuss all kinds of crazy advanced techniques for building cool combos!