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I mentioned in another Japanese fighting game review that with the job of reviewing fighting games you come across a lot of deliciously entertaining games but then there are also those games where you just don’t know what the hell is going on half the time. Aquapazza Aquaplus Dream Match is one of those games and as I am writing this review I am still confused while I did play the game for as long as I did, but I am here to say that during this review I will probably get down to why that is and how this happened so lets get started shall we.
Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match is a animé fighting game in every sense of the word, if you didn’t know by now you haven’t read the title of the game yet because that is a mouthful in itself, but the game was originally released in the Japanese Arcades back in 2011, but as the popularity grew it later got released to Japanese PS3 owners down the road but it isn’t until now North Americans could get their hands on it as it slowly came over here and released for the PS3 on PSN.
Now lets talk story and characters, because the first thing you will notice is the way the characters look and behave, now listen, I am not the one to debate feminism or talk about the amount of sex that is being put on display here but there is that, lots of it too. So if you are not into that then stay away as it is literally forced onto you depending on which characters you choose. But what do bother me though is the story and how incredibly difficult it was for me that isn’t known with this series to understand what the hell was going on. Let me try and explain the story for you, there is this evil witch that is trying to brew up this drink that will make all the boys like her. And that is basically the main gist of what I got, that the entire thing is about her going insane trying to get this brew mixed up for all the boys to like her, I might be wrong, but that was the most blatant thing I could get from it. But then again, story isn’t really what interests me when it comes to fighting games.
With Aquapazza ADM you get to choose from different characters from the animé and as you choose your main character you also get the ability to choose a second character which will work a s support character more or less, which gives the support character the ability to be summoned by the main player at times where he or she comes in and delivers a set of damage to your opponent if controlled correctly. It is all about timing and precision. But even though they can dish out the damage they can never receive it themselves and you cant damage your opponents support character. So early on you need to know which characters to team up as they all act differently with each other but some are better paired with each other than others.
The game focuses strongly on active combat, which basically means the developers wanted you to stop working defence all the time and take your time but rather go head on and deal out the damage aggressively, and to make this happen they have implemented what is known in the game as “emotion”. Emotion is given to you whenever you attack or keep your character active, and is taken away from you whenever you slow down and shield up, which is a good way to keep the matches going but it is also a double edged sword as it sort of decides how you should play the game correctly in a way.
Aquapazza ADM also comes with a training mode which is a great way for newcomers like myself to get a hold of the controls before entering any kind of match, there is the online mode where you will get your ass handed to you if you do not know how the game mechanics work, and a versus mode which is where you can bring your friends in to share the entertainment which is always nice and almost a must-have in every fighting game.
Aquapazza ADM is as most special niche animé series, mostly for the fans, however if you are like me and just love fighting games then there is meat on this bone for any fan of the genre to get involved, there is enough different characters to choose from and enough modes to keep you busy and up to speed and the online seemed to work without lag and that is always a great addition. Overall I would say that the game is a wet dream for any hardcore fan but also available enough for newcomers to get behind another fighting game, just go easy on the story mode and you will do fine.