Sony

Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match (PS3)

aquapazza1

Step away from Aquapazza’s screechy anime schoolgirls and gunk about parallel dimensions. Behind the derivative set-up lies a sharp, admirable fighter. Although context is wanting (making loose sense of the world-merging story), Aquapazza separates its characters.

Mechanics are divisive. Personalities are allowed to form – some can dash, some jump quickly, some evade. Playfulness, aggression, kookiness; Aquapazza feels diversified while maintaining consistency in its lore. Each character bares their individuality, odd since their aesthetics appear indistinct to anyone outside the watery fandom.

Aquapazza finds a unique emotion system, partly a means to keep players active – stay on the move to maintain your status – and also the sensible way to explore reality in such a fight. The genre typically keeps fights balanced; Aquapazza breaks those rules. Unfortunately, although set in a high school-ish realm, there are no attempts to coordinate those emotions with the narrative. Aquapazza’s key concern is blending the anime ‘verses together. Visually, the lavish, total sprite work, is unusual. Many look for 3D backgrounds for quicker development turn-around. Not here. Exemplary sense of contact means this schoolgirl-ish fighter feels superb too.

4/5

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