Blade Arcus From Shining: Battle Arena (PC) Review

Ken McKown

This blade is a little dull.

I feel like there have been an overabundance of anime-inspired fighting games this year. Probably because there really have been. The return of Melty Blood, bringing Under Night to PC, and the surprisingly great Nitro+ Blasterz. It can be confusing. Now to join the mix, comes a fighting game based off the classic RPG series, Shining Force.

No one would blame you for not being able to pick out most of these fighters in a lineup. I mean just look at these screenshots. I feel like I have seen it all before, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive visually. Blade Arcus is truly spectacular to see in motion. The hand drawn backgrounds mixed with the 3D modeled characters are a sight to behold. The only downside was that even on PC, it looked a little blurry when blown up to full 1080p resolution.

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MSRP: $23.99
Platforms: PC
Price I’d Pay: $9.99

Scarcity seems to be a recurring theme with Blade Arcus. Outside of having limited graphics options, the game itself also lacks in interesting modes. There is a story for each character, versus (both online and off), and a training mode. That’s it. While the story mode provides interesting (and sometimes hilarious) drama for the characters, it also suffers from a lack of challenge. Fighting game veterans are going to breeze through it on the hardest difficulty with minimal effort.

Online also feels barren, which is not uncommon considering how many fighters have launched this year. I found a few matches here and there, and connections were good, but I spent a lot more time waiting on opponent than fighting one.

The core game play feels similar to others in the genre. Players choose two support characters at the start; the catch here is that I could switch between them after each round. This spices up my play style between rounds. The core controls are simple, with a light, medium, and strong attack, with the fourth face button being dedicated to the support character. Most moves are performed with familiar quarter-circle motions. I did like how hit points were displayed upon each hit, staying true to its RPG roots.

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I really wish there was more to say about Blade Arcus. The art design is outstanding, and the fighting is solid, but it really just doesn’t do anything to stand out from the pack. The lack of features and paltry online community mean this game is likely already forgotten about. Being only on PC also doesn’t help matters, as it is hardly known as the platform of the fighting game community. Still, fans of the long-forgotten Shining Force should get a kick out of seeing their characters in a new light; plus it also helps that the game is actually not half-bad.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

This game was reviewed on an ORIGIN PC

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z87N
  • Liquid Cooling: Origin Frostbyte 120 Liquid Cooling
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K Quad-Core
  • Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600 MHz
  • Graphics Card: Single NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN (6GB)

Good

  • Gorgeous art style
  • Simplistic mechanics

Bad

  • Not enough modes and content
  • Not deep enough for core fighters
6.5

Decent

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.
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