AquaPazza (PS3) Review

AquaPazza (PS3) Review

What we liked:

+ Colorful sprites that animate well
+ Assist characters adds variety and depth to combat

What we didn't like:

- Very limited appeal
- Two story modes with no real story

DEVELOPER: Examu   |   PUBLISHER: Atlus   |   RELEASE: 11/19/2013


Hey, at least it’s not “Girl Fight.”

As someone who has dabbled in a lot of different fighting games with varying difficulty and accomplishing the status of “above-average to good” level in all of them, it’s safe to say that I’ve been around the block when it comes to fighters.

So being involved in the fighting games community as I am, I’ve heard snippets of news about AquaPazza and how it isn’t a very good game from a number of sources. However, after a few days with it, I can say that while it isn’t’t a title I would go around recommending to everyone, it’s actually not as bad as I was led to believe.

Come for the fan service, stay for the adequate combat engine.

I will refrain from going into details about the story as I don’t have the talent necessary to competently describe the sheer stupidity and nonsense that it entails without dropping the collective IQ of all the readers by several points.

Instead, I will say that it simply has thought of a silly scenario for characters from adult visual novels like “To Heart” and “Utawarerumono” (say that twice really quick, I dare you) to duke it out for no real good reason.

While it would be easy to say that it’s a fighting game hence it doesn’t need a decent story mode, titles like Injustice and Blazblue have shown that story modes in fighting games can be entertaining with enough effort put into it.

Once the first story mode is completed with any character, another story mode opens up for that character following a different scenario but it is more or less the same with a new boss at the end.

There are also the expected additions like practice mode and online mode which includes ranking and player matches. While I was only able to test the connection out against one other player with full bars, the match ran surprisingly smoothly without much noticeable delay, but keep in mind that it was against an opponent with full bars so there’s no telling how well it would fare with those with one or two bars.

Even though the various modes available aren’t much to write home about the game play of AquaPazza felt simple but entertaining.

Proper use of assists is crucial to success.

The roster of AquaPazza runs the usual suspects of shotos as some characters will have move sets very similar to the ones found in street fighter but many characters show an entirely different style of combat.

One character of note is always carrying around a stack of books and her attacks involve tripping over herself, knocking over bookshelves and landing on her buttocks. While I have no idea how anyone could find success in playing such a weird character, it’s amazing that she even exists and I’m sure someone somewhere could kick my ass using that character with ease.

Then, there is another character who carries around a mop and her main attacks involves… cleaning the floor.

I’m sure if I were familiar with the series these characters are from, I could make sense of why they fight the way they do but since I don’t, it’s all just a big mystery.

Either way, given so many characters play in such outlandish ways, I was thoroughly confused and entertained at the same time.

AquaPazza is a rather simple game to get into thanks to its four button layout, with the buttons used for light, medium and heavy attacks with one button reserved to summon the aid of the player’s chosen assist character.

The assist characters also range from the standard, “come in and punch you in the face” to “why are you breaking off into a vocal solo? What is this even doing?”.

The level three supers are often quite over the top and satisfying to land.

Pairing a character who relies on zoning with an assist that pushes the enemy away can be very helpful. It’s even possible to use a combination where it only serves to extend a combo for even more damage.

Figuring out a pair that suits one’s play style is a good time in itself and once such a combination is found, it’s off to local or online versus mode to see how they stack up to what others have come up with.

Even though AquaPazza isn’t the best looking or best playing game on the 2D fighter market, it’s worth a look if you’re in the mood for a weird, albeit entertaining experience.

Fun Tidbit: Karulau and Mayu-Boss were my choice for character combination. Try them out.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Jae Lee

Jae has been a gamer ever since he got a Nintendo when he was just a child. He has a passion for games and enjoys writing. While he worries about the direction gaming as a medium might be headed, he’s too busy playing games to do anything about it.

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