Studio Saizensen’s Blade Arcus From Shining: Battle Arena has fully launched on Steam for $29.99. As is usual for many new games launching on the digital distribution service you can get your hands on the title for 20% off the normal price for the first week of its availability.
The game sees players having the option of taking on the role of 16 different playable characters across multiple game modes, including a versus mode for offline or online play, a training mode so you can hone your skills and get good, and a story mode that plays out similar to BlazBlue’s visual novel-style story presentation.
The game features dedicated artwork from AlbionWorks and I have to say that CG artwork looks fantastic. There are a lot of clean lines and classical uses of colors and lighting. It’s all designed to be very pristine in its presentation and that matches up well with the 3D character models.
You can see what the actual gameplay is like courtesy of a video below from TheSw1tcher’s Friday Night Fisticuffs series.
Despite the game being anime-based and having designs typically featured in sprite-oriented 2D fighters like BlazBlue or the HD Guilty Gear and King of Fighters games, the reality is that Saizensen uses 3D models for their character designs and keeps them on a 2D plane.
Now the animations and the fighting definitely betrays the attempts to hide the game behind 3D models because you can clearly see that they have fluid blended frames between key-frames, which are usually absent with sprite-based designs (given that it would take way too long to animate). Arc System Works got around this in Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator by cutting out the frames between key-frames, so you only see the animation sets play out as if they were hand drawn. It’s an impressive technique more companies should emulate when making 3D fighting games that emulate a hand-drawn art-style.
Anyway, Blade Arcus From Shining: Battle Arena features characters from both Shining Blade and Shining Hearts
You can get your hands on the game right now from over on the Steam store. It sports local multiplayer, online multiplayer, full controller support and full voice acting in the story mode. If you’re a fan of more laid back anime fighting games and you like measured fights with tag-team options, such as Kizuna No Tag Battle then it might be a game worth checking out.