Randomly turned on Arcana Heart in the evening just as an excuse to play with the Namco Stick. Wasn’t expecting to get through arcade mode out of tiredness but I couldn’t put it down!
I find the game to be pretty unique. You’d think the moe aesthetic would mean a less technical fighter since the game could sell on characters and visuals alone but it has an interesting flow to it, you can’t just pick it up and be half-competent either. The soundtrack is also quite atypical.
I guess the modern equivalent is Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, which isn’t particularly remarkable.
I really like the frontend to the PS2 port as well. All the menus for the additional modes and gallery screens all look like they belong from the arcade game, and their transitions have been well programmed. It’s a stark contrast to the latest version of the game on PC/Vita, whose menus are not only very ugly but look nothing like the arcade game’s.