Games That Should Be Revived: Arcana

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Okay, this time on Games That Should Be Revived, I  am tackling a game from Nintendo/HAL Laboratory that most don’t remember and flew mostly under the radar. I do not think it even got a virtual console release.Arcana, known in Japan as Card Master: Rimsalia no Fuuin, was a card based RPG dungeon crawler released in 1992. It took a lot of influence from the Wizardry games and games like Shining In The Darkness, Dungeon Master and more,. It also had has a detailed story with a unique twist on the gameplay. The game had a look where all the characters and enemies were represented by cards. Cards were also used in combat at times, but they were not the only part of the game.

The game had numerous issues such as pacing and poor use of the combat that it had, as well as an unforgiving difficulty. This is a shame because it had a lot of potential. In addition to the aforementioned influences,  many people I have spoken to about this game have stated that it actually reminded them of Arena, the first game in The Elder Scrolls series. Obviously they are two different styles of RPGs and Arena came out years later on more powerful tech, but people have found some comparisons. They commented that it reminded them of Arena in terms of immersion and atmosphere, if not in actual gameplay. They felt the dame feeling of being drawn in to a great experience, but feel more could have been done with Arcana.

I feel Arcana has a lot of potential to actually be a big series for Nintendo/HAL Laboratory. I do not mean as big as Mario or Zelda, but it could be a very serviceable mid tier series for the publisher. Dungeon Crawler RPGs have seen a big resurgence in recent years, and the game having a unique story and enough of its own identity, with a setup that is entirely its own, Arcana could stand out well among games today. There have been some similar games since, but I would like to see what Nintendo/HAL Laboratory can do with the IP in the modern day,

Obviously there would need to be changes done to it, but the series could be revived as an RPG with a strong dungeon crawler focus but with more emphasis on the overworld as well. Or it could well follow the pattern of Diablo and the Rougelikes but with its own spin on the genre to keep its identity intact. The point I am making is that Arcana was written off far too soon. Nintendo and HAL Laboratory should really consider bringing this game back because it could stand out well for Nintendo today. A title like this would do especially well on the Switch, since the immersion can be had on the go or at home and feel seamless.

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  1. GWNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, there was a sort of sequel to Arcana,game clearly inspired by it on the Japanese Sega Saturn called Arcana Strikes: developed by RED Corp. and published by Takara in 1997. That game was third person, but had summoned card battles like Arcana and sadly, was never localized fully into English. While Arcana is indeed interesting, a better and more impressive card battle game would be found in the long-running Culdcept series, two of which have come to the US (on PS2 and Xbox 360), including the upcoming 3DS exclusive, Culdcept Revolt:

    Finally, I’m quite curious as to who thinks Arcana is anything like Arena, as you can’t seriously say a game made earlier has similarities to one made a few years later unless the comparison is reworked into “Arena is like Arcana” and you mention exact proof as examples where both are alike. I’ve played both and can’t see anything similar other than both are RPGs. “But people have found some comparisons” is a very weak argument without pointing out where both games are alike.

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