Aquapazza

Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match is a 2D fighter featuring a colorful cast of characters from the Aquaplus visual novels including Tears to Tiara, To Heart, Comic Party, and Utawarerumono. It's a 1-on-1 game but players are given a partner to assist their character. If you don't like comeback mechanics, the Emotion system has been described as an "anti-comeback mechanic". Aquaplus is a relatively easy fighting game to get into.

Helpful Resources

The Aquapazza wiki.
The Aquapazza Discord server.

Notation

Attack Notation

A Weak Attack
B Medium Attack
C Strong Attack
D Partner Attack
B+C Unique Attack

Directional Notation

up-back up up-forward
back neutral forward
down-back down down-forward

Numpad Notation

7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

High attacks are overhead attacks that must be stand blocked. Mid attacks are attacks that can be blocked with both stand block and crouch block.

Aquapazza uses Modern frame data notation. If an attack has 7 frames of startup, it hits on the 7th frame.

Aquapazza's Emotion system is jokingly called the "anti-comeback mechanic" or "already winning mechanic". It rewards attacking and punishes defending. Unfortunately it means the game is heavily built on momentum, which makes it more difficult for the losing player to make a comeback.

Both characters start the round at Normal Tension and either drop into Low Spirits or rise into High Tension. The character's profile changes color to indicate the level they are at. Emotion level increases by moving forward, inflicting damage, and making the opponent block attacks. Emotion level goes down if too many attacks are blocked or the character moves backwards too much.

High Tension boosts damage, defense, and meter gain. It increases the amount of hitstun inflicted by 1.5. These benefits are amplified when a character drops below 50% health.
Low Spirits decreases damage, defense, and meter gain. A character can suffer guard break after blocking too many attacks in Low Spirits. These effects are lessened when a character drops below 50% health.

Throws are proximity throws performed with 4C/6C and are teched with the same input.

Each assist has two attacks: 5D/2D is one attack and 4D/6D is the other. A Passive Assist is an assist performed in neutral. The assist and the active character both have startup and recovery frames during Passive Assists.

There is no universal rule to how assists activate. Some assists like homing assists always activate the same way. Other assists activate wherever they are on the screen. It's an interesting gimmick because certain assists walk around the screen and you'll have to position yourself before you activate them.

Assists can get hit but they can't die as they don't have health bars. When hit, the assist is interrupted and their recharge time is slowed down. You'll have to wait longer before you can call your assist again.

Performing a Passive Assist in blockstun costs a stock of Power Gauge.

Calling an assist as your attack connects is an Active Assist. Active Assists cost 1 stock of Power Gauge.

You can store 5 stocks of Power Gauge during Normal mode and 3 stocks during Simple mode. Generally you want to use Active Assists before you spend any meter on super attacks.
The structure for long combos is roughly: hit confirm > combo > Active Assist > more combo > super attack

Splash Arts are super attacks that can only be performed with less than 50% health. They cost 3 stocks of Power Gauge.

Resist Smash is this game's Alpha Counter. It's performed with 6B+C in blockstun and costs 1 stock of Power Gauge.

Blocking a couple frames before an attack connects is an Impact Guard. It negates chip damage and guard damage while preventing guard crushes. More importantly it prevents tension level from falling.

There is air blocking and it blocks air attacks. Impact Guard can be performed in the air.

Characters

Arawn is this game's Ryu. His sword gives him good range on his normal attacks and good anti-airs. He has a fireball, invincible DP, and a rekka special attack. He has a special attack that absorbs his opponent's health. Jump C works as an instant overhead.

Chizuru is a character all about rushdown and mixups. Her normal attacks are fast and have good range. She has a safe on block overhead in B+C and a DP that is an overhead. Her forward dash travels far and is great for pressuring. 214 special attack quickly moves her across the screen. 5C is great for frame traps and 5B is one of the best normal anti-airs in the game.

Hakuowlo is a defensive character that uses attacks to create a wall around him. He has good normal attacks, good anti-airs, and is difficult to approach because of his special attacks. 236 special attack stops projectiles. 214 special attack summons a tiger for zoning. 623 special attack is a parry. If the tiger hits from behind it launches the opponent. 236214 super attack casts a spell that gives him armor.

Karulau has attacks with good range that are cancelable. The range on her sweep is tremendous. She's got fantastic anti-airs. Her run has noticeable startup and recovery but you can cancel it into attacks. Her special hop attack is safe on block, it is very slow but it launches the opponent for a combo. She has a fireball and 214 special attack is a spot dodge. B+C has good range and knocks down.

Konomi has fast movement and attacks. She's got great combos and a good DP. She has a rekka special attack. B+C is a fantastic anti-air. Her attacks have very short range but you can pair her with a long ranged assist to help her. Her short hop acts as an approach, overhead, or cross-up. Divekick is an overhead that is cancelable off her air normal attacks.

Manaka has projectiles in her books but shooting books lowers her Emotion. Instead you want to get close to your opponent to pressure them. B+C tackle moves her forward and helps her approach. 623 special attack is a barrier that collapses after taking a hit. She can attack out of her forward dash. 2C is a low hitting slide. She has a double jump and can change her air trajectory with jump B. Jump B is also an instant overhead. 5B and 2B are good pokes.

Morgan is a projectile zoner. Her arrows are very fast projectiles but she does not have an unlimited amount of ammo. Charged arrows knockdown and do good damage. Her other arrows inflict status effects on her opponent. If you want to get in 5C is a forward moving attack and 5C is a slide. She has a lot of special movement options. Her special attacks zoom her around the screen and she has a double jump. Unfortunately Morgan's biggest weakness is that she takes more damage when she is in High Tension.

Multi is a rushdown character. Her game revolves around pressuring the opponent in the corner and inflicting damage off of tick throws. Instead of a dash she has a roll and she has the fastest walkspeed in the game. Use 5A and 5B when up close and 5C and her slide when farther away. Jump A, 2B, and B+C are good anti-airs. B+C launches the opponent on hit. Her 22 special attack is funny, she cleans the floor and if the opponent walks over it they take damage. It stops the opponent from walking forward. She has an air tatsu to change her air trajectory. Her remaining special attacks are command runs.

Oboro is the worst character in the game. He's fast and has mixups but his damage is low so he has to get his opponent to guess wrong often. He has a DP to get out of bad spots. He has running attacks to close the distance. 421 special attack is like a spot dodge or parry. While he's in the air he access to a command throw, diving special attack and his super attack. Unfortunately Oboro has two very big flaws. His damage is low but his opponent builds a lot of Power Gauge for how little damage they are taking. And Oboro takes more damage when he is in High Tension.

Riannon is a keepaway character that uses her projectiles and disjointed attacks for zoning. Her movement is floaty and slow so you have to commit to it. Her damage from far away is actually pretty good. She can have more than one ball on the screen. Her other special attack can be held and released. A barrier increases her defense, B barrier allows her to auto guard a single hit, and C barrier lets her use her next attack without spending meter. 22A heals her health and 22B fills her power gauge.

Sasara has slow long range normal attacks. She controls the mid to long range with her attacks. Her combos are short and damaging. Her anti-airs are great. She can air dash. B+C is an overhead with huge range. 22C heals her health and her shield special attack has armor. She has problems getting out of pressure because the only real reversal she has is her super attack.

Tamaki is the game's grappler. She has a command throw that can be canceled into and an anti-air command throw. Laser beam is unblockable but duckable, use it to move forward while your opponent is in hitstun. German Suplex has some invincibility depending on the button. Damage is added to Giant Swing by rotating the directions. It can do a tremendous amount of damage.

Touka is strong in the mid range, particularly the range of her C normal attacks. 5C is her favorite attack because it can cancel into dash. Use her short hop to approach. Her rekka special attack helps balance her game out. Jump 623 special attack gives her a high/low mixup as it's an instant overhead that knocks down. Her teleport can cross-up, giving her a left/right mixup.