Before a match you select two characters, a main fighter and an assist character. There’s no "tag" system; instead assist characters are only in matches for support. This can include extra attacks or some other in-match bonus. There are no limits on who can team with whom, though finding the right pairing of main and assist characters is important. Some assist attacks can help balance out a main’s shortcomings, while others pair well, such as unlocking longer combo opportunities.
AquaPazza: Aquaplus Dream Match uses a four-button attack system. It is reasonably easy to pull off a few basic moves and combos, though there’s a lot more going on under the hood. The most obvious is the timing required to launch into some of the more advanced combos. Try as I might, it is incredibly hard to button-mash your way into any combo of significance. Timing is everything, which should appeal to fans of more technical, timing-based games. Downside, AquaPazza doesn’t do a great job explaining many of its more advanced mechanics. Training Mode offers tips on a few combos, though you’ll either have to scour the Internet or put in some serious trial-and-error learning time.
Thankfully, AquaPazza’s most interesting mechanic, the Emotion System, requires little explanation. Passive, defense-driven play drops your character’s "emotion," imparting negative stat penalties (such as weaker attacks). Meanwhile, aggressive play is rewarded with stat boosts. The system encourages active, fast-paced play, which is really cool and enjoyable – at least if you know what you’re doing.
AquaPazza is a fun entry in the fighting genre, especially considering what you get for the price. The anime look and unfamiliar license doesn’t make it the most immediately appealing of games, but fans of the genre looking for something new will enjoy it, particularly if you want a break from other fighters.