Although I have lost my outraaageous accent in this new sequel, it is always nice to see my handsome face in a video game. Unfortunately, my presence is the best thing that Battle Arena Toshinden 3 has to offer.
In the last episode, you will remember that the 'Secret Society' was finally destroyed. But in the never ending quest to sell just one more CD, the 'Overlord of the Organization' has descended to Earth (from Mars maybe?) looking for a young boy to be his blood sacrifice, and to provide yet another weak fighting game plot.
Now, nobody really cares about the plots in fighting games. The recent Saturn release Fighters Megamix didn't even bother to have a plot (kudos to them), so no points deducted for that. The core of any fighting game is, what else, the fighting....
... which is terrible in Battle Arena Toshinden 3.
To begin, the graphics are much worse than most other games in the genre that have come out earlier, including Soul Blade, Star Gladiator, and Tekken 2 (now over a year old), just to name a few. There are two graphics modes, one with a slower framerate that includes backgrounds, and one with a faster framerate that has no backgrounds, but the fighters look a little better.
Speaking of the fighters, there are a lot of them. 28 to be exact, although 14 of them are fairly similar to the other 14. There is some pretty good character design here, including a couple of guys with chainsaws, a Michael Jackson ripoff, a pygmy warrior, a robot, and lots of guys with guns and swords. After me, this is the next best part of the game.
There are also a few new things: Battles last only one round, but the health bars are longer. Almost every character has a projectile weapon of some sort, including several characters with guns. Careful! You only have a limited amount of ammo.
The combat itself is badly done. Battle Arena Toshinden 3 has more crazy, impressive, pyrotechnic combos than any other game I have seen. In fact, it has too many of them. The combos are just too powerful and common. The regular old kick or slash is next to useless in this game. What's worse, some of the most impressive moves can be performed with one button. That's right, just hit R1 (or R2) and you'll do a 367 hit combo and then stuff fireballs up your opponents nose. This is not an honorable (or fun) way to fight.
With the odds stacked so far in your favor, it's ridiculously easy to beat the computer. In fact, we tested it and you can beat the whole game, including the final boss, just by hitting one button over and over without blocking or moving. By the way, the boss is the least-impressive, easiest to beat boss ever made.
The sound is awful. It reminds me of a cat sleeping on a Casio keyboard. One with low batteries and keys that stick, for that matter. The music doesn't complement the fighting whatsoever.
Battle Arena Toshinden 3 just isn't a very good game. It would be fine for small kids who just want to hit buttons and see impressive moves, but no real gamer should even consider purchasing it. Sigh... I gotta get myself a new agent...