Battle Arena Toshinden Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Battle Arena Toshinden Info


  • N/A


  • 1 - 2


  • Playmates Interactive
  • Sony


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PC
  • PS


What happens when you port an impressive polygonal fighting game over

from console machines to the PC?

In the case of Battle Arena Toshinden, sh . . . Well, let’s just say that

nothing much worth raving about happens. Battle ArenaToshinden, the

flagship fighting game that spawned the Playstation craze, has finally been

converted into a PC format for play on your computer.


Battle ArenaToshinden, by Playmates, broke new ground on the Sony

machine with its entirely 3-D fighting arena, complete with rotating camera

views and the ability to roll from side to side. This completely eliminated

the fixed view and singular fighting direction that hampers other games in

the fighting genre. The most outstanding feature of this game is the fact

that the players can roll from side to side, circling their opponent and

completely changing the angle of combat. This move allows for many new

techniques and adds immense depth to the game. Rolling around your opponent

while he attempts a move and then hitting from behind is a solid and

devious maneuver that you could never hope to do in a game like Street


Another aspect of Toshinden is the limited battle field that allows

for ring-outs(A complete rip off of Virtua Fighter) and again allows

for more varied matches.

The story behind Toshinden is that the best martial artists in the world

are assembled for the ultimate tournament. (Where have I heard this before? Oh,

just about every other fighting game on the market!) The characters are largely

original and their moves unique, but there is some overlap from previous games.

For instance, Fo is almost entirely ripped from Gen-An of Samurai Showdown fame.(Even

the laugh is the same!) The final boss, Gaia, complete with laser beams and claws

on his shoulders, is very cool. The rest of the bunch are quite novel, which is

something you don’t see often in new fighting games.

Enough talking about the plot line . . . let’s talk about how the

game plays on the PC. The first thing I noticed was the lack of sound. The

signature voices and fun sound effects that characterized the Playstation

and Saturn versions are almost entirely removed or are rerecorded. The

upbeat music, however, is still on the CD, though you must have your sound

card cabled to your drive to hear it (If not, it’s only an $8 investment to

get the cable). The most disappointing revision I noticed was that the

playing boards and backgrounds are very low resolution and grainy. On the

other hand, the players themselves are well detailed and high resolution. In

fact, I believe the characters look better on the PC than on the home

systems. A word of caution though – make sure you have a Pentium with a

good video card if you want to play the game in high resolution and with

all the shading and modeling present. I would recommend a video card with

at least 1 megabyte of VRAM or 2 megabytes of DRAM. Otherwise you will not

be able to fully enjoy the visuals in this game. Running the game in

300×200 is hardly worth it, so make sure you have the hardware to play it

in 600×400. Even with the good detail of the characters, the movements and

moves are disappointingly choppy. In fact, many of the basic attacks are

impossible to follow and often you will wonder what just happened when you

get knocked over. The special moves are more visible, but the smoothness of

the game does not nearly rival its Saturn or Playstation counterpart.

The most unsatisfactory and frustrating aspect of Battle Arena

for the PC is the play control. To be blunt, don’t even dream

of pulling off a super combo on the keyboard, and even special moves are

highly unreliable. Unless you are going to buy a game pad, you will be

hitting the preset special move button VERY frequently. This takes a lot of

skill out of the game, since fighting games are meant to be won by agility

with the controls and strategy rather than just one button kills.

All in all, Battle Arena Toshinden is a fun and mostly original

fighting game that should have stayed where it was born- on the console

systems. Though the designers fooled around and put Earth Worm Jim(just

Rungo with different graphics) as the final boss and as a secret character,

they really didn’t do anything else novel. Unfortunately the PC

programmers did not take care to really make the game shine, and a lot of

the excitement of the game was lost in the conversion. The programmers did

not fully exploit the capabilities of a Pentium with a good video card, and

therefore a lot of resources are wasted when playing this game on a good

computer. If you are looking for an excellent fighting game for your PC, you will

have to look somewhere else (or go buy a Saturn or a Playstation and a copy

of Toshinden).


Disappointing Graphics
Terrible Control.
Cool 3D Game
Earth Worm Jim Appearance.
Average Game.