September 9, 1995
7 11719 42002 6
1 to 2 Players
Teen – Animated Violence
You are invited…
…to your own demise. Battle the world’s toughest fighters in this “Invitation Only” underworld tourney. Only ONE warrior will survive. Will it be your destiny?
The first variant in Battle Arena Toshinden was the pack-version. This was included in early system bundles after launch. The manual and disc read “Not For Resale”. The UPC ends in 40030.
The game was then released to retail equivalents with stickers applied to cover the “Not For Resale” applications. Back insert still has the 40030 designation.
Now released in a standard version, the UPC goes back to the original long box UPC. Manual and disc are sticker free and printed as normal versions. Probably the hardest of the variants to track down.
Released as a Greatest Hits.
- There are no known misprints.
I still remember the day I got to witness Toshinden for the first time. Way, way back when I used to go to Japanese Anime meetings, a fellow who was rather overly-addicted to buying anything imported, plunked down the cash for an import PlayStation and 4 of the launch games. It wasn’t until he had put in this disc that I realized my soul would soon be owned by the Sony corporation. Not because of the graphics or game play, but at the potential it showed for the future of gaming.
Battle Arena Toshinden is and always will be considered the flagship title of the PlayStation. Why? Because it basically trounced the visually inferior opponent; Sega Saturn’s Virtua Fighter, and provided Sony with all the evidence they needed to sway the gaming public and usher in a new breed of mainstream gamers.
Here you have a game with 8 warriors brought together by invitation-only requests, to meet and fight each other for the chance to tackle the ultimate warrior, Gaia. Each fighter has their own weapon, style of fighting, and personal goal for reaching and defeating Gaia.
Play mechanics are a bit odd; you have the controller motions out of Street Fighter, but a combo system pace that’s far slower. Each player possess several Special Moves, and 1 Super Move; You’re also able to roll out of the way, and knock opponents off the edge.
Graphically the game shows its age, especially in the character models. There are a lot of flicker issues in character joints, and most stages can be reduced to a few rectangles and a circle once the nostalgia wears off. I still love the perfectly shaped rectangular waterfall.
As much as I’d love to say this has to be in everyone’s library, it really doesn’t. At it’s finest hour, Toshinden today is just a reminder of what used to be, and reminds us of the day 3D games took full control of the gaming world.
- Character Designs
- Good variety in the stages
- Doesn’t hold up years later
- Awkward controls
- That voice acting…
Final Score: 5 / 10 – Average
Toshinden is that pack-in game that never quite gets to share the winners’ podium with Mario, Sonic, or Halo. A fun nostalgic romp, but non-collectors will find better bouts elsewhere.
- All 8 main characters, the final boss, and all but 1 stage are presented in the screenshots.
- The game has it’s own version of Akuma, Sho. In order to reach him, you must beat the game on normal or harder difficulty without using a continue. Once Sho shows himself, you may continue all you want. If you beat Sho, you will get your character’s “True” ending. Sho uses Eiji’s, Kayin’s, and extra moves in his arsenal.
- The characters have obviously been dubbed in English from their original Japanese release, but there are some rather noteworthy adjustments. Sofia was made less…erotic…while Ellis was made to sound older. Her only issue is that instead of the adorably young chibi-like voice, we got this…demon puberty tone (“I Neevah geeeve up!”) >_<;;
- While it wouldn’t show by today’s standards, Toshinden was actually a huge deal for Sony on launch day, for several important factors. For starters, the PSX was $100 cheaper than the Saturn, and here was Sony’s first fighting game showing off better textures, better 3D environments, and special effects nowhere to be found in Sega’s Virtual Fighter. Ellis’ fabric was a huge deal as it was the first time clothing had true transparency to it.
- Secondly, it showed Sony of America was willing to bring over titles themselves where needed to fill in the voids 3rd parties couldn’t fill at launch. Along with this, they had Kileak (1st Person shooter), arcade conversions in Raiden Project, and of course Namco’s Ridge Racer.
- Epileptic gamers who have never played this may want to take heed with the final boss stage. Gaia’s level is a huge transparent checkerboard like pattern whose individual squares light up in random patterns, all in front of a giant spinning black hole. It can be quite the eyeful.
- Bernie Stolar, a man most Sega fans would bitch-slap given half the chance, originally worked for Sony. He is thanked in the manual.
- Speaking of bitch-slapping, this may be the first game to ever utter the word on it’s back copy, though admittedly self censored.
- EGM admitted that this was their most overrated game of all time.
- Every character has a special Ultra Move you can perform when your meter is red. When you beat the game, the game will display your character’s Ultra Move, and then show them unleashing it on the end boss.