In the Toushindaibukai, the ultimate tournament held once a year by the mysterious organization Himitsu Kessha, the greatest fighters in the world gather year after year to pit their abilities against one another. This tournament is no mere competition. To the winner goes unimaginable rewards, and the losers only know the defeat of death. It is here that these fighters will decide their own futures, in the Battle Arena Toshinden.
Battle Arena Toshinden has been credited as the first polygonal 3D weapon-based fighting game. It is also the first 3D fighting game to fully incorporate the side-step, a concept which has become a critical move in many later fighting games. Battle Arena Toshinden was a sleeper hit, and, at the system's launch, the premier fighting game for the PlayStation. Despite the quality of the graphics, Battle Arena Toshinden was fairly well received. The lack of polish in the visuals can be said to be Battle Arena Toshinden's biggest flaw. Like many early PlayStation titles, the character models are blocky and disproportional. Flat texture backgrounds did not help the game's appearance either.
Toshinden's strengths as a fighting game were in each character's special and super moves. Many of these moves were flashily designed, and delivered some decent awe and "ouch" factor for back then. Utilizing these moves could be tricky, as the controls could be considered to be clunkier compared to similar titles of the time. One of the biggest flaws of the gameplay engine is that the player cannot damage their opponent while on the ground. The sidestep game also needed work.
Character designs are a mixed bag in Toshinden, a few of them are cool, namely the hero and secret character "Sho." Then you've got a few oddballs, and some blocky girls trying their best to look hot, and well... the rest of them suck pretty hard.
The PC port, released in early 1996, was notable for being one of the first PC games to support 3D graphics accelerator cards, if not the very first. It was released with support for Creative Labs' 3D Blaster and NVIDIA's NV1 graphics cards. While the PC port looked superior to the later Sega Saturn version, it was unable to rival the PlayStation original, at least not until more powerful graphics cards like the NEC PowerVR and 3dfx Voodoo came along.
The Game Boy version of Battle Arena Toshinden was released in 1996. It includes all the characters from the PS release as well as an extra character, named Uranus.
The game plays a lot like the original version, but on a 2D plane and using a simplified 2 button system. There are special moves for each character, as well as an unlockable "Jet Mode" (available after entering a code) that speeds up gameplay.
During the main mode, each character is introduced in a single picture with some text describing their story.
PlaytStation Launch Game
Battle Arena Toshinden was a North American launch game for the original PlayStation (PSOne) back in 1995. The game launched alongside other PS1 launch titles. They were: