Unknown to the participants, while the
previous "tournament" was occurring, they were being watched by
another sinister group simply known as the "Organization". The
Organization intended to summon their dark god to earth in order to wreak havoc.
In order to do this they needed a pure-hearted boy
to use as a vessel and the blood of strong fighters. For
the former they targeted a boy named David. For
the latter, they chose the Toshinden fighters. The Organization trained
assassins in the Toshinden fighters' fighting styles. Led by their leader Abel,
they set out to try and capture the Toshinden fighters.
The classic Toshinden
font returns once more!
installment to the Toshinden series adds a ton of new characters to the
classic line-up, giving the game a much different vibe from the prequel. There are 14 characters to start off
with, and through playing the game, you
can then unlock 18 additional fighters, making for a
total of 32 selectable characters (a very impressive number in 1996 / 1997).
Along with all the new characters, Toshinden 3 presents a bold new
gameplay element. The stages of Toshinden 3 implement walls and ceilings
for the first time in the series history. The new stage designs promote new combo
possibilities and gives the game a "different" feel when compared to
many other 3D fighters of the time. I personally think the new enclosed stages
give the gameplay a "cramped" sort of feeling... but I give the
designers credit for trying something new at least. Also worth mentioning, fights are 1 round with no time limit
(by default), also a non-orthodox layout for a fighting game.
Watch out for those
As a whole, Toshinden 3's gameplay system still
feels very similar to the first two games... but offers a few elements that
differ from the prequels. Aside from the newly enclosed stages, the combo system was
Every character in the game now has a preset variety of combos they can perform.
Each character has their typical special moves, super moves, combo strings, and even some taunts.
(Although, most of the unlockable characters' movesets have a lot in common with the
core characters. )
Even after 3 installments, unfortunately the "stiff & sluggish"
nature of the gameplay is still apparent. Compared to other 3D fighting games of
the time, Toshinden 3 ends up feeling quite "aged". To me, one
of the most unappealing aspects of Toshinden 3's gameplay is the fact that
the super moves are incredibly easy to pull off... making for a seemingly
"simplified" experience. In a nutshell, Toshinden 3 wasn't
nearly as technical as other 3D (and even some 2D) fighters at the time.
As a console fighting game, it isn't a terrible package. The game features a decent variety of modes and a
pretty cool (and rather lengthy) intro movie. However, compared to some of the
blockbuster console fighters of the era, such as: Soul Blade, Fighters
Megamix and Tekken 3, Battle Arena Toshinden 3 was definitely
lacking "something". In fairness, Toshinden 3 did seem to offer more content than
a few of the other "me too" 3D fighting games
of the era. At the very least, Toshinden 3 brought some nostalgia to those that enjoyed
the first two titles.
Yes, Michael Jackson is in this
Worth mentioning, Toshinden
3 features a (laughable) graphics selection mode... pushing that poor PS1
hardware to its limits.
Strangely, the game is set on "30 frames
per second" by default, but the blocky backgrounds & characters receive
slightly enhanced resolution & textures. However, the 30 FPS frame rate (and gameplay) is noticeably sluggish on this setting. The other (preferred) option is playing the game
at a smooth "60 frames per
second," but this significantly lowers the graphics/texture quality.
In either case, graphically, Toshinden 3's visuals leave much to be
desired. The elaborate character designs & cool artwork for this game paint
a very different picture than the actual in-game graphics. In some areas, the original Toshinden
actually looks better than Toshinden 3... (how is that even possible?).
For example, the unnecessarily
"colorful" HUD on the bottom of the screen is pretty annoying, if
you ask me... those actually might be the ugliest life bars in fighting game
seems like Takara was trying a little too hard to make Toshinden 3
"different" from other fighters. Furthermore, the wall & floor textures
also sometimes clash in a vomit-inducing way. I give the game some style points
here and there, but other 3D fighting games of the generation were doing it better in
the graphics department.
The North American and European releases of
Toshinden 3 featured several differences to the original Japanese
release. For one, blocking high or low was
made automatic in the US & EU releases (pressing back would block both block
high & low attacks). In the Japanese version, however, players have to press back
to block low attacks. This small difference actually made a significant impact on character
balance, arguably breaking the game.
hit by a reversal attack in the Japanese version of the game, how far your
character flies is determined by his or her weight. In the US & EU versions,
all characters fly the full length of the arena.
Third times a charm? Not quite.... Toshinden 3 packs some nostalgia value
for fans of the first 2 installments, but it's certainly not the best of the
series. While it
was nice to see the Toshinden series "still around" in 1997
(especially considering how insanely competitive the fighting genre was becoming
at that time), Toshinden 3 left a lot to be desired as both a
competitive and console fighting game.
has an interesting and impressive roster, for sure. As previously mentioned, most of the unlockable fighters
share a lot in common with the core
characters' movesets (so the roster isn't quite as big as it seems). On the
bright side, there are a few memorable character designs and impressive special
/ super moves to check out in this installment.
I think my favorite part of the game were the cool sword VS gun battles. It was
an interesting gameplay experience that couldn't be had in many other games
(aside from Bushido Blade 2, that is). Overall, Toshinden 3 is
definitely worth checking out, but it was far from being among the "best" that the genre
had to offer at the time. ~TFG