Tobal No. 1
Last Updated: 8/5/2012 Developer(s): Dream Factory Publisher(s): Squaresoft (), SCE () Designer(s): Seiichi Ishii Platform(s): Playstation Release Date(s): August 2nd, 1996 ()
September 30th, 1996 ()
January 1997 ()
Characters: Chuji Wu, Epon, Fei Pusu, Nork, Hom, Gren Kutz, Oliems, Mary Ivonskaya, Ill Goga, Emperor Udan
Related Games: Tobal 2, Ehrgeiz, Tekken 2, Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter 3, Fighters Megamix, Soul Blade, Battle Arena Toshinden, Battle Arena Toshinden 2, Bushido Blade
Gameplay Engine 7.5 / 10 Story / Theme 5 / 10 Overall Graphics 6.5 / 10 Animation 8 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 7.5 / 10 Innovation 6 / 10 Art Direction 6.5 / 10 Customization 6 / 10 Options / Extras 7 / 10 Intro / Presentation 7 / 10 Replayability / Fun 6 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 6 / 10 Characters 5 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
6.6 / 10
Tobal No. 1 features some unique, yet very odd character designs... which isn't a big surprise coming from Dragonball's Akira Toriyama; although, I actually expected better from him in this case. Simply put, Tobal's character designs never held my interest very much at all. Alas, I didn't have much incentive to play this game. Also worth mentioning, all characters have the same ending. Boooooo.
For what it's worth, Tobal was a decent console 3D fighting game for the time. At the time of its release and thereafter, there were much better fighting games out there to be putting time into. The hardcore fighting game players were likely at the arcades racking up win streaks in Tekken 2, VF2/VF3, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Samurai Shodown 4 and X-men VS Street Fighter... who was really sitting at home playing Tobal No. 1? If you were, props to you I guess. lol. ~TFG Webmaster
STORY: Tobal No. 1 takes place in the year 2027 on a fictional planet called Tobal, which has large deposits of Molmoran, an ore that can be used an energy source. The planet's 98th tournament is held to determine who has the rights to the ore. A number of humans and aliens compete for the title.
Dragonball Z art style!
REVIEW: Tobal No. 1 was Dream Factory's first attempt at a 3D fighting game, yet all of the characters for the game were designed solely by Akira Toriyama (of Dragonball Z fame). Tobal was a console-only fighting game, which is one of the main reasons why it never gained much popularity, especially since arcade fighting games were still going strong at the time and were retaining the interest of most of the hardcore fighting game players. However, Tobal No. 1 offered one of the best 3D fighting game experiences you could get for a console fighting game at the time. The game was also packed with a sampler disc featuring a pre-release demo of Final Fantasy VII, which naturally assisted it's sales tremendously...
Tobal No. 1 features a traditional arcade mode, VS mode, practice mode, and a unique Quest Mode, which utilizes the game's fighting engine and combines it with a 3D dungeon crawler. The game runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, but compromises on textured polygons and graphical polish. Graphically, Tekken 2 (the big Playstation 3D fighter of the time) looked a lot better and not to mention the later powerhouse Virtua Fighter 3, graphically putting both of them to shame... but of course, let's compare apples to apples. Tobal wasn't terrible-looking for a console game in 1996, though the character models actually didn't have any textures at all.
Those PS1 polygons.... lolz.
Tobal's gameplay engine features free movement around the 3D ring AKA sidestepping, something that very few 3D fighting games had at the time. Characters can perform high, mid, and low attacks (much like Tekken 2), as well as counters and also some pretty cool looking throws as well. In all honesty, Tobal struck me as somewhat of a "Tekken rip-off" in terms of animation. It seems like some of the same movements and especially "hit" animations were ripped straight from Tekken and Virtua Fighter... however, Tobal had it's own "flow" of animation and also seemed much much slower (and more clunky) than the likes of Tekken 2 and VF2.
The Quest Mode was definitely something unique to fighting games at the time, but was rather simple, short, and had clunky controls. The graphics in this mode are also rather bland to say the very least, but at least it still held onto a steady 60 frames... not that it matters all that much since this mode isn't exactly what I'd call "fun". With only 1 life (if you die you completely start over)... you and your blocky character try to advance through 3D maps (if you dare call them that) filled with annoying traps, a few cool useable items, and engage in fights against all of the main characters in the game. Though it's not nearly perfect, Quest Mode is a nice break from the 1-on-1 fighting system and was innovative for the time.