Tobal 2
  


 
 

REVIEWTobal 2 was planned for release in North America but was mysteriously cancelled all together. Rumor has it that third party companies wanted to release the game in the US, but Square refused to give them rights to the license for some reason. Square's official statement was that the game was never released because the PlayStation's limited memory prevented the English dialogue from fitting in the game's text boxes. Long story short, to play it here in the USA you'd either have to import it or use an emulator.

 

Some of the best graphics on PS1 in 1997, probably.

  
Tobal 2 is definitely an improvement over the prequel in terms of graphics & gameplay. The title's claim to fame is its "200+ characters" which are unlockable through the new Quest Mode. Many of these characters are "monsters" with silly names to boot, and most of which are just simple cut & paste jobs. Basically, if you ever wanted to take all of the monsters out of a classic RPG and put them in a fighting game, Tobal 2 is the fighting game for you... there are skeletons, wizards, ghosts, giant floating squids, giant ferrets, giant monkeys, bears, tons of different robots, a chocobo from the Final Fantasy series (complete with theme music), plenty of walking blocky things (wait that's every character), and even a Mokujin look-a-like. It's madness.


Of course, the entire roster from the original make their return, and do look and feel a bit smoother this time around. The fighting mechanics feel much more complete than Tobal No. 1's, and the combo system is thankfully more open-ended. The reworked grappling/counter system is also an improvement, and is probably the most unique feature about the gameplay... characters can escape out of throws and flow right into their own throws/counters. Overall Tobal 2 is more fun to play than the original, and thankfully the pace of the gameplay is faster this time around. Even so, Tobal 2 is still noticeably "slow" when compared to most other fighting games of the era.
 
 

Chocobo Vs. Epon... ohh choco, why didn't you make it to Ehrgeiz?

  
Tobal 2's updated polygonal graphics engine features sharper character models & backgrounds, and finally, "textures" have found their way into the visuals (welcome to 1993)! Overall, character models are still on the blocky side when compared to the top of the 3D fighting game crop. The animation has also improved, but there are a handful of awkward moments, especially during hit and falling animations. Attacks and combos that connect just don't seem to "hurt" very much in Tobal 2... And it really doesn't help when a character gets knocked down after a brutal hit or combo, just to jump or flip right back up like nothing happened. However, throws look pretty painful, as they should.


The RPG-like Quest Mode was one of the things that made Tobal No. 1 stand out, and Tobal 2's has the same effect as the original (actually better). This time there's a whole town to explore, complete with shops and dungeons. Your character must also eat and sleep to stay alive. The dungeons themselves aren't much different from Tobal No. 1's, but look a tad better with improved textures. The overall designs of the dungeons are still kinda generic, though. 

Page Updated: January 27th, 2021
Developer(s): Dream Factory
Publisher(s): Squaresoft  
Designer(s): Seiichi Ishii  (director, designer)
Platform(s): PlayStation  
Release Date(s): Apr. 25th, 1997 
Characters Chuji Wu, Gren Kuts, Epon, Fei Pusu, Nork, Hom, Gren Kutz, Oliems, Mary Ivonskaya, Ill Goga, Emperor Udan, Doctor V, Chaco YutaniMufu, Mark The Devil

Featured Video:

Related Games: Tobal No. 1, Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring , Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Bloody Roar, Battle Arena Toshinden 3, Bushido Blade, Mortal Kombat 4
  

Gameplay Engine  8.0 / 10
Story / Theme  6.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  8.5 / 10
Animation  7.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.0 / 10
Innovation  7.5 / 10
Art Direction  6.5 / 10
Customization  7.5 / 10
Options / Extras  9.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  7.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  7.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.0 / 10
Characters  7.5 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

 7.4 / 10

 

 

Final Words: One of the rarest PS1 fighting games... What other fighting game lets you play as a chicken-man, muscular wrestler lady, Master Roshi wannabe, and a fat devil wearing Andre the giant's wrestling attire? Bizarre. I remember I stuck to Tekken 2/3 back then... but the Tobal series sure was interesting. I didn't play Tobal 2 for very long (unfortunately), but I plan to revisit this game someday.

Tobal 2 was an interesting 3D console fighting game for 1997 and very ahead of its time, like the first game. The 3D mechanics are comparable to VF and Tekken, and Tobal even has unique mechanics like throw reversals and 8-way movement. The fact that the Tobal series never saw an arcade release definitely hindered the series from growing, but PS1 fans who got a chance to play this gem surely remember it.

Quest Mode is also a fun play-through... with a ridiculous amount of characters to run into and unlock - including a Chocobo from Final Fantasy. Gameplay-wise, it's as solid enough as the first title and pleasantly "feels 3D" thanks to the 8-way movement, but still pretty slow and sluggish in some areas. Interestingly, Tobal 2's engine pretty much paved the road for Ehrgeiz... and both games share animations with the Tekken series.
~TFG WEBMASTER | @FIGHTERS_GEN
  

 


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