tsdlogo.gif - 14.4 K
Review by Alfred Giovetti
Price: $55.00
Release: 07/18/96
Genre: action fighting game (BMU-Beat eM Up)
Developer: Digital Direct
Publisher: Playmates Interactive Entertainment
Phone: 310-407-1490
Website: www.playmatestoys.com/pages/pie/tsdpc.htm
requires, 486 DX 66 MHz, 8 MB RAM, DOS 5.0, 5-15 MB hard disk drive space, 2X CD ROM drive, SoundBlaster, (recommended Pentium with 16 MB RAM, 4X CD ROM)

History: The Sony Playstation version of the game came out and people really liked it. This is a port of the popular Playstation title to the PC. The reviewers and players are divided on whether the game is a good port or a bad port. The lines seem drawn on the issue of whether you like to use the keyboard or not since use of the keyboard in the PC version gives you the best control of your characters.

Plot: "You have received an invitation to the fight of a lifetime. The greatest martial arts experts have been gathered in secret to compete in a death-defying tournament. Fighters in this ‘Invitation Only’ competition risk it all for the chance to be hailed as the strongest, most invincible warrior in the world. It is your destiny as a warrior to gain the ultimate glory in victory or suffer defeat's final reward." This is a fighting game so the plot, by definition is very slim. shot014.jpg - 55.3 K

Game play: Most fighting games are based on the fact that each character, in this case there are eight beautifully rendered choices, two female and six males, has moves that are similar to every other character and they also have signature moves, desperation moves, and special death moves. The signature moves are a very special combination of moves that have a better chance of overcoming your opponent which no other character in the game can perform but the character you selected. The death moves are moves that are used to finish off your opponent and are the moves that the elected officials periodically expound on their violence and cruelty to garner votes from the alarmed but non gaming public.

Battle Arena Tosiden (BAT) is not really different than any other fighting game in the area of game play. BAT has signature moves. The signature moves from the Playstation are here including Sofia’s leap-whip-beam weapon move, Mondo’s leg sweep and spear thrust, and the flying Ellis who uses multiple throwing knives while jumping all over the screen. There is a secret character, Earthworm Jim, hidden somewhere in the game play that only the PC players will be able to play.

You select your character and battle the other seven main characters in succession, and, presuming you survive, you then fight against the final character, Gaia, in true Mortal Kombat fashion. Before the fight the enemies taunt each other, grunt and shout during the match, and at the end they lord it over the defeated character with insults. The fighting is in a 3D arena complete with moves to the side as well as backwards and forwards. Timed matches eliminate some of the problems of playing with humans who often spend a lot of time enjoying the match.

Another disappointment was that the animated battle finale screens, which are in the Playstation version, were missing in the PC version I played.

Interface: Unless you are good with the keyboard, you may have trouble with this one. The game pad gives up some of the control of the keyboard and original Playstation game. The battle lines seem drawn on how good you are with a keyboard. If you are good with the keyboard you like the game, since the game pad does not give the same moves, and if you lack keyboarding skills you don’t like the game.

Artificial intelligence: Depending on your skill level, the computer is way to easy. There is no adjustment to make the game harder at each level, as with other players, so if your fighting skills and style are way below or above the computers, you are going to be disappointed by the game play in single player mode.

Graphics: Rich ultra realistic true three-dimensional (3D) graphics, which are not as good as the playstation, but which can be enhanced with a 3D graphics accelerator board. We tried the game on a 166 MHz machine with a 4 MB VRAM Diamond Stealth 3d 2000, and it really looked phenomenal at high resolution. Lesser machines will not play this game as smoothly but without the visuals at lower levels of resolution, the game play is still the same as in high resolution. It just does not look as good. shot033.jpg - 84.7 K

Light sourcing , true shadows and texture mapping work to make this superior eye candy.

Animation: One of the most interesting parts of the animation is the camera angles in the game that can and do present the action in an ever changing array of new three dimensional views that rotate the playing field to show from any angle the progression of events. There is a high-resolution smaller screen mode that has even sharper details. Animation smoothness is adjustable by changing the number of frames per minute that the game will display.

Voice actors: Various shouts, grunts, taunts, and insults in character with each of the nine characters represented in the game.

Music score: The music is a Japanese elevator or monster music, like the Japanese electronic disco we hear in the anime movies from Japan that some of us rent or watch on the Sci Fi cable television channel. You will want to turn it off after a time, but it is fun for a while. If you go to the BAT internet site you can listen to some of it. Nice sound over a 80 watt system with a sub woofer.

Sound effects: Weapon sounds, body hits, and other sound effects compliment the game. There were no noticeable excellent sounds that I would want to repeat.

Multiplayer: Single system mulitplayer is achieved on the same machine, similar to playing the Playstation version with the Gravis GrIP controllers. You can also play by network, null modem (serial connection), phone modem, and internet. The set-up is a mystical process - a secret game within a game that is just as challenging as the game itself, but not in any way as much fun.

Mondo’s signature move: d,sd, s,sa,a+r

FUNNYHEADS: Gives fighters funny heads
GIMMEJIM: Select your own bosses
LIFEISUNFAIR: Number keys now perform special moves, grasshopper.
VIRTUAL1: Perspective becomes first-person as opposed to third, second, or fourth person.

Review References:
Daniel Morris, PC Games, August, 1996, volume 3, Number 8, pages 64, B+, 88%.
E. Shin, Computer Gaming World, number 145, August, 1996
E. Shin, www.zdnet.com/gaming/content/960806/battle/battle.html, mediocre game.
Jason Sabotin, www.cnet.com/Gamecenter/Reviews/Toshinden
Jason MacIsaac, www.gamesmania.com/english/reviews/new/battle.htm, 7/10 (70%).
Jason D’Aprile, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 86. 3.5/5, (70-85%)
John Leo, http://gamespot.com/action/toshind/index.html, 60%
William Ivey, http://gamespot.com/action/toshind/index.html, 44% O. E. Dillon III,
www.happypuppy.com/pulse/reviews/pc/07_96/battlea.html, one of top five (100%)