Battle Arena Toshinden 2

STORYAfter returning from the last Battle Arena Toshinden with his dreams unfulfilled, Eiji continued to dream about fighting and beating his brother.  His dreams were very real.  No other opponent would satisfy him - it had to be his brother.  He is now facing the next Battle Arena Toshinden, believing that his brother will be there and the fight of his dreams will happen at last.


Nice mug shots... "Say cheese y'all!"  ^___^

REVIEWThe sequel to Battle Arena Toshinden made some minor improvements and additions to the first installment. Toshinden 2's gameplay is a bit faster and smoother in certain areas, but still feels very much like the first game. When it comes to "certain" fighting games, it's a good thing not to drift too far from the original formula... but I think Toshinden 2 would've benefited from some more extreme changes in the gameplay department.


Those pixel waves actually look really cool in motion!

Among the new gameplay elements is a tweaked 3D movement system and new "simple" combos. Additionally, Dodge Rolling no longer enables characters to be immune to the opponent's attack. Ring Outs make their return, but this time, if both players fall out of the ring at the same time, the one who falls out first takes the loss. Overall, Toshinden 2's gameplay and controls were considerably clunky when compared to most other 3D (and 2D) fighting games of the time period. Still, the game seems to proudly present its unique brand of 3D fighting with cool "anime style" characters, projectile wars, high jumps, and massive special & super moves.


The good old days of PS1 polygons...


Toshinden 1's
graphics really made a statement when the game debuted, as the title was one of the best-looking console fighting games to date. While the graphics have improved slightly in Toshinden 2, the visuals don't make quite as much of an impact. Character models still appear very blocky and have quite a few clunky animations. Given the technology available at the time, the dev-team did a halfway decent job with what they had to work with. On the bright side, the stage designs featured more 3D elements in the backgrounds - creating more atmosphere than the first game. The stage with the rushing water surrounding the ring was particularly memorable and visually impressive. However, stages used 2D elements that didn't quite have the same effect.

The returning character designs seem a bit more fleshed out this time around, and overall look better than their previous incarnations. Several new (and unlockable) characters make their debut in the series, including: Tracy and Vermillion. Each character can perform a small handful of special moves and 2 different super moves, an "Overdrive" and "Desperation" move. Unlike in the first game, now you can attack your opponents while they're on the ground, which enables new strategy to the overall gameplay.

Interestingly, Toshinden 2's character roster differs greatly from console to console. The PlayStation version features additional characters: Chaos, Uranus, and Master. The Sega Saturn version includes: Ripper, Ronron, Replicant, and Wolf. The console-exclusive characters made for a very different experience depending on which platform you played the game on. 


Page Updated: May 11th, 2024
Developer(s): Tamsoft
Publisher(s): Takara
Distributor(s): Capcom
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PC
Release Date(s): 1995                        Arcade
March 1996
                        Saturn / Windows '95
Characters Eiji Shinjo, Kayin Amoh, Sofia, Rungo Iron, Fo Fai, Mondo, Duke B. Rambert, Ellis, Gaia, Tracy, Chaos, Vermillion, Sho Shinjo, Uranus (PS1), Master (PS1), Wolf (Saturn), Replicant (Saturn), Ripper (Saturn), Ronron (Saturn)

Featured Video:

Related Games: Battle Arena Toshinden, Battle Arena Toshinden 3, Battle Arena Toshinden 4, Street Fighter EX, Soul Edge, Bloody Roar, Bloody Roar 2, Star Gladiator, Fighting Vipers, Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter Remix, Samurai Shodown 3, Ultimate MK3, Marvel Super Heroes, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Tekken, Tekken 2, Tobal No. 1

Gameplay Engine  6.5 / 10
Story / Theme  6.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  6.0 / 10
Animation  6.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  5.5 / 10
Innovation  5.0 / 10
Art Direction  9.0 / 10
Customization  5.0 / 10
Options / Extras  4.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  7.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  6.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  5.5 / 10
Characters  6.5 / 10


6.3 / 10

 Review based on PS1 version 


Final Words: The first Battle Arena Toshinden was one of the most "eye-catching" console fighting games of the era, and it would be safe to assume that fans who picked up original were expecting a lot from Toshinden 2. While BAT2 was a halfway-entertaining sequel in certain areas, the game didn't really take the series to the next level - which was something that many arcade fighting games of the era were accomplishing.

In particular, Namco's TEKKEN 2 and Soul Edge (releasing the same year as Toshinden 2) were literally killing it... AKA revolutionizing the genre in arcades and on consoles during the same time period. Other big fighting games in 1995-1996? I dunno... Killer Instinct 2, Ultimate MK3, SamSho 3 & 4, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Marvel Super Heroes, Fighting Vipers, etc. Needless to say, it was a highly competitive time for fighting games. Comparatively, BAT2 seemed lacking and "last-gen" in some ways (especially to someone who played all the 3D fighting games during that epic time). Even Street Fighter EX had more solid, and more fun, gameplay than Toshinden 2. However, considering it's tough competition, Toshinden 2 definitely wasn't bad.

On the flipside, some of the moveset updates, cool stages, and new characters in Toshinden 2 might've kept returning fans busy for a while. In retrospect, I've come to appreciate this PS1 gem for its aesthetics and amazing art style. While Battle Arena Toshinden 2 some obvious gameplay flaws, the artwork of the game is incredible and still holds up to this day. (Love that original PS1 box art!) Indeed, Toshinden 2 has charm and polish in unexpected areas. I think one of the biggest flaws of BAT2's release was that the PlayStation and Saturn versions had completely different unlockable characters, making the experience different for many players (and a bit confusing, too).

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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