Battle Arena Toshinden 3

Playmates Interactive Entertainment

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The third installment in the Battle Arena Toshinden (BAT) series has arrived and it should not disappoint "street fighting" enthusiasts. For those truly avid fans of BAT 1 and 2, version 3 brings back some of the toughest and fiercest characters that made it through BAT 1 and 2.

A new feature of BAT3 is the newly redesigned enclosed fighting arenas and the effects that this has on the actual combat within these arenas. It makes 'running' and/or 'hiding' quite difficult to do. What it does allow for is some dynamic bouncing off the walls and ceilings to either attack or counter-attack your opponent. A very interesting feature!

Of the over 30 characters there are twelve that have never been seen before. The characters, both male and female, have their own weaponry, moves, attacks, and styles of fighting. Each character also has their own desperation move that may only be performed when their life bar is blinking. There is also a super move that each character can perform that requires a complex button sequence. A nice feature for each character are the several easy to execute moves. If time is spent studying a particular character's moves and style, mastering of that particular character in combat won't take too long. There are enough characters that you will be kept interested, whether mastering them or competing against them.

Game play is pretty incredible! The fluid motion whether it be diving, rolling, running or executing an attack is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The 360 degree rotation allows for a 'realistic' feeling of combat. Sneaking in behind and exposing you opponent's back... attack quickly at this juncture in time! Combine these two attributes to the adequate graphics and the control responsiveness, it makes for an exciting fighting game.

There are also several options that one can explore. A strong feature of this game is the various levels of play. They range from 'stress relief' to 'impossible'. In total there are 8 different playing levels which should satisfy the expert player and at the same time allow people of lesser game playing ability to thoroughly enjoy the game as they achieve some measure of success in the game.

Battle Arena Toshinden 3 features five different game modes. One of the most useful, especially when first playing the game, is the Practice mode. It allows beginners to obtain the necessary feel for the game and allow them to become adept enough to fight in the game. It also allows for anyone the opportunity to practice and perfect a particular character's moves and attacks. Arcade mode is just as it sounds. You have to compete against the hidden characters in the game. It takes about 16 fights and then you reign supreme! Survival mode is an interesting test of your ability and skill. You compete against and defeat as many opponents as possible while using up only one bar of energy. You do receive some power back with each victory but it is not much. A true test of your skill. Vs. Computer mode allows you to dictate who you control and who the computer controls. This mode only involves one fight at a time, after which you select the next character the computer will control. The true entertainment value is the ability to compete against a fellow human in the vs. Human mode. The satisfaction of defeating a human opponent always seems to generate more enjoyment, as compared to defeating the computer. It probably relates to the fact that you can taunt and brag over your fellow game player. I guess if you wanted to you could do the same to a computer controlled character. Responses may vary!

While fighting, several camera angles can be selected. An unique vantage point is offered by the overhead camera. It provides a nice change of perspective during combat. Other angles are normal, player (very little difference between these two), sky and long range. A quirky little option is the ability to toggle between English and Japanese. After a character has won a fight they have their little comment, you have the choice of what language you want to hear it in. (May come in handy learning a second language!)

BAT 3' sound effects are good! Whether it be a sword slice, the crack of a whip, a kick, a punch or one of the special moves, the game provides the player(s) with a wide assortment of sounds which do prove effective. Also excellent are the cinematics, especially the opening which introduces you to many characters of the game. You will watch it more than once!


From what I've seen, BAT 3 is a high energized fighting game that has used polygon technology effectively in its graphics. Most entertainment will probably arise while competing against a fellow friend. The game play level selection and ease of controlling a character really makes this game enjoyable to play. Don't forget the characters being bounced off walls and ceilings, and still being attacked while in mid-air. If you like fighting games, this one shouldn't disappoint you.

Written by Kurt Lohrum


Overall: ****




In North America:

Playmates Interactive Entertainment.

Technical Support:714-428-2112

Web site: Playmates Interactive Entertainment
Internet Support: Playmates Interactive Entertainment Support

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