Seriously Simple Reviews Special- Fighter Triple

Seriously Simple Reviews Special- Fighter Triple

Welcome to Seriously Simple Sony Reviews! This is a series of short, sweet (or maybe not so sweet) reviews of games from Sony’s back catalogue- Focusing mainly on games for PS1 and PS2. There will be nothing to confuse you and no lengthy score break downs, just an opinion from me to you. Let’s get going!

Here’s a special for you- 3 in 1 fighters you probably (least most people) haven’t heard of! This will be a little longer than my usual space, but since I’m reviewing 3 games here and trying to keep the word count down, I hope you’ll forgive me. Lets begin with the first- Battle Arena Toshinden 3.

Battle Arena Toshinden 3

I will start by saying the most obvious thing about this series. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING. There’s something to do with a secret organisation and… well I’m already lost. Even within the usual fighting genre lack of premise this one takes the cake. All it is about is an insane range of characters, all fighting with weapons having lots of special attacks, overdrives and “secret moves” (I don’t think I’ve ever figured out how to use any characters full moveset).. and a lot of rather insane fun. Now, specifics.

Mechanics wise, it is a 3-D fighter, where you fight in cube rooms… I kid not. Anyways, there’s a few combos, but juggling is important and creating your own combos with collections of various moves is required. Chaining to end with specials works too, but more juggles equals less damage each hit. Overall the weapons form the majority of movesets, with some guns having bullets, and other weapons firing extras. Luckily for you, being a game with a lot of characters, your weapon of choice is likely to be catered to.

The characters do vary, but many are very cut and paste copies of each other (2 characters have identical movesets with a katana), but there are still more unique characters than you can shake a stick at. However, unlocking them however is even more tasking. To unlock the final character you literally have to beat the game on the highest difficulty- after doing it twice before with preceding secret characters which required unlocking sub bosses with each of the beginning 14 characters. It takes FAR too long. I haven’t even done the final one because I just got too bored.

Other things are poor too. The graphics are terrible. If you showed it to some innocent child these days they’d think it was part of the minecraft series. The soundtrack also is poor, sounding fairly metallic and the “hueerggh”, “Ahhhh!” screams tiring swiftly. The core item of gameplay is very much let down by its supporting features.
Overall, it’s a fun game, but it can become a grind trying to unlock everything, and the graphics and sound are also poor at best. Looking back on it, I do not know how I managed to play it so much when I was younger.

Guilty Gear

This game I actually loved for it’s soundtrack more than anything else… Looking back now it’s probably what steered me on the way to my current taste. However, this 2-D fighter with graphics reminiscent of Street Fighter is memorable in other ways also. This is a fighter using weapons though, and some of the special moves were… interesting to say the least.

The gameplay had combos that seem fairly simplistic in design like street fighter (see where I’m going with this?), and allowed air combos with some special attacks. There is a ‘tension bar’ like a special meter which charged, and once full could be used to perform “Chaos attacks” (similar to the super attacks common in…. Street Fighter). It is fairly fast paced (for it’s time anyway). The chaos attacks however are very extravagant and really quite satisfying to pull off. There’s also the presence of instant kill attacks. I’m not going to elaborate on those, but they were the most broken thing ever.

The issues I have with the game are namely the character selection and game variety. There are a grand total of 14 characters. Putting this into perspective, other fighters released in the same year had: 21 (tekken 3), >30 (Street fighter alpha 3, I lost count okay?). Fair to say, it’s a bit poor. Though I’m likely being unkind given that it was a new IP. The game variety consisted of 3 modes- arcade, vs, and training. Hence, the length of this game was very poor with very few unlockables or game modes.

Overall, it’s fast paced, bit of a crazy fighter with an awesome soundtrack. However, the cynic I am can’t help but notice it’s basically street fighter with weapons, less characters and awful instant kill moves. Moving on then…

Psychic Force 2

I’m not going to hide it. I LOVE this game. However, lets be objective here. It’s a unique (I class it as) a fighter. You fight in a levitating barrier arena and fight with the elements. Fire, water, lightning, time, darkness.. You name it, they’re in there. It is also the only game I’ve ever played like it.. Honestly, that’s a sad thing.

As mentioned before, you do battle in a barrier. You do battle with long rang attacks and in close combat, using regular attacks but mainly, you want to be using special moves. You use your ‘psy gauge’ to perform special attacks, which do varying amounts of damage and have a variety of purposes. Overall to me, it’s the most tactical fighting game in existence. Setting traps, chains of long and close range moves and when to use or recover your psy are very important. Also interestingly, you psy gauge becomes larger the less health you have, and can willingly reduce health for more psy.

Moving on, the characters each have their own backstory etc. But the whole thing is rather confusing and I’ll have to be honest- does it really matter? However in story mode you have to sit through painful cutscenes both pre battle and in anime stills too. Talk about a buzz kill. Another poor point for me is character variety. There are only 16 characters. That’s not great, but the variety in playstyle between each and how different each is makes up for it for me.

The graphics are fairly good (even if less so than the Dreamcast version). The backdrop to each arena makes fights seem epic and the characters are detailed (for PS1, obviously). The music is also nicely done. Each arena is set to a character, and the music reflects well mimicking the character’s traits. The voice acting however, is insufferable. This is further made worse when you have to sit through cutscenes. It is not a positive experience between fighting game melodrama and abysmal acting.

So then, of the three which would I recommend most? Well, the answer is obvious really- Psychic Force 2. Even though whether it is the best of the three is debatable (guilty gear seems to be quite acclaimed), but for me it is definitely the most unique and in depth gameplay experience, which makes it the most lasting of these three fairly under the radar games.

Next time I will be returning to my usual formatting and reviewing one of my favourite (and very much seldom known) games on the PS1- Hogs of War.

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Hi! I'm a 21 year old Medical student in the UK. You will know me from the forum as the guy who never shuts up, or the new smurf in town. I have a fairly wide variety of interests, so I'm hoping to share some of them with you all here.

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