Tobal 2

Although the original Tobal no. 1 was mediocre at best, the second game comes out as a real winner, in both graphics, gameplay, and content. Although perhaps not quite as good as Bushido Blade, simply because the gameplay is unoriginal, Tobal 2 does sport some of the finest graphics in a fighting game to date. The play control, while quite similar to Tobal no. 1, has been tweaked to make it much faster, and with some very impressive combos and attacks for the characters, it feels a lot different playing this one. The first thing that people notice is that each of the main characters has been given a fireball type move, each is done the same way (tap back, square, then hold back and release to fire). Those who liked the first Tobal because of its "projectile free" gameplay should not be too worried however, because the other play cannot simply shoot fireballs constantly. The reason: shooting a fireball uses energy from you life bar. The longer you charge the fireball, the more life it drains...however, it will be much more powerful if you charge it longer. You cannot block the fireballs, but they can be dodged by simply moving up or down.

Anyway, the game's quest mode has been changed quite a bit. although you still go through dungeons and and such, fighting enemies, the way it is set up is quite different. First off you have 3/4 view "map" style area, similar to RPG games like Zelda, in which you move about looking for the dungeons enter, and to find keys, or buy items and talk to people. Secondly, the dungeon levels are now strictly action, there are no puzzle type things, or collecting keys to open doors anymore.

Perhaps the biggest thing about Tobal 2 is the fact that you can earn 200+ characters to use in the game. That's right, 200. As you go through the quest mode, throwing a purple jem at an enemy when they are low on life will capture them and make them useable in a normal 1 player or VS game. As you go through the dungeon the enemies you encounter will appear on a drop down menu from the character select screen in the normal mode, but you can only use the ones that have a "C" (meaning "captured" I assume) next to the name. If the character has an "F" next to the name (I'm guessing this means "Free"), then you cannot use them. (with the gameshark code I created you can use them regardless.)

Another neat feature of the game is that you can customize the main characters colors and outfits. It allows for some crazy things, like making the 2nd color of Chuji look just like Guile from Street Fighter II (hold up when you choose the character for the 2nd color). Also, in the practice mode, if another person wants to take control of the "dummy" character, you can fight forever with no power bars, or until someone gets a ring out.

All in all I'd say this is one of the top 3D fighting games on any system right now, and if you want a new fighter and don't mind an import game, then this is a great choice.