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Retro Game Club - June ‘19: Tobal No. 1 (Adding Nominations for July - genre SCROLLING SHOOTERS!)

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20 votes and 4 nominations this time with a mixed set of choices, however Tobal No. 1 seemed to be ahead of the pack netting 7 votes in total. 

 

479328-tobal-no-1-playstation-front-cove

Pal box artwork (very similar to US release)

 

45354-tobal-no-1-playstation-front-cover

Much cooler looking Japanese artwork 

 

tobal-no-1-ntsc-u-scus-94208.png

Gameplay screenshot

 

This time it’s a PS1 exclusive so less emphasis goes on comparing ports, however there should be enough depth to keep this one going whether you go for emulation or manage to source out the real deal. 

 

Personally I’ve never played it myself as I’m not a huge beat-em-up fan of the 3D era and made preferences of Tekken and Virtual fighter back in the day. From what I’ve picked up, this one includes a special quest mode to help it stand out and also runs in 60Hz mode. 

 

Let’s get playing!

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I got this at university.  It's much slower than Tekken, and it has a specific jump button, which made the gameplay different from Tekken.  As did the fact that there's an actual 3D arena you could move around.

 

Hope to read the impressions of people trying it for the first time.  It definitely has its charm.

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I never played this extensively but fighting games and early fifth-gen 3D titles are always interesting to me. I definitely want to give Quest Mode another shot... :D 

 

From what I recall it's a three-button fighter: you have high/mid/low to work with. Outside of attacks you can jump and guard, and throw with guard+mid. So emulation on PSP or Vita will be fine. :) 

 

EDIT: I managed to see most of the tournament mode after dropping the difficulty and finding some good moves with Mary. Weirdly I had a lot of trouble against Nork but managed to ring out Udon fairly quickly...

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@wev - there's three attack buttons - circle does nothing - whilst jump & guard are mapped to L1/R1 (and pressing guard+mid performs a throw), but L2/R2 aren't used. Here's a lil' pic of the configuration screen (excuse the glare):

 

0MCHtrR.jpg

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2 hours ago, Qazimod said:

I never played this extensively but fighting games and early fifth-gen 3D titles are always interesting to me. I definitely want to give Quest Mode another shot... :D 

 

From what I recall it's a three-button fighter: you have high/mid/low to work with. Outside of attacks you can jump and guard, and throw with guard+mid. So emulation on PSP or Vita will be fine. :) 

 

EDIT: I managed to see most of the tournament mode after dropping the difficulty and finding some good moves with Mary. Weirdly I had a lot of trouble against Nork but managed to ring out Udon fairly quickly...

 

Once you unlock Mufu in Quest, his long legs kick everybody out of the ring quite easily.

 

It was disappointing to unlock Nork but find he was tiny when the player uses him.  Maybe you have to get further than I ever have to unlock big Nork.

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I dug the disk out and had my first play of the month on this just now.  I went for Mary, as I was doing a Russian degree when this game came out, and she was the first character I used.  Busty blonde Russians were exactly the type of woman I liked in those days.  Reading reviews of this game, much was made of the fact that the characters were designed by Akira Toriyama, but I had never heard of it - I've never been remotely interested in manga or anime.  Anyway, the characters just looked blocky and a bit rubbish, and Mary was the blockiest of the lot.

 

It still plays rather well.  It's quite slow-paced compared to, say, Tekken.  I'm way out of practice.  I eventually finished the arcade mode, but I needed continues for more than half of the characters.  The trickiest were Fei (the old man) and Udan (the last boss).  Actually beating Udan by reducing his health to zero has always been tricky for me, so I used my usual tactic of getting into the front left corner, and hoping that one of his attacks missed, and he'd fall out, or be in a position where he could easily be pushed out.

 

I managed two perfect rounds against Nork, who didn't even throw any punches.

 

The backgrounds look really nice, I think.

 

Tomorrow I'll use one of my preferred characters - Chuji or Hom.

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I was more referring to specific ways of emulating. There are loads of options and it’s interesting to see what people are going for. I have a snes mini and was considering trying to get it set up to play ps1 stuff. 

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Ah, I see.  Sorry, I have no idea.

 

Had two more plays today.  I finished it with Chuji, who was always my go to character, along with Hom the robot.  I shaved more than three minutes off my Mary time.  I really like that way of scoring this kind of game.  Chuji's rolls after landing a flying kick are quite unpredictable.  Sometimes he'd land a perfect one and, to my horror, promptly roll out of the ring.

 

I also tried with Oliems, who I'd never used before.  He looks like a cross between a human and a rooster, or a Roman centurion.  He has some quite good moves and seems easier to win with in the grapples than the other two.  But I couldn't get past Mufu.

 

The action definitely seems to be slower than Tekken to me.

 

I haven't used him yet, but I do like Gren's casual kick.

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It’s the first time I’ve ever played Tobal.

 

The controls are taking some getting used to, jump and block on the L1 and R1 buttons seem awkward.

 

Im starting on easy, playing with Epon. My opponents seem to want to manoeuvre me to fall out the ring, so the dance to take the centre ground is quite consuming so far...

 

 

 

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Not too much love for Tobal so far.

 

I played through with Ill last night.  The extra reach of his tail helped me through the early rounds, but I couldn't beat Chuji, and had to give up before the pad got thrown through the TV.

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I decided to go to the Quest mode last night.

 

I went straight to mission 2, not bothering with the tutorial or mission 1.  Played with Chuji.

 

The controls are very difficult until you get used to them.  You move either by running or inching your way forward.  While running, it's very easy to forget how to stop, and charge off a ledge, which, fortunately, is only fatal if your health is low.

 

 I didn't get far - drank a bottle of poison and was killed by a rolling log.  Not exactly a glorious adventure.

 

According to wiki, if you get to the end of the longest dungeon, you unlock Toriyama Robo.

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Bit of a damp squib this month's thread.

 

I've unlocked Mufu, and my God, is he good to play with.  Not many enemies in arcade or quest mode can do anything against his high kicks.

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Yeah it seems like we had far less involvement this month for Tobal. Could it have been the console format, the game choice or just one of those things that went by the wayside? I personally didn’t get chance to play it myself either so I felt part of the problem. However I do enjoy running the thread. Seems like only Bum was the real participant this time I think. I’ll be honest though, this was never the sort of thing I wanted to play back in the day let alone now. I have seen a lot of positive talk about it but a lot of 3D fighting games outside Tekken and Virtua Fighter to me looked ugly as far as consoles go in the mid/upper  90’s. 

 

Are we still wanting to continue on and get playing another title for next month? If so then we’ll need more gaming ideas for new titles to include in the July poll. 

 

Should we try try and do say a specific genre this time maybe for our nominations?

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It was a damp squib, 32 bit 3d fighting games are tricky to emulate and quite niche.

 

Anything 8 and 16 bit is soo much easier to play. 

 

Im up for nominating a genre 

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I would have liked to put in more time but had way too much other stuff going on! Then again, I admit that it did feel a little limited (in terms of modes and things) which may have made me less inclined to play - we would have had more luck if it was Tekken 3 or SF Alpha 3 Max or something - they're drowning in modes. :) 

 

I'm still up for other 32-bit adventures (although 8 and 16 are always fine ;) ), but maybe in other genres?

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I don't really do emulation these days. I did toy with buying this rather than faff about trying to burn a CD but it kind of fell off my list. Up for continuing with this each month but can't promise to join in every time. 

 

Edit: my vote - Soukyugurentai :)

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Yeah, although I think that Tobal No 1 was a good choice as a game for people to revisit or to play for the first time, but discussion was hampered by lack of availability and emulation problems. As for myself, I tried playing it through emulation on my PSP, but it was quite the challenge. From what I could gather, the game files on the disc are separated into tracks, so I was able to play the game, but without sound. That dampened the experience considerably.

 

One other thing that also failed to rouse my enthusiasm was the fact that Tobal is a 3D fighting game. I was at the arcades when Virtua Fighter debuted, but starting with VF, and all the others that followed, I've never clicked with any. I'm not good at them, but I enjoy playing 2D fighters and free-roaming fighters such as Smash Bros. or Power Stone. Games such as Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive, etc... not very much.

 

I didn't enjoy playing Tobal very much either, to be honest, but at least it crystallized the reasons why I don't enjoy these games. The concept is clear, but the controls have always seemed too abstract. One more aspect that is always alien to me is that you're always anchored to your opponent. It worked really well in Zelda, but it feels so unnatural in a fighting game.

 

To Tobal's credit, though, I think the developers were aware of these hurdles. The attacks are mapped not to punch, kick, etc, but rather high-, mid-, and low attacks, with blocking /throws and jumping on the shoulder buttons. Maybe it makes combat less deep, but it made it much easier to understand for me. I still didn't get on with the usual rhythms and spatial complexities of 3D fighting, but it was an interesting experience. I think I have a better appreciation of the genre.

 

Twenty years later, it looks really good (and Tobal No 2 even better), and it has a great soundtrack. (Which I listened to afterwards.)

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5 hours ago, DeDeDe said:

Yeah, although I think that Tobal No 1 was a good choice as a game for people to revisit or to play for the first time, but discussion was hampered by lack of availability and emulation problems. As for myself, I tried playing it through emulation on my PSP, but it was quite the challenge. From what I could gather, the game files on the disc are separated into tracks, so I was able to play the game, but without sound. That dampened the experience considerably.

 

One other thing that also failed to rouse my enthusiasm was the fact that Tobal is a 3D fighting game. I was at the arcades when Virtua Fighter debuted, but starting with VF, and all the others that followed, I've never clicked with any. I'm not good at them, but I enjoy playing 2D fighters and free-roaming fighters such as Smash Bros. or Power Stone. Games such as Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive, etc... not very much.

 

I didn't enjoy playing Tobal very much either, to be honest, but at least it crystallized the reasons why I don't enjoy these games. The concept is clear, but the controls have always seemed too abstract. One more aspect that is always alien to me is that you're always anchored to your opponent. It worked really well in Zelda, but it feels so unnatural in a fighting game.

 

To Tobal's credit, though, I think the developers were aware of these hurdles. The attacks are mapped not to punch, kick, etc, but rather high-, mid-, and low attacks, with blocking /throws and jumping on the shoulder buttons. Maybe it makes combat less deep, but it made it much easier to understand for me. I still didn't get on with the usual rhythms and spatial complexities of 3D fighting, but it was an interesting experience. I think I have a better appreciation of the genre.

 

Twenty years later, it looks really good (and Tobal No 2 even better), and it has a great soundtrack. (Which I listened to afterwards.)

 

 

I echo the abobe, it mirrors my experience with Tobal. 

 

I was aware of the game when it first came out, it received a lot of good press, but like most PS1 owners I already had Tekken which satuiated my need for another 3d fighting game on the system. 

 

I didn't have a copy in my game library, so i had to use emulation to play Tobal - for me on the Playatation Classic. The game ran fine and looked ok via hdmi, but like DeDeDe said, there was no music. I just couldnt get it to work. (not a fault of the game but a regular problem emulating disc based games).

 

To get the most out of this game, not only do you have to learn the basic controls, but also the extensive set of special moves. They are not like street fighter II, where players all have the same moves plus 2 or 3 character specific specials, but they are all unique button presses. I found myself playing Tobal with a moves list next to me on my ipad. Its just not fun for a quick blast doing this, you have to put time in.

 

Like lots of 3d fighters that take place in a ring, i found Tobal often descended in a fight for the central spot just to avoid a ring out. Characters almost dancing to try an manoeuvre their opponent next to the edge for a quick win.

 

It's not a bad game,  but without the retro nostalgia for it (I couldn't warm to any of the characters which were all new to me) it didnt make me want to play more in 2019.

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Camel said:

I don't really do emulation these days. I did toy with buying this rather than faff about trying to burn a CD but it kind of fell off my list. Up for continuing with this each month but can't promise to join in every time. 

 

Edit: my vote - Soukyugurentai :)

 

You cant faff around burning a cd, and then recommend a game for the Sega Saturn ;)

 

Thats a platform that i really have problems emulating.

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I played Tobal very differently.  I backed up into a corner rather than  battling for the center and most of my wins were on a ring out.

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48 minutes ago, ulala said:

 

You cant faff around burning a cd, and then recommend a game for the Sega Saturn ;)

 

Thats a platform that i really have problems emulating.

 

I have Soukyugurentai though :)

Yeah, I don't know how convenient it is for others and whether they are happy emulating/burning CDs/whatever.

 

My second choice then: Action In New York - NES.

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