|Battle Arena Toshinden URA|
September 27, 1996 (Japan),
1996 (North America)
|Mode||Single player, multiplayer|
Battle Arena Toshinden URA (Ultimate Revenge Attack), called Toshinden URA (闘神伝URA) in Japan, is an enhanced port/exclusive adaptation of Battle Arena Toshinden 2 released in 1996 for the Sega Saturn. It is a somewhat sequel to Battle Arena Toshinden Remix while also serving as a gaiden (side-story) game to the main series. It is the second and final game of the series to appear on a Sega system.
Sometime after the events of the first Toshinden game, a police scientist named Ronron creates an android fighter intended for law enforcement, its name being the Replicant. To make the android as strong as possible, its fighting abilities are patterned off the world’s greatest fighter, Sho Shinjo. However, the prototype is stolen just before it can be fully completed. Within time, someone begins murdering famous fighters around the world in a surprising yet shocking manner. With no evidence as to who is behind these murders, the Toshinden fighters grow suspicious of each other. Meanwhile, a mysterious man, known only as Ripper, is seeking Sho Shinjo as his sister (believed to have been Cupido) has disappeared without a trace and Ripper himself believes that Sho may have killed her from within the past. However, every lead Ripper finds takes him to the scene of one of these mysterious murders, leading to him becoming the prime suspect in a shrouded conspiracy that seems to be surrounding him and the rest of the Toshinden fighters.
- Eiji Shinjo
- Kayin Amoh
- Rungo Iron
- Fo Fai
- Duke B. Rambert
- Sho Shinjo
- Ripper - A mysterious traveler who happens to be the brother of Cupido. He seeks to find the whereabouts of his missing sister.
- Ronron - A Chinese scientist/teacher who is responsible for the creation of the Repli prototype android. She seeks to find and deactivate her creation.
- Replicant - A prototype android created by Ronron. Its original purpose was to be a huge step in the progression of law enforcement, but it was later stolen and reprogrammed by Wolf in order to help assist him from within his own evil schemes. It serves as the sub-boss of the game.
- Wolf - Ronron's superior, who steals her prototype android Replicant and reprograms it in order to use it for his own evil schemes. He serves as the final boss of the game.
Though based on the original version of Battle Arena Toshinden 2, Battle Arena Toshinden URA has altered gameplay, making it feel notably different. It also has all new arenas, a new story, a different CG intro and four exclusive new characters (Ripper, Ronron, Replicant and Wolf) that replace four of the original version's characters (Gaia, Chaos, Uranus, and Master). Though within the game "URA" is an abbreviation, the word "Ura" also has combat connotations in Japanese.
Battle Arena Toshinden URA was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews. Critics remarked that despite the game running in high resolution, the enhanced textures over the PlayStation game cause URA to suffer from a generally muddy and choppy appearance. Several reviewers called the new character Ronron one of the worst fighting game characters ever created. Many critics also began to find serious problems in the basic Toshinden gameplay with this installment; Jeff Gerstmann stated in GameSpot that "Though URA has the most features of any Toshinden release to date, it's still like playing the previous Toshinden games. That is to say, the control is sluggish, the combo system is weak, and the special moves are dull." Dan Hsu similarly wrote in Electronic Gaming Monthly, "I look at these games as a novelty now, because it's more flash than technique. The fighters do not have a lot of moves available, and the ones they do have are pretty boring." A reviewer for Next Generation commented, "Any time you can beat the entire game on the hardest difficulty by mashing on one button - with your eyes closed - there's something very wrong." GamePro's Major Mike found it very similar to the previous Saturn entry in the series, Battle Arena Toshinden Remix, and concluded, "Simply put, URA is just more of a bad thing." He gave it a 3.0 out of 5 or lower in every category, including a 0.5 for Fun Factor. Lee Nutter noted in Sega Saturn Magazine that the game had been given an unusually high level of PAL optimization, but concluded that the mediocre graphics and lack of depth in the gameplay made it a poor buy, particularly with Fighters Megamix soon to be released in PAL regions.