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[Saturn-Image 8] [PlayStation-Image 8]
[Saturn (left), PlayStation (right)]

Now we'll move on to the issue of audio, which includes sound effects, dialog, and music. In this category things run a bit closer. As far as the specific issue of music goes, since both play the same soundtrack off of CD, I would have to call this a draw. Now I will mention that that the overall output level of the Saturn release is at a lower volume than the PlayStation version, but since it's the same music, you can just bump up your volume. Sound effects on the other hand were similar for the most part - but, in some instances, on the Saturn release the explosions came off sounding hollow, as if the programmers had re-sampled the sounds, but didn't do them right.

[Saturn-Image 9] [PlayStation-Image 9]
[Saturn (left), PlayStation (right)]

Then you have the issue of dialog. During gameplay the characters will call out the names of moves. As well, when a character wins, they usually have some type of victory statement for the end of the round. Most of the characters seem to have the same voice actors between both versions of the game, but for some reason -- somebody -- decided to replace a few of the voice actors in the Saturn release. Now this might not have been so bad if it wasn't for the fact that the voice actors had already been changed once between the Japanese PlayStation release to the U.S. PlayStation release... for the worst according to most. But I digress... Two of the worst changes have to be between the voices of Duke, Sofia, and the Announcer. For the sake of comparison, I've provided audio samples below so you can hear the difference. (The "Oh!" voice at the end of Sofia's "Aurora Revolution" is Kayin -- in both recordings.)

(*) All sounds in .AU format

PlayStation release

Saturn release

Duke - "...destined to loose"



Sofia - "Aurora Revolution"



Sofia - "Rattlesnake"



Announcer - "Fantastic"



Personally I found this newest version of voices to be the most annoying, and this really plays a part in my decision between the two versions. So, looking at everything overall, I'm going to have to say that the PlayStation release of Tohshinden gets the point for audio.

[On another note, just for the sake of hearing it, I've also included four sound bites from the Saturn version's "Story Mode". As I said earlier, I didn't include this in my comparison, but just so you know what your missing... Sofia speaking #1 (62k), Sofia speaking #2 (41k), Fo speaking #1 (61k), Fo speaking #2 (55k).]

[Saturn-Image 10] [PlayStation-Image 10]
[Saturn (left), PlayStation (right)]

Next to the issue of gameplay and control. Well, once you learn what's what, or have at least reconfigured the controls on either release, the gameplay is essentially the same. I do think it is harder to pull off moves on the Saturn release the first several times you play it. The game seems to be a little more picky about how and when you push things to pull off a move. Personally I can go either way here, so this category is pretty much a tie for the player who is really into fighting games and is playing either version for the first time. If you're the casual player who uses the "random button pushing technique", then your going to have problems getting any moves off on the Saturn release. Additionally, if you've played the PlayStation version extensively before playing the Saturn version, you're going to have problems pulling off moves at first, as well. Take that advice as you will.

As far as gameplay versus the computer goes, the Saturn really suffers here for all but the most novice player. A case in point: The first day I played the PlayStation release of Tohshinden, I played two-player for some time with some friends, and then later that evening I played as Duke against the computer, it took me about one hour (I would guess) to make it to Gaia. I then proceeded to spend the entire night (probably about four to five hours), trying to defeat Gaia before I eventually gave up and turned off the machine. Gaia was stupendously hard and his difficulty fit his "deity-like" presentation in the game.

On the opposite extreme, when I sat down with Tohshinden Remix on the Saturn, I played it first as Duke against the computer and I made it all the way to Sho before I ever had to continue. In fact I was horrendously stupified when I won against Gaia, because not only did I win, but I pulled off a near flawless victory in the first round, and then a completely flawless win in the second round... Both times I used absolutely NO special attacts. My only attacks were to slap him with my sword (thwop-thwap) -- I might note that this was the same fighting style I had used from the moment that I began playing this release, since I was completely unable to figure out how to get any of standard special moves to fire off. What happened here? I actually enjoyed playing against this boss character! I played the Saturn release again as other characters and again experienced a mind-numbing ease of winning. Needless to say I was greatly dissapointed.

[Saturn-Image 11] [PlayStation-Image 11]
[Saturn (left), PlayStation (right)]

As far as overall dynamics of the play environment, I'm going to have to say that the PlayStation release of Tohshinden wins hands down. While both versions allow for odd camera views during combat, it seemed that the Saturn release tended to keep the camera square on with the players (ie: perpendicular to the combat) more often than not. While on the PlayStation release, you often ended up with the camera square in someone's back during battle. This difference (for me at least) gave me a greater since of 3-D fighting/control on the PlayStation version and allowed for cooler visuals of characters executing/receiving blows.

In closure I would have to say that without a doubt, the PlayStation release of Tohshinden is the winner here over the Saturn release of Tohshinden. While the playcontrol ran close at times, it was the complete difference in quality of graphics, difficulty and to some extent, voice acting, between the two releases that determined the outcome for me.



[Footnote: For Windows users, if your browser does not already provide support for playback of .AU format sound files, I recommend you locate the program "WPLANY.EXE" and install it as the default player for these files. The .AU format is an established standard audio format for the Intenet and this player will come in handy. You can try locating it by name in any of the popular Web-based search engines (ie: search "wplany" at AltaVista or WebCrawler).]

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