Monday, May 28, 2012

Boribash - Toribash Review

   Toribash is a turn-based martial arts simulator created by Hampus Söderström and Nabi Studios. Though not for everyone, the game is one of the most unique and violent games on the internet. At its core it's a fighting game, except you're using ragdolls manually controlling every individual joint to make them fight. Aside from the basic kicking and punching, you can also grab and tear your opponent limb from limb. Literally. Of course, you can't just jump in and start painting the field with blood from the very start, and that's where we get into the right and wrong...

   Violence: Perfected
   Says it right in the subtitle, and for good reason. This game lets you completely dismember your opponent, and blood spews from every broken bone. Having even a single limb come off can you lose you the match, very easily, and most of the strategy of the game comes from ripping your enemy apart without getting ripped apart yourself. As such, the learning curve of the game is very high. You start off doing simple moves (that you likely learned in the tutorial), eventually learning to adapt to any situation and pulling off flashier, more efficient, maneuvers.
See Youtube for a much better example...
   Money Begging: None
   Paying cash does not grant you a single edge over other players, and can only be used to buy cosmetics so your character will look less like a slightly-pissed mannequin and more like...well, whatever you want them to look like. You can also earn currency through just fighting, so cash isn't required to set yourself apart.

   Modes: Perhaps Too Many
   The game features a few base modes that most people play on, but there are actually hundreds of different "mods" that each feature their own play mode. On the most basic mode, Judo, whichever player touches the ground first with something that is not their hands or feet gets disqualified (often shortened to DQ), and loses the fight. If time runs out before a player has touched the ground, the judgement goes to the scoring system, which awards points based on how much damage the enemy player took. The point system is always there, but the fighters can be put into many different situations. On one mode, you're turned into a strange scorpion, on another you're given a giant sword, and the list goes on. And on, and on. Even though the mods have their own settings, you can manually change different parameters using text commands, and you can even create your own mod. Or you could be like me and just play Judo and nothing else!

   Waiting: All the Time
   All matches are one on one, meaning that if you want to fight, you must first join a room and then wait in line. Battles usually don't last a particularly long time, so the wait isn't game-breaking, but once you do start fighting, you remember that the game is turn-based. You are given a set amount of time to mess with the joints on your fighter before a set amount of frames pass by that put your movements in action, then you mess with the joints some more. Depending on how fast you are at this, you can potentially be fighting with someone who is very slow and you'll have to wait for them. After the fight is over, you get to see what the fight looked like without all the breaks and can save a replay of the fight if it was memorable. Though most fights won't be that memorable because of...

   Flailing: Too Often
   Flailing is very common, particularly amongst newer players. If a limb didn't come off as intended, then you may have just simply been pushed backwards, along with your rival. When this happens, players tend to go into a bad acrobatics act, where they start to go into whatever position will stop them from hitting the floor. When this happens, you'll notice no fighting actually occurred. And this happens a lot, despite the fact that limbs come off very easily. If it happens mid-fight, it's less sad, but still disappointing.
Don't get me wrong, I think you'd do great as a dancer, it's just...
   Your Body: Fragile
   I had a friend who tried out this game quit after about a week because limbs fall off too easily. Aside from someone kicking you and your torso being ripped in half, there are some occasions where things just fall off for seemingly no reason. As mentioned before, losing a limb can easily lose you the fight, because if that limb touches the ground, you're disqualified. Not only that, but the instant anything breaks off, your entire body goes limp for the rest of that turn. So, understandably, it can be very frustrating if you try kicking an enemy and your leg breaks off from the enemy's magical metal abs.

   Final Score: 3.5 out of 5

   Even if you don't play long, you're sure to get some good memories out of it, since ragdoll physics tend to create a lot of humorous situations. Not only that, but if you explore the different mods, you can potentially have fun for a very long time just seeing how things work. The main problems come from waiting around, and the fact that most people don't play 99% of the mods available. So if you're playing for the competition, you may find that the game doesn't have a whole lot of replay value. However, it's both small and free, so I'd encourage anyone to go and give a try.

   As a much better incentive, I encourage you to check out what Youtube has to offer. Screenshots do the game zero justice.


  1. >Plays only Judo
    >Complains about dismemberment threshold
    >Doesn't change to play one of the other hundred mods

    1. I mentioned the other hundred mods for a reason, and I said "my friend" because I personally don't care about the dismemberment threshold. I play Judo for the most part because I find it the most fun to play.

  2. It seems you and your friend only ever played judo which is infamous for limbs easily breaking because of the low dismemberment threshold.
    At least try other mods that offer more skilled fighting and higher dismember threshold.

    1. We didn't both play only Judo. I did, he only played Aikido. I mentioned the dismemberment threshold because that was an argument we once had over the game, and it was something that ticked him off a lot. I don't rally care about the threshold myself, since I AM that guy with the magical metal abs!