Dragonball Z was one of my favorite shows in my primary school years, it's over the top nature of fighting and anime storyline made it a great watch and one that I would rush home to watch. Released in 2006 this is the first Dragonball title for the PSP and stays true to the style of the show and includes heavy 3D area fighting, like a mix between Tekken and Street fighter.
A little introduction to Dragonball Z is probably needed if you aren't a fan, It tells the story of Goku's life from childhood to adult, learning martial arts and trying to find the extremely powerful Dragonballs which are fought over between the good guys and the bad guys.
This game takes place inside the Dragonball movie Fusion Reborn and sees the player take on the story with either Goku and his allies, or play through it with the enemy side. Depending on who you choose and what you do in certain events, it effects how the final peices play out and give a feel that you are making a difference in the narrative.
The basic storyline is that Goku and his mates have gone on a little camping trip, all is going well until a strange portal is opened up and soon the dead begin to rise and attack Goku. You must fight many battles along the way in order to find out whats happend and how to stop it.
Taking place over 5 sections the narrative is well structured and set at a nice pace, you don't need a prior knowledge of the series to enjoy the story which helps make it more accesable to new players. The multiple ways that a chapter spreads out gives the game good amounts of replay value as it's intresting to see what would have happend if you had taken another route.
As well as the story there are a mix of other modes to keep you intrested, Arcade , Z trial (which includes survival and time trial), as well as a training mode to get used to the fighting and controls.
Arcade mode is the standard for fighting games, pick a fighter and then go up against a computer controlled opponent. This generally takes place with you fighting 10 opponents in a row, out of 18 playable characters and earning the Dragonballs. A great mode for learning new characters and how they play, this sometimes feels like a mini story mode because some dialouge is used in cut-scenes.
Survival mode pits you against continous bouts of enemies until your health is all gone, after every win your health regenerates slightly but after a few wins it will stop regenerating. This is quite fun and lets you test your endurance and ability with different characters.
Time trial is defeating a course of enemies as quickly as possible, this takes place over seven levels and is really exciting due to the quick nature of the mode.
Training mode lets you get to grips with the game, it's beneficial for this to be the first place you head and learn some basic combo's and controls, otherwise it is quite daunting as this is difficult to play when button mashing. It lets you pick all the options like fighters, setting, health etc and so tailors to your need.
You can also play against your mates or strangers in multiplayer mode done over the network, every match goes down on your profile card which shows all your fighting details like won, lost and rankings.
The multiplayer was smooth which was a nice surprise considering the speed of the action and the poor connection I was on at the time.
Gameplay wise it's really smooth and has been worked on quite a bit from previous incarnations.
For a start the Sayain overdrive system is improved making it both easier to pull off and looking suitably epic when powering up and the light effects dancing around the character. Going into overdrive helps your characters attacks be more powerful and also let them move quicker, this is done by building energy through blocks, counters and attacks.
The game has also added a new skill known as an "Aura burst", this allows you to jump across screen at an extremely high speed. Whilst doing this you can attack to make long combo's and stun your opponent, this isn't easy though as Dragonball realises it's annoying to be trapped in a move and so made this a difficult skill. But it can also be used defensively by letting you block or quickly move out the way of an incoming attack.
Attacks are really varied as you can have range, melee or martial arts movements. These can take place on the ground or air and make for thrilling action as you combine the different moves together to create powerful combo moves.
Combat really doesn't compare to any other game as it is so pantomime and over the top that when you get used to the control system and fighting styles, anyone watching near by will be treated to a wonderful experience which is totally different to it's competitors.
As I said there are 18 playable characters from both sides including Goku, Gohan , Picollo and Gogetta. These all come with their different power stages such as Sayain and Super Sayain, with a good amount of detail and care put into the changes that occur when they transform into the next stage.
There are 8 stages for your fighter to battle on including a desert , snowy mountains , hell and even the usual time chamber. These look and feel really nice to fight on , with so much detail and variety it fits in well with the game and the storyline.
The games graphics are cell shaded and really cartoony which gives the game a certain charm about it, all the characters look how they should and the game is constantly buzzing with colours and light effects which can make it difficult to follow the action. Considering the amount happening on the screen at once the PSP handles it admirabley with no latency in responce or output whatsover.
The soundtrack is probably best forgotten about as it is annoying J pop which doesn't always suit the moment.
The game sounds though are really good , the grunts and noises that come from the fighters helps show off the effort and power involved.
The controls do take getting used too and aren't as easy to pick up and play as Tekken, this lead to early frustrations when you know what you want to do but you just cant get the combination right.
This is the first 3D fighting game released on the PSP and can be bought on Amazon for £17. This is an average price but may be one for fans of the show rather than mainstream, as games like Tekken are a lot easier to pick up. However the game gives a good amount of hours, around 30 to unlock and try everything, after that it is all around how many fights you play out.
I find the Dragon Ball series very strange, and oddly alluring. I am not a prototypical anime fan, but I gave this a go anyway upon the recommendation of a friend, figuring the slight style of the series might lend itself well to a handheld game.
I like my fighting games to excel in their multiplayer offering, and thankfully this one does. It's just as well, because the single-player experience is often frustrating, because the AI is horrendous, standing still while you beat them senseless, and then charging a super attack out of nowhere while you wonder "how the Hell did they do that!?". The multiplayer, with real humans, is a lot more fun, but sadly there's no WiFi option, and so you can only play with friends who have PSPs.
Shin Budokai certainly looks good, emphasising the cartoonish visuals with great fervour, and rendering both the characters and the levels with solid veracity to their animated counterparts. The fighting style seen in the series is well replicated here, and the regular issues plaguing fighting games, such as rubber banding are not present here. Ultimately they might seem a bit "bubblegum" for those who dislike cel-shaded graphics, but they will do the job for fans, surely. Aurally, the game's not so hot; some goofy songs and irritating voices remind me that this is so typical of anime, and while it's trying to be all "quirky" and "funny", it's more annoying to me.
Unless you're a fanboy or a completionist, this game won't last you too long; the single player is naff, and there's not a whole lot to unlock. Unless someone in your home or a friend you see regularly has another PSP, this is more frustrating than fun.
Dragonball Z: Shin Budokai is the first Dragonball Z game for the PSP, This is a combat/beat em up game. I got this game about a year ago. The game play is really fun because it is just like the game play for the PlayStation 2. The story mode is great because it follows the storyline of the dragon ball z and adds extra's that allows for more fighting in the game. The graphics in the game is excellent. You could even say that it resembles the play station / game cube game, Dragon Ball Z budokai 2. My favorite thing about this game is that the control are similar to the other Dragon Ball Z games and are very simple to learn and control. Another good thing about this game is that all the characters you are allowed to use in game are the most important players in the Dragon Ball Z franchise. There are also a huge variety of characters to play at 18. The wi-fi mode is great because it allows you to battle face to face with other PSP players everywhere and see if you rank up with the best at the game. In 2007 the producers of this game created a sequel which in my opinion is even better than this one. The sequel has many more characters, improved graphics and better gameplay; however i recommend readers to buy the first game because of the originality of the game and of the shear fun of the gameplay of Dragon Ball Z games.
Dragonball Z now hits PSP with the Shin Budokai series. I have only purchased this game recently so I am going to keep the review nice and short.
Choose players from the Hit series dragonball and power up to the next level to beat your opponents to the ground.
The dragonball feel is definately featured on this game. The norm 2-dimentional beat em up feel is eliminated with the ability to fly around the screen and to go to different angles from the enemy. Surprise them with a blast from the front, followed by a quick switch to their side and then teleporting to the back of them to finish them off with a special!
The non-bounded environment gives this beat em up game the extra touch to become like the style of fighting featured on the TV show.
The Graphics are somewhat good. More work could of been put in to the actual gameplay graphics. Sometimes the characters look a bit blocky in areas. But in general it is still at an acceptable level.
The video scenes are worth watching as they featured the voices of the characters from the show.
A good buy for Dragonball fans, however unlike other games that is based on TV series. This game has potential to be a hit for non-fans too. This is achieved through the non-bounded environment during gameplay and fights. It gives beat em up a whole new meaning and adds character and flavour to the game.
So a rating in general 7/10.
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(As written on Ciao.co.uk under empowering)
For the first time ever, Dragonball Z makes its way to the Playstation Portable (PSP), known as Dragonball Z Shin Budokai, created by the creators of the original Dragaonball Z Budokai series on the PS2, Dimps. Challenge yourself through numerous fierce fights in the Dragonball Z universe with over 10 playable characters, including the first time ever to play as the Namek, Pikkon.
There are five modes you can play in Dragonball Z Shin Budokai, including Story mode, Arcade Mode and Z Trial. The story mode follows through a fictitious land in the Dragonball Z universe which is also loosely based on the Dragonball Z movie: Fusion Reborn, where characters from the past and future are all warped into one world, where many familiar villains will appear for you to face, with classic RPG texts before and after battles explaining what's going on, or just for comic relief.
Arcade mode, allows you to fight through battles at your own pace, without any story backed onto you. You can freely choose your character, and fight many, many foes, from villains to heroes. The other modes are also fun for you to explore, such as Z trial, which offers its unique small outside story, where you fight through specific set-out battles depending on which character you choose.
Dragonball Z Shin Budokai also offers two player wireless mode, which allows you and a friend to fight against each other, one on one, to see who the ultimate warrior in the universe really is. I found the game rather enjoyable, though for it being a PSP game, it was pretty fun, though I do prefer the Dragonball Z games on the PS2 and other proper consoles due to the more variety of characters, the less repetitive story, and being able to play with your friends without needing two games and two PSPs.
I found the game rather addictive, being a big fan of Dragonball Z, and recently purchasing a PSP at the time I got this game, it was very good to be able to play Dragonball Z anywhere in the house, or out and about, which defiantly makes this game more addictive then others. The game is original, as it is loosely based off of the Dragonball Z movie: Fusion Reborn, but mainly fictional with the warping of the characters in a fictional land, makes this a unique Dragonball Z experience.
Graphically, the game is pretty impressive, as normal with most PSP games, with the small screen, games look extremely smooth and rather decent, quite a marvel to look at the great character design and the pretty good battlefields. The soundtrack is okay, but never have been really too appealed to the soundtracks of Dragonball Z games after Budokai 3. The sound effects are great also with much detail. I didn't find the game very difficult until it got near the end, where some battles just get near impossible to beat, where you'll need much skill and competence with how the game works and be quick with your actions. You can find this game for around £10-£15, which is pretty good price for a good fighting game which you can play anywhere. In short, this game is great for Dragonball Z fans, and anyone that's after a good fighting game for the PSP, one of the best out to date.
Features 18 characters from the Dragon Ball Z story. A multi scenario story mode based on the events in the upcoming DBZ movie. Play in arcade mode, a single-player mode in which you fight against the CPU, allows you to fight battles using only your favorite characters as you compete for dragon balls. In Z trial mode, you fight in battles with a number of conditions or limitations. The game features fully 3D game play and a Wi-Fi multi player mode.