I can’t explain how much love I have for the Dragonball Z games. I have played every Dragonball Z fighting game since the release of Dragonball Z Budokai on the Playstation 2 and have been hooked since. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan of the anime as well, waiting patiently for the half hour show, to watch Goku power up for 5 minutes then start threatening some punk who thinks he’s great, i.e. Vegeta, Frieza, The Androids, Cell and finally Majin Buu, then 5 minutes of actual gravity defying battle. A quick break for me to tell my mates my Mum wont let me out till I’ve done my homework and that I’ll be out in 15 minutes, and finally the second half of the show! Another 5 minutes of fighting then they stop and the bad guy says they were holding back and then 10 minutes of the bad guy powering up with threats of destroying planet earth. Finally I can go out and hide the fact I watched a cartoon and act cool.
The games from Budokai onwards gave you a chance to relive each great 7 episode long fight in about 5 minutes, plus the fights you always wanted to see; SSJ1 Vegeta vs. SSJ1 Goku, SSJ2 Gohan vs. Vegeta, etc. It sounds strange but every game had the same story to follow but either introduced a new combat system or new moves, for example; Budokai was your basic Saiyan Saga, Frieza Saga, Android Saga & Cell’s Saga, leaving you with 23 characters to pick from.
Budokai 2 was a disappointment as a lot of the characters were just combat clones, i.e. Goku & Adult Gohan. But this game extended the story through the Babadi Saga & Various Buu Saga’s, which also increased the character count to 31 playable characters. Now finally, the cream of the crop is Budokai 3, this really showcased the possibilities of the Dragonball Z fighting game. Cell shading was bought in which looked amazing, the combat was similar to the first 2 but slightly improved in little ways and the highlight was the teleport counter, if you are getting battered and if you have the Ki (energy) you can teleport behind your foe and unleash an energy attack or physical barrage of blows. You even got 42 playable characters, such as the Legendary Super Saiyan Broly (Who was born with a power level of 10,000), Bardock (Goku’s father) and Cooler (Frieza’s brother – I know, cool isn’t it!). This is and will always be my favourite version of the Dragonball Z games. I even remember getting my Dad to take me to my local Morrison’s on a Friday night to purchase a copy and bailing on my girlfriend to play it all night (How cool am I). The franchise then leaves the Budokai series and tries various new battle systems (All good, but nowhere near Budokai 3’s – my opinion); Budokai Tenkaichi series, Burst Limit, Ultimate Tenkaichi and the Raging Blast series. I could go on and on about the previous titles but seeing as this is an article about the up and coming DBZ game I will digress
DBZ: Battle of Z is a fighting game (shock, I know) released for the PS3, Vita & Xbox360. The difference from the rest of the DBZ fighting game is that the battles can be team battles, I hear what? How will this work? I had the same questions when I first heard, but believe me, it looks sh*t hot, don’t believe me; look up the trailers on YouTube. The game will allow for up to 8 players, 4 on each time to battle. This could be Saiyan’s vs. Earths finest (Yamcha obviously) or Namekian’s vs. Ginyu Force (Payback). Another team battle can be against huge enemies such as, great Apes. You can carry out special attacks together, heal each other and more. Battle of Z will also support multiplayer online battles for those of you like myself who don’t have many mates who love the DBZ series. With the online mode only one player can play of one console, this is due to the developer, Artdink, wanting the player to experience the best possible graphics.
The game play sounds interesting too, as mentioned above the emphasis is on team battles. These battles (and single player battles) can take place in the air or on the planets surface. During the team battles, team mates have a linked meter called the Genki gauge, which charges when you are attacking and when full you can unleash a team ultimate attack; Synchro Rush, Meteor Chain & Revive Soul. Synchro Rush is as the name suggests, a synchronised rush attack with the whole team pummelling the enemy at once. Meteor Chain is the team following up each others attacks and timing it so the unfortunate enemy has no chance of counter attacking. Another obvious one is Revive Soul, which is reviving a fallen character (Usually the sh*ttest character in your team).
There are talks of a system which enables players to alter characters moves using ability cards. As usual there are 4 types of moves:
Fighting Type – Close Combat Specials
Ki Blast Type – Energy Attacks, LongRange Moves
Interference Type – These affect the enemy in various ways, i.e. Solar Flare which blinds the enemy
Support Type – Recover allies health, increase their power, defence, etc
With this you can have a team similar to most classic RPG games; Fighter (Knight), LongRange (Archer / Summoner), Interference (Black Mage), Support (White Mage) so adds a little strategy and RPG elements to a brilliant fighting game.
Looking at the game modes it looks like they’ve scrapped the mission based story mode of Raging Blast 2 and delves back in to the classic Z-Fighters versus the bad guy’s story mode. There is also the multiplayer online mode (which is very appealing to me!) and a Team Battle mode which allows up to 4 players to join in order to complete missions in a competition, and Battle Royal allows the combatants to fight against each others not organized in team (Royal Rumble for the WWE fans!).
4 Versus Vegeta (Great Ape)
Another new introduction is character customizing, which enables you to change Vegeta’s Saiyan armor to pink and purple if you fancied it. It also allows you to build your favorite character up similar to Budokai 3, which you gain experience points after a battle and can choose to make them physically stronger or better with energy attacks. So you’re pink and purple Vegeta could truly be the hardest and most colorful character around!
The characters announced for this genre breaking game so far are:
Goku (Normal, SSJ1, SSJ2, SSJ3 & SSJG (Super Saiyan God))
Kid Gohan (Normal, Great Ape)
Teen Gohan (Normal, SSJ1, SSJ2)
Future Trunks (Normal, SSJ1)
Trunks (Normal, SSJ1)
Goten (Normal, SSJ1)
Vegeta (Normal, Great Ape, SSJ1, Majin Vegeta (Pure evil & class)
Broly (Normal, Legendary Super Saiyan)
Yamcha (Possibly the best earthling going)
Frieza (Normal, Second Form, Third Form, Final Form, 100% Power Form)
Cooler (Normal, Second Form)
Cell (Normal, Second Form, Final Form, 100% Form)
Like I said above, these are the ones announced; hopefully there will be quite a few additions come release day!
Nappa, Raditz, Saibaman & Vegeta - One Evil Saiyan Team!
The release date for this, so far, amazing looking game is March 2014. I hope a few more will be joining me on release day!