Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z Box Art
System: PS3*, Xbox 360
Dev: Artdink
Pub: Namco Bandai Games
Release: January 28, 2014
Players: 1 (2-8 Online)
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes

The card system that comes from the games CCG origins was a welcome addition, for about an hour. After fiddling with cards endlessly after each mission, switching them from character to character and trying to make sure the best cards were equipped, I just got tired of it. Not to mention to get cards that were even the slightest bit decent you had to spend Premium Points, which could only be earned by delivering Energy Requests after missions. Though the amount of PP you get from Energy Requests does go up with time, it is still a long road to get any of the really primo cards. Of course, these are cards that would’ve probably been banned from decks in the CCG world, but we aren’t playing a CCG are we? Are we?

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z Screenshot

Visually, Dragon Ball Z games haven’t really evolved much in recent years. While the environment has become a little more crisp and clean, the character models look pretty much like they did back in the PS2 days – rigid corners, with thick black lines for edges and little detail to speak of. Of course they look better than they did in the PS2/Xbox days, but not by much. Many would attribute this to the “cell-shaded” style of the game, but I would attribute it to an apparent lack of caring about the future of the franchise. Progress is necessary. Though the visuals are wearing thin, I will say that the character models function well and control inputs directed my Saiyan (or Namekian, if you prefer) around the open arena as I saw fit, but at the sacrifice of odd camera angles.

One thing that Battle of Z does right, as many other DBZ games before it have, is having the actual voice cast from the show doing the voice-acting. Without this the game would have felt completely generic, so I was truly glad to hear my favorite characters as I knew them. But that’s about where the success of the soundscape ends. While sound effects and score are done fairly well, they are extremely repetitive and become annoying quickly, which detract from their quality.

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Overall, did I enjoy Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z? Yes, I did. I know it might not have sounded like it, but I am an old-school fan and I’ll never pass up a chance to kick Frieza’s ass, no matter what form he’s in. Some fans will be disappointed, as I was, but will deal with it because they want to play a game in the DBZ universe. Some fans will love it, simply because of the tons of characters available to play. But anyone who isn’t a Dragon Ball Z fan already won’t be made a fan by playing this game. If anything, it will turn them against DBZ, which is a very sad thing. One day, someone will make the DBZ game we all want. Who knows? Maybe it’s you.

By
Joshua Bruce
Video Director
Date: January 31, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
Visuals look good and function well, but look the same as they have for several games in the franchise.
3.0
Control
Control scheme lacks any variety. Repetitive and largely boring.
3.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Voice acting is familiar from the series, but a repetitive score and stock sounds give little help to the tired soundscape.
2.0
Play Value
Playing as your favorite Saiyan is always a little fun, but it wears off quickly. You can play through several storylines from the show, but they are little more than a string of fights. All-in-all, pretty boring.
2.5
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Original VO - Includes the authentic English & Japanese voiceover cast.
  • New Playable Character - The most powerful form of Goku (Super Saiyan GOD) from the recent Dragon Ball Z animated movie is included in the game.
  • New Battle Gameplay - Revolutionary melee mode in a Dragon Ball game.
  • Team Focused - Co-op battles online up to 4-players.
  • Multiplayer - Experience up to 8-player VS. in Battle Royale mode.

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