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Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu

Score: 20%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Atari
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Fighting

Graphics & Sound:

Visually speaking, Webfoot's newest fighting game for the Game Boy Advance, Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu, is fairly attractive. The game features around 15 or so of the most powerful fighters from the DBZ world. The characters are displayed in the sprite based pseudo-3D graphics that the GBA is so famous for. The backgrounds for the fighting arenas are equally as attractive and feature locales from all corners of the Dragon Ball Z world. There's even an arena based inside the DBZ villain Majin Buu. I would say the animations aren't bad either, but this is a fighting game and requires the animations to be above-par. Sadly this is not the case. The animations are merely mediocre, and the game suffers for it.

The sound and music, however, are not attractive. The music is downright pathetic. They have any number of themes to draw upon from the cartoon itself, and none of them were utilized, at least none that I could recognize. It all sounded like extremely generic techno battle garbage. The same goes for the sounds. Lots of stuff they could have pulled in from the show, but it doesn't sound like they used any of it. Most of it sounds 'ok,' but nothing that really sounds any better than humdrum punches and kicks. Some of the trademark energy attacks sound almost familiar, but in the end, they more closely resemble something churned out after half an hour of work.


Gameplay:

The gameplay in Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu isn't exactly rocket science, and can be summed up in one paragraph. You have your generic punches and kicks. Mix in a few limited and pointless combos, along with a few super special moves, and you have just about everything going on in a battle. Most DBZ fighting games feature at least one 'gimmicky' aspect to a pretty tried and tested fighting game formula. In DBZ: Taiketsu, that gimmick is the sky battle. Your character flies into the sky to launch an attack from above. If the opponent also takes to the sky, then a sky battle begins. All a sky battle consists of is mashing buttons as fast as you can; not exactly creative genius at work. The game gets ridiculously boring extremely fast. It sucks, plain and simple.

Difficulty:

Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu isn't even challenging. The AI is, well, stupid. The hardest part of the game is trying to perform the special techniques on the Game Boy Advance's D-pad, a D-pad that is just flat out not built for Street Fighter style movements. Ultimately, if you really want to win, all you have to do is go into a sky battle over and over again. Unless your fingers move really slowly, you'll win every time. It's all very sad, really very sad.

Game Mechanics:

One final aspect of the game that's worth mentioning is the battle points. You will acquire these points during and after battles. Things such as special moves, sky battles, and flawless victories will increase your battle points. You can use battle points to purchase 'extras,' things such as cartoon stills, bios, and a jukebox. Most of these are generally not worth it. The cartoon has been out for a long time now, so cartoon stills and bios are pretty dull, and we've already established that the music isn't worth listening to. You can unlock a few options to put some 'twists' on the gameplay, but the twists are minor and the gameplay is unsaveable.

I've heard people say Dragon Ball Z games suck before, Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout, Ultimate Battle 22, etc. I liked those games. Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu sucks, and this comes from a Dragon Ball Z fan. Don't buy it. It's fun for about five minutes. I don't recommend this game for anyone.


-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Sony PlayStation 2 Castlevania: Lament of Innocence Windows Blitzkrieg: Attack is the Only Defense

 
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