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Dragonball GT: Tranformation

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Webfoot Technologies
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Fighting/ Action

Graphics & Sound:

Dragonball GT: Transformation is your basic beatí em up, side-scroller in the vein of classics like Double Dragon. While it captures the style, flavor and story of the "Dragonball GT" story very well, unresponsive controls may hamper your enjoyment.

The graphics of Transformation are precisely what you would want from a "Dragonball GT game". The characters and environments are completely faithful to the cartoon, and fans should recognize even the most nondescript of characters easily. The only thing really lacking are the effects from the amazing battle powers these warriors wield, but that is more a nature of the subdued gameplay than anything else.

You know what to expect from a "Dragonball" game in terms of sound by now. Lots of screaming, tons of shouting, a plethora of punches and kicks, and the whining buzz of chi attacks. Mix that with the decidedly odd style of music present in the U.S. version of the cartoon and you have a "Dragonball" game that is as aurally faithful as it is visually.


The story of Transformation faithfully follows the story of the first part of the cartoon, from the moment Goku gets transformed into a child, till the final confrontation with Baby.

Gameplay wise, you slowly make your way to the right, punching, kicking, and chi blasting anything and everything until it is no more. It is a pretty familiar genre by now, and compared to some of the more colorful "Dragonball" games out there, it feels a little overly-simplified. For the vast majority of the game, you canít even do any interesting attacks, you can just shoot simple beams from your hands. To be fair, you can do some interesting things like dashing, jumping (and floating), air attacks, and spin moves, but you canít shoot enormously giant beams that defy all sense. Sure, that might have been inappropriate in this style of gameplay, but itís a facet of the "Dragonball" universe that, when missing, is missed greatly.

The major difference of Transformation from other games of its type is the fact that you can switch characters in the midst of battle. In any stage, you have around three characters at your disposal. Each have three different stats: health, strength and chi power. As you defeat enemies, you can pick up colored balls that will permanently increase that characters' abilities. If a character gets low on health, you can switch to another and the previous character will slowly regain power as they sit out of the fight.


Unfortunately, this brings us to the biggest problem Dragonball GT: Transformation has - unresponsive controls. While movement, jumping and kicking are fluid and responsive, you will frequently press the buttons for beam attack, power recharge or character switch and get nothing. You have to be standing perfectly still for the game to register any of these buttons. Itís possible this is intentional, but, simply put, it sucks. The game may have multiple difficulties, but with action this fast and enemies this cheap (one of the two opponents in the first boss battle can take a character's health to 0 if they hit you just right), there is no room for unresponsive controls. The game is made 100% harder (in that bad, frustrating, cheap way) by the fact that you are required to stand still doing this.

Game Mechanics:

A staple of "Dragonball" games now, Dragonball GT: Transformation sports quite an assortment of unlockables. Your score at the end of every stage is converted into a monetary unit called zenny. You can use zenny to purchase unlockable characters, game modes and secrets. The only downside to this is that you get relatively few zenny from a single stage in comparison to the cost of the extras. Eventually, youíll be forced to replay stages over and over again and that can get a little tedious.

If youíre a big fan of beatí em ups or "Dragonball", and have the patience to work with the gameís difficulty, you can have a grand time. Otherwise, well, this game will just frustrate you until you throw it out of a window.

-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Sony PlayStation Portable Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Sony PlayStation 2 Chicken Little

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated