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Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z Hands On Preview

I sorta want Tenkaichi back...

I wanted to be impressed by this game. After more than a few disappointing outings in the genre, I was ready for a Dragon Ball Z fighting game on the level of 2007’s Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Unfortunately, aside from some nice visuals, Battle of Z seems to continue the recent tradition of bad fighting mechanics and gimmicks.

Battle of Z lets you select four characters to battle against either one really strong opponent, or another group of four. Unfortunately, alongside the enemy, I spent a good amount of time fighting with the awkward control scheme. Charging, using energy attacks, and even flying all felt awkward and even broken. I admit that I was hoping it would play closer to the games in the Tenkaichi series; it definitely doesn’t mirror those controls at all. Still, I wished that the game felt more comfortable to play.

Fighting was incredibly clunky. Much of the time, I had no idea what was going on. I combo’s seemed non-existent. Enemies responded very little to my attacks, and seemed to armor through most of my assault, preventing any chance of something cool or stylish happening. When something did happen, I had no idea why or how. It was a mess, to say the least.

On a positive note, the game does have a pretty decent roster of characters spanning the Z series, including some “What –If” characters like Super Saiyan Bardock. New characters from the expanded movie fiction are included as well, like Bills and Goku’s Super Saiyan God mode, from the latest movie. Those curious to see those in action might want to check out this game upon release, but unless the game is polished and optimized for better control, I can’t see it attracting many more fans – but rather repelling them.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z will be out on January 23, 2014 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita.




10/31/2013 at 09:15 PM

Playing Ultimate Tenkaichi now. It's pretty bad, except for the visuals. Can't stand the QTE style of fighting. I badly want a HD Sparking Neo or Meteor with English subtitles and menus. Those two games weren't just great DBZ games, they were  great fighting games.

Jon Lewis Staff Writer

11/01/2013 at 11:46 AM

I agree. Having Tenkaichi 2 or 3 in HD would be fine at this point. They were both true to the show and fun to play. Its been down hill since then...

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