Dragon Ball Z is something of a relic for me. I grew up watching episodes with my high school friends. It was an interesting show, with too much filler episodes, but yet had some awesome fight scenes when they did show up. Luckily with game versions of the series, players get to take control and beat the crap out of enemies instead. We have had a ton of DBZ games, so does this one stand out at all?
A 2D sprite based fighter isn’t what were accustomed to as of late with DBZ games. Most have been 3D in the few years prior and it’s refreshing to see the characters comes to life with this classic art and fighter style. Characters are big and detailed and look just like their anime counterparts. This puts it above the 3D games for me because it doesn’t get more authentic then the drawings themselves.
After selecting the mode of play which ranges from a story, to arcade, and versus and a few additional similar modes, the battle begins. Fights are fast, fun, and look great. All the classic sound effects accompany classic moves and moments from the series flawlessly. Being a fan or familiar with the franchise will immediately give players a smile. As players continue to pummel the opposing force, combos can be unleased, players warp around the 3D arenas and the action continues. Sometimes it almost feels too fast and the round is over before it even felt like it started.
This is where a glaring issue became apparent with the game. It seems too easy at times. I’m not an expert at fighting games and sometimes I button mash, other times I learn the moves. Here it seemed liked it didn’t matter what I did, I was still kicking ass, hardly ever losing a battle. I know were supposed to be playing as extremely awesome and powerful characters but the lack of challenge or needing to find a pattern to beat felt off. Character roster is lacking as well, with some characters just not being included seemed like a weird omission
The controls are solid and offer players with the ability to kick ass, but again the fact come into play that performing moves on the 3DS is bothersome, especially in a game so fast paced. It’s not exactly the games fault but after a few 20 minutes sessions, I’d have to put the game down and give my hands a break, they simple hurt from playing. It didn’t matter if I was button mashing, or trying to perform precise moves and combos.
Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden is a nice sounding and looking game, with lots of modes, but it still feels empty and lacking a solid foundation. Having no online fighting mode at launch is another bummer as well. It’s an interesting start to the series and I hope to see it get bigger and better, but as it stands it’s just a serviceable colorful fighter that folks can take on the go, regardless of your skill set. If players are ok with that, it offers enough to keep people happy for now.
A Nintendo 3DS code was provided by the publisher for review purposes.