Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
Ultimate DBZ or Ultimate Disappointment?
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SOME SENSELESS INTRODUCTION
Looking about 10 years back, that was the time I had my first Sony Console, the PlayStation One. One of the best things on owning one was the unparalleled thrill of playing games with your neighbours. Amongst our favourite games were Tekken, Dragonball GT, Crash Team Racing, and Marvel VS Capcom. Presently, my neighbours have outgrown gaming but not me, I recently owned a Playstation 3 and my Highschool and College friends keep me company when playing. Over the last ten years, the thrill of playing with friends just seems to always be exciting and fun.
For MOST console owners, a staple for multiplayer would have to be the immortal Tekken. Personally, I think it is the best fighting game due to its very easy control and random button mashing will definitely grab you a win or two. To widen my selection when I have friends over, I have recently purchased a Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. A game which brings a new approach to the fighting game genre. Now, feeling nostalgic, I purchased a Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi to bring back Dragon Ball GT’s days of charge-super moves. After playing the game, I decide to make this review to guide potential buyers about the game. What do I think? Read on and find out!
First and foremost, this review is based on personal opinion and will be compared with respect to the last DBZ game I played Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 on the Playstation 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Another Road on the PSP. Second, I did not like this game as much as I thought so prepare to see a lot of hate. Why I decided to compare, well its pretty much to give you and idea on how the game has worsened/improved, don’t like it? Close the Tab J
LET THE HATE BEGIN
Dragon Ball Z games tend to follow a pattern in terms of Gameplay. Thump-Thump Kamehameha or WOAAAARGHHH Kamehameha! Let me explain, the former is that most games start of either by a player gaining the upper hand in melee combat and then he attacks you with a super. The latter is when you get away as far from your opponent and then charge and then attack him with a super. This has been the usual formula and it has pretty much done a decent job to provide some multiplayer fun. For Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, this approached is somehow scratched and it is replaced with a new Gameplay Style.
Starting the Game, it is somehow amazing to hear the Dragonball Opening again after so long and the clips are really worth the minutes. After the opening movie, you find yourself in the options. For those planning to buy this, I want you to heed this Warning: Prepare to Explain the gameplay to your friends. I highly doubt MOST who will buy this game can play this off the bat, you should really check out the Tutorials before playing as the controls are far from what you may have been accustomed to. This is when you will decide if this game will be worth the play or will it be a waste of money. The tutorials show you the basics, obviously. There are two ways a battle can take place, either in MELEE RANGE or BLAST RANGE. On Melee range, you and your opponent square of with punches and melee stuff, NO BLASTS HERE, the square is used for punching and triangle is used for the powerful melee attack which will send your opponent flying. When three squares are successively hit there will be a short QTE. You and your opponent press either triangle or square. If it does not match, you knock your opponent and barrage him with combo. If it match, the opponent performs a counter attack. If you do hit you can continue the combo by pressing square and the L stick, during this time your opponent can perform a button mashing to counter. It sounds exciting but it is only for the first few times, the animations are just too repetitive as fuck. The controls is the same for MELEE and BLAST range. To compensate for that boring part of the match maybe the Supering (The Act of using your supers), but this may also be one of the most frustrating parts, when you execute a super, 100% of the time your opponent can either Guard, Dodge, or intercept it. This is just a major ball buster as it is frustrating to charge and super and then your opponent will just mother father press the guard button. GRRRRR! At least let my opponent evade the super on thier own! The thrill of catching your opponent by surprise is just not there anymore. How often have I mocked my friend when I’m losing and I execute a surprise Ultimate Attack on him, the thrill of those moments are gone.
So if that did not convince you to stay away, maybe this will. Unlike in Budokai Tenkaichi 3 on the PS2 where you have tons of pre-unlocked characters to choose from. Ultimate Tenkaichi spits on you by giving you crappy characters at first. Personally, I bought the game to play with friends, I have tons of other games which are better to play than this. The pre-unlocked characters are shit. Goku only has the Super Saiyan 1 unlocked! I wanted to use the SSJ 3 ASAP! Grrrr! Some of the supers are not even available for some of the characters. You also have to unlock them. This game forces you to play the Gahd Dhamn adventure mode which I have probably seen about OVER 9000 times thanks to GMA 7!
So you ask, then just play the adventure mode retard! Well I would have played the adventure mode, but aside from the crappy gameplay this game has, the Adventure Mode is very slow paced. You can’t use supers! That’s right, at least for the first part, YOU CAN’T USE SUPERS! This forces you to damage opponents slower as you are stuck with melee shit combat which will more likely drain whatever the thrill this game has left out of you. Adventure Mode combat is very repetitive, it’s annoying. I guarantee you by the time you finish the Adventure mode, you will stay away from this game and playing with your friends will not be fun anymore. Absolutely disappointing.
1. Graphics (3.9/5)
The Graphics are alright but I find it darker than Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Its just not as vibrant as BT3. The Character Select Screen is also uninspired.
2. Gameplay (1.5/5)
The controls and gameplay is this game’s Achilles’ Heel. Being a fighting game and a Dragon Ball Z game, you will more likely expect a fast paced button mashing. Sadly, Ultimate Tenkaichi has a pretty straight forward button scheme. The animations may look fast but it’s usually done by a press of a button. It is also very repetitive like this statement and you can pretty much counter all attacks thrown at you.
3. Sound (3/5)
The sound is ok but nothing you haven’t heard over the numerous times GMA played this Anime.
4. Replayability (3/5)
There are tons to unlock! Being a multiplayer fighting game this may bring you a few minutes to play with friends. If you are dedicated to the Game, Online mode may suit your needs if your friends do not want to play with you.
Are you familiar with Dragonball GT Final Bout on the PS One? Remember how bad its reception is? As bad as it may seem at least there is some thrill in playing it especially the button mashing when supers clash. This Game is just sad. The Graphics and sound maybe a big leap from Budokai Tenkaichi 3 but it took away what made BT3 good. For a multiplayer fighting game, gameplay and control is undoubtedly the most important part. What made other fighting games stand out is the diverse controls and difference between characters. Just look at Tekken, each characters have their own moveset and each has a large set of one. It is also easy to pick-up and learn. Look at Marvel VS Capcom series, the characters also have different movesets and the game puts the icing with the little touch of those flashy amazing colourful supers. Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi just does not have much to offer especially for those just looking for a new fighting game. In terms of enjoyment, Tekken 3 will give you better gaming despite being almost 15 years old. The unamazing controls, the repetitive gameplay and the uninspiring pre-unlocked characters drains out whatever improvements it made in terms of Graphics and sound. If I will be asked if this is a recommended fighting game, as much as I am a Dragon Ball Z fan, I have to say no and look for a fighter elsewhere.