Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: DragonBall Z: Shin Budokai

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Electronic Theatre ImageFast, furious and frantic fighting at its best, DragonBall Z: Shin Budokai is a One-On-One Beat-‘Em-Up game. Based on the ever-popular anime series of the same name, DragonBall Z: Shin Budokai is akin to the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat series; in which opponents fight until their Energy Bar is depleted. You achieve this using punches, kicks, Special Moves and by being quicker than the opponent to defeat them, before moving on to the next character.

Two Meters are present on-screen, determining both Health, and a second which measures how much Ki Energy you have for a Special Move. YouElectronic Theatre Image must keep charging this Bar as when it runs out you will not be able to move temporarily, leaving you open for attack. With a full charge, your Special Move is available which takes an enormous amount of Health away from your opponent. Special Moves vary between characters and range from shooting fire to sending ghosts to attack your opponent. There are animated scenes that cut into the game when you use your Special Move, which run very smoothly.

There are five gameplay modes; Dragon Road, Arcade, Z Trial, Network Battle and Training. Dragon Road is the Story Mode of the game and contains five Chapters. The dead have been coming back to life due to a hole between hell and this world, and you must battle between friends and enemies to close the gap forever. Within this mode there are choices to go different routes to get to the end and, depending on the route, the opponents change.

Arcade Mode puts you up against several random characters from the game and lets you choose the difficulty level, how many rounds you will be fighting and how long the round lasts. Z Trial contains two modes called Survival and Time Attack. Survival Mode selects challengers to battle against randomly, with the idea being to see how many opponents you can beat without dieing. Your Health does not return to normal for each new opponent, but it is topped-up. Time Attack sets out seven courses of opponents to defeat in the quickest possible time.

Network Battle allows you to challenge a friend wirelessly using two copies of the game. You have the chance to play as any of the characters that you have unlocked against your opponent. Points are awarded to the winner that can then be used to purchase Cards in the Shop. This mode is very addictive and entertaining, and gives you a chance to show your friends which moves you have learnt and which characters you have won. This mode can be played again-and-again, and is a great game to have when you have lots of friends close to hand.

Training is there for you to practice your skills against a character that will not fight back. This feature is there to learn Special Moves and combinations to defeat your opponents in the other modes.

There is a Menu called Profile Card. Throughout the game you are collecting Points for wins and making Cards available by completing different modes for the first time. When you enter the Profile Card section there is an option for Shop. There are hundreds of cards available to collect and some of them are not available unless you have achieved a virtually perfect fight. You must buy all of the cards in order to complete the game; everybody wants 100%, right?

The music is unique to the game. Featuring background Dance music, it is fairly repetitive, but you are so busy fighting that it often seems to disappear. The animation is amazingly clear and fast with no glitches. Pleasing Character Electronic Theatre ImageModels and some of the best animation yet seen on the PSP, however, don’t detract from the often sparse fighting arenas.

The titles’ gameplay is superb with the characters responding quickly with nice movement. It make take some Beat-‘Em-Up aficionados some time to adapt to the handheld variation of the DragonBall Z series, especially with the title being a far-cry from the simply irresistible DragonBall Z: Budokai Tenkaichi on the PlayStation2, however it would be very hard to discredit DragonBall Z: Shin Budokai in it’s own right. All-in-all, this is a great fighting title that is highly addictive, and will still have you playing it in years to come.



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