Yeah, we’re talking DBZ up in here bro.
Dragonball Z: Battle of Z (PS3, 360, PSVita)
Developed by Artdink – Published by Namco Bandai
I like DBZ as much as the next person does, been a fan since I first read the original Dragonball manga as a kid and I’ve played far too many games in the franchise throughout the years. With that said, I also know that sometimes it can be quite rubbish and that the games this generation have not been treated all that well. Well, Namco Bandai is here with a final effort just as the generation is closing out and I have to say… I’m not impressed.
Dragonball Z: Battle of Z, which by the way is a stupid name, has some neat ideas to it. Basically it’s a 4v4 fighting game that utilizes a full 3D environment to fight in. While having 8 players fighting at once is really neat, the actual battle system doesn’t seem to be that great. Allow me to explain how the game works, because it’s quite simple.
You can ascend and descend freely, while using the left analog stick to move left, right, forward and back. So you have full 360 degree control of your character and can enter and leave flight at will with every character. This works quite well actually, and with a lock-on mode that you can toggle at will available at all times movement is never really an issue. The problem is, that with all these things mapped out, you’re left with very few buttons and combinations to work with for attacks, which is not that good for a fighting game.
As such, Battle of Z basically becomes more of a “mash-one-button-to-shoot” or “mash-one-button-to-punch” fest until you can unleash stronger cinematic attacks, which sort-of plays themselves. There’s not a lot of focus on combos or move-sets and all the fighting feels held-back and dull. It’s a shame, because what could have been a simple combat system to help beginners get into the genre has essentially been turned into a boring mess with no strategy or thought.
With that said, one thing Battle of Z does have one really neat thing to it. When you’re not fighting the 4v4 battles, you’ll fight 4v1 giant battles. In the case of my demo, I was fighting the giant ape form of Vegeta, which was actually a lot of fun. Basically, each body-part had its own health-bar which depleted as you attacked the body-parts in question. If a body-part reached 0% health, you would do less damage to the main health-bar of the giant enemy and as such it encouraged you to keep on flying around to hit all parts of the enemy. It was pretty cool, but still very simple.
The game also suffered from framerate issues that I seriously hope will be fixed in the final version. As it stands, I can’t say I’m impressed by Dragonball Z: Battle of Z, I’m actually quite disappointed. It’s clear that Namco Bandai and Artdink is going for quantity over quality here, and that’s never good.