The Z warriors are back in an all new action title Dragonball Z: Battle of Z. Yes, it’s the same thing you have seen them do over and over again but hashed out into an all new combat system. Dragonball Z: Battle of Z is a 3rd person fighter very similar to the Tenkaichi series in many aspects but also very refreshing in some areas. This particular DBZ game has the best graphics rendering I have seen amongst the other DBZ titles.
This edition comes with a standard version of the game, an art book from the development team, a Naruto sage-mode costume for Goku, and a 25cm Goku statue. This Goku statue is awesome, but those who purchased the Dragonball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Collector’s Edition with the Super Saiyan 2 Gohan statue will realise that Goku is too big when placed next to Gohan, which is a disappointment for the dedicated Dragonball Z fans.
Battle of Z puts you up against the villains of the Dragonball Z Universe or the heroes, with a team of 4 characters of your choosing – whether its Goku alongside his other forms or the exact same form of Goku.
Characters that weren’t around when the events occurred are also available in your team selection. For example, during the Sayian Saga, you can have future Trunks on your team even though he only came into the Z universe in the Android Saga (however, you do need to unlock him first by reaching the Android Saga).
The biggest flaw must be that there is no free play mode, where you can choose your team as well as the opposing team. This was a major let down for me as I really wanted to have a team Vegeta and a team Goku face off against each other. Essentially you are stuck playing online where combatants and allies are chosen at random and you really don’t have much say in who they choose to play as.
The alternate is to continuously play the preset missions from the series. The preset missions aren’t all bad – you have three sub-groupings available, the original (events from the series, where you play as Earth’s Special Forces), the villainous (where you play every encounter as the villains), and the “other” (where the mission makes no real sense but it is extremely challenging and highly repetitive in several cases).
Battle of Z introduces a new and highly complex card equip system, for those that have played other DBZ games, you are probably familiar with the kind of system that I’m speaking of. Battle of Z uses cards that you obtain at random after a battle, can be purchased with your battle points or for the “Good Stuff” you need to use premium points which aren’t as freely available. Once you have these cards you can equip them to characters to increase their capability and skills. As you develop your own unique Battle of Z style you will start using only select cards. However, if you have a card it can only be equipped to one character at a time. This task itself becomes very time consuming, equipping and unequipping cards between battles unless you stick to using that specific team for an extended time.
Much like the previous title (Ultimate Tenkaichi), you have the possibility to change the colour scheme of all the characters’ attire, but unfortunately you can’t change parts of their attire. The alternative is to change the entire costume to a preset costume.
The in-game combat system is very user friendly. This title is a pick-up-and-play, which is awesome for new players, but there really isn’t much depth for players who are already familiar with the series. Co-ordinated attacks aren’t something that are easily achievable. Usually a string of random attacks amongst players all with their own goals will lead to a moment that one would call a successful co-ordinated attack. The alternate is to shout orders and commands across team speak and hope someone listens.
Never before have we had the claws of DLCs reaching for our credit card when it comes to Dragonball Z games. Up until now, with the game launching we are already seeing downloadable characters on offer and I feel that this is just the start. Perhaps much like Bandai Namco’s Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 we will see a “Full Burst” edition with much more content sometime next year.
I feel that this game could have had so much more to offer. With this being the first game in over 2 years I had high expectations for this title, but hopefully we will see a second title that is much more fulfilling than this. Take a look at the awesome trailer below.