A new Dragon Ball Z brawler has finally been announced, sans release date, but what’s been seen is quite exciting.
Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge DBZ fan. Huge. Absolutely massive. I’ve been watching the show since I was five, and even as an older male, when it should be a ripe target for my practiced snark and cynicism, I can’t help but love it.
And I love video games. And video games about Dragon Ball Z are a particular delicacy, especially since they tend to be halfway-decent. A fan boy will endure a lot to play his favorite show, but Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, waaaaay back on the early PS2, is considered one of the first reasonably fun anime games to come here. And its “threequel”, Budokai 3, is actually considered to be a really good game. So was its successor trilogy, the Tenkaichi series, with Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 being my favorite DBZ game of all time, and a personal fave for its great music, fun combat and ungodly amounts of content.
But, things kinda went downhill after Burst Limit, the first fighting game on current gen consoles. That game was quite good, but then we got Raging Blast 1 and 2, which felt like watered down, clunky clones of their predacessor (although 2 is pretty good, but suffers from a grievous lack of modes). And Ultimate Tenkaichi, well, me and Prota both agree that, although enjoyable for fans and filled with good intentions, it…wasn’t that great. And I suggest never mentioning the Kinnect game in a crowded room unless you want your anus destroyed.
Not to say that things have been completely dead. A wonderful little RPG about the Saiyan saga, aptly named Attack of the Saiyans, came out and was critically well-received. And some smaller handheld games, not to mention the off guest shot, have kept the game aspect of the franchise alive and well. But lately, I’ve felt the itch for a new DBZ brawler. And lo and behold, my wish comes true.
From what we’ve seen, from the press release and trailer, it will be a sort of multiplayer brawler mutation of the Tenkaichi formula, with multiple characters fighting each other in a single fight and capable of aiding each other through as-of-yet undefined terms like “Synchro Rush” and “Revive Soul” (both of which sound like hit singles from an indie band).
The trailer, just released last night, shows the same manga-flavored art style (heavy lines, broad expressions), which honestly is just as pleasing now as it was a few years back. Combat looks fast and intense, and although the speed of the trailer makes precision observation impossible, new wrinkles to combat do appear plentiful. Oh, and of course, Oozaru fights are on the agenda. And the presence of the “Super Saiyan God” form from the most recent movie is confirmed in all cases.
It’s still early, but I feel like the three or so year break since the last “full” DBZ brawler might have done some good. It’s worth mentioning that the Kanzenshuu article mentions that it resembles a well-known DBZ arcade game from Japan, but only time will tell if this means it’s a port or just inspired. Regardless, I’m about ready to get my fight on, so here’s to old friends in new settings.