It wouldn't be Tokyo Game Show without a truckload of Dragon Ball, so we quickly headed down to the Namco Bandai booth to spend some time with one of the most anticipated upcoming Dragon Ball games, Raging Blast. Serving as the next game in the well-received Budokai Tenkaichi series (although not in terms of story progression), the title is slated to ship with a whopping 70 playable characters, which is plenty of kamehameha in anyone's language.
What's New: The TGS build playable on the show floor features eight characters to choose from, including favorites such as Piccolo, Goku, and Vegeta. Combat takes place in a full 3D environment, with characters able to fly up in the air and down into lower areas with ease (or, in this case, by pressing the left shoulder buttons). Environments will also be destructible to a degree--one level we played in was set in a ruined city, and we giggled with glee every time one of our more powerful attacks sent our opponent crashing through walls and high walkways.
Melee attacks are mapped to one button, as are signature move attacks and ki projectiles. Mix this with the ability to quickly move in any direction--up, down, left, or right--and you get a system that's easy enough to pick up and yet feels incredibly true to the wacky, over-the-top battles the Dragon Ball series is known for. But in addition to these standard attacks, flicking the right stick in one of four directions will unleash a super-flashy super attack.
What's The Same: Dragon Ball: Raging Blast's colorful graphics are still easy on the eye and truly evoke the look and feel of the popular anime. What's best is that despite the rapid movement across large, open terrains, the in-game camera never seemed to have trouble keeping pace with the action during our fights, nor did the game engine slow down during even the flashiest of attacks.
What Impressed Us This Time: Even though we had only eight characters to play with, we enjoyed the ease with which we could pick up the game and wreak impressive-looking havoc within seconds. We also liked the small touches--such as characters visibly starting to pant and grabbing hurt appendages as battles wore on. We can only imagine the depth the full 70-character roster will bring, so stay tuned for more previews of Dragon Ball: Raging Blast soon.