Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi

We take a look at the DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi demo from the show floor at E3 2005.

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The newest Dragonball fighting game, laboriously titled Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, is playable at the Sony booth at E3 2005, and we sauntered over to take a look at it, as well as to get a few hands-on impressions for you.

GameSpot readers may recall a preshow report on the game that we put up a week or so ago. For that interview and demonstration, we weren't allowed to get hands-on and only happened to see one level of the game. For the floor demos at E3 2005, however, three levels are available, two of which are new. We already told you about the Rocky Mountain stage in the previous preview. The new additions here are the cell ring and Namek. Most of the player characters are probably those you suspect would be in the game, such as Goku, Vegeta, and Kid Buu. However, we also spotted Frieza and characters called Form 4 and Perfect Cell.

Click to enlarge.

For the hands-on demo, we selected the Namek stage and rocked hard with Goku versus Kid Buu. One of the immediately noticeable things about the Namek stage is the inclusion of a water element, where there are a bunch of islands floating around in the middle of the ring. You have complete freedom to fight above the water or below it, with no difference in your movement speed. But hey, fighting underwater is just plain cool.

It took us a while to get used to the controls, so Kid Buu managed to soundly beat us down throughout most of the fight, even throwing us (from underwater) through an island, which was destroyed, and up into the air, where the beatdown commenced. In the end, though, our ability to use our sparking and special abilities (triggered with the L2 and triangle buttons) eventually managed to wipe him out.

On the HDTV displays at Sony's booth, we're pleased to say that Budokai Tenkaichi is looking quite nicely. If you're interested in playing the cartoon, then this is about as close as you're going to get. Check back for more details on Budokai Tenkaichi as it approaches release.

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