Super Dragon Ball Z Q&A

We talk to members of the Super Dragon Ball Z development team about their goals for the game.

by

Released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 last month, Super Dragon Ball Z is an anime-inspired fighting game that originally appeared in Japanese arcades. Shortly before the game's release, we caught up with its chief producer Daisuke Uchiyama and Crafts & Meister studio head Noritaka Funamizu, who answered some questions for us.

GameSpot: How will the gameplay in this game differ from past DBZ games?

Daisuke Uchiyama: We've developed Super Dragon Ball Z as an all-new fighting style with the creative talent behind the now-legendary arcade game Street Fighter II. We strongly believe that we can successfully bring the deepest DBZ fighter ever. The other DBZ fighting games have always offered really rich fighting experiences, but we feel like this one will appeal more to people who are fans of games like Street Fighter, because it really takes skill to master the game and do well. Each character has its own unique fighting moves and controls, giving fighting-game and DBZ fans alike more skills and moves to master. A player will individualize each character and connect deeply with each character, to the point where they can say, "I am the ultimate Gohan master!" or "I have confidence when it comes to using Piccolo in the Namek stage!"

GS: Can we look for any characters we haven't seen in previous games?

DU: Even though there are only 18 characters in this game, we are still offering up new characters for DBZ fans. Cyborg Frieza is an all-new character that has never been seen in the DBZ world before, which is a very big deal. Videl, King Piccolo, and Chi-Chi have been around, but they have not appeared in the games before.

GS: There have been many Dragon Ball Z games over the years. What makes this one different?

DU: The game creator is the most different. Having Noritaka Funamizu bring his talent to the game really helped us to accomplish what we were trying to do--bringing a different DBZ fighting experience to our fans. Every day of our lives pass us by ever so quickly. In the gaming industry, there are a lot of innovations and technologies brought to our attention every single day, and as a game producer, we really need to be aware of these changes. However, I strongly believe that creating games mostly relies on the creator, and we could bring a different kind of DBZ play style to Super Dragon Ball Z this time because of the synergy between Namco Bandai Games and Crafts & Meister.

GS: Can you discuss what you wanted to achieve with the game (for example, a more hardcore fighting game)?

DU: When bringing the Dragon Ball Z universe to life with a full-fledged fighting-game concept, the most difficult problem we encountered was handling DBZ characters' special abilities like, for example, flying around the sky while shooting energy blasts.

Most fighting games consist of a three-dimensional battle stage where a two-dimensional positional axis exists between the two players. However, because in Super Dragon Ball Z characters are able to fly freely around the stages, a homing-attack system has been implemented to create a game that harmoniously blends together the skill and tactical elements of a fighting game while staying true to the DBZ franchise and what its fans have come to expect from it. I'm very excited about gamers experiencing the freedom of flying, the exhilaration of actually performing each combo themselves, and unmatched battle excitement.

GS: Can you talk about what it was like to work with Mr. Funamizu and with Akira Toriyama on this game and what makes their involvement so special?

DU: It was a beautiful experience for me to work with two excellent creators. I should not talk much about them personally, but my biggest challenge was how to introduce Mr. Funamizu's game talent to the Dragon Ball Z universe.

GS: How did you use your experience with past fighting games to guide your work on this latest DBZ game?

Noritaka Funamizu: I have tried to balance everything out well to bring out unique moves from each of Dragon Ball Z's characters. I strongly believe that uniqueness of each character is something we cannot experience in other regular fighting games! I have obviously worked on other fighting games before where characters have had unique fighting styles, but I think this is so unique because fans feel such a strong identity to DBZ characters like Goku, Vegeta, and Gohan. I wanted to make sure that I was being true to the style of each of the characters that fans have come to expect, while also giving fans the ability to do things like steal their enemies' moves to use for their characters within the game.

GS: Have you been a longtime fan of Dragon Ball?

NF: Of course, yes. I have been a big fan of Dragon Ball from a long time ago. I prefer comics than TV animation.

GS: Who's your favorite character?

NF: That's Krillin! He is the best fighter than any other earthman! Many DBZ fans are fans of Goku and Vegeta, but I love Krillin because he is a very hard worker and always puts all his efforts to catching up with Goku.

GS: You were a producer on one of the most successful fighting franchises ever, Street Fighter. What made you want to work on Super DBZ?

NF: That's because I have been impressed with Mr. Akira Toriyama, original author of all Dragon Ball series. Especially his unique touch on arts is very fascinating.

I really wanted to challenge my experience on Dragon Ball, which everybody in the world loves. Like I said previously, working on this DBZ game also required me to be more careful in how I was treating each of the characters to make sure that I was staying true to Toriyama's vision and also what fans have come to expect from the characters. This is different than other games I have worked on where people have not identified as closely with individual characters.

GS: Can you give us an overview of the fighting system and what players can do?

NF: I want players to experience the game for themselves, but they can expect exciting and exclusive features for Super DBZ, which are to learn a variety of skills (moves), to exchange skills between characters, and also to develop your favorite character in your favorite way!

GS: Can you talk about the characters and what the best fighting moves are for Goku, Vegeta, Cell, and Frieza?

NF: Goku
Goku is well balanced for both close and long-range fighting situations. Goku is perfect for the beginners. Once he learns the super cancel move, he is able to use a very powerful chained combo attack.

Vegeta
Vegeta is Goku's rival and is well balanced overall, as well, but his specialty is long-range attacks. A good choice on his skill tree would be the super cancel move, which will make him even more powerful.

Cell
A balanced character that has strong close and long-range attacks. He also has many ki attacks and no blind spots. The many skills available for him to learn make him a fun character to develop.

Frieza
Frieza can use tricky attacks such as warping and ki attacks that change trajectory in flight. His red-sphere throw is easy to use and should definitely be one of your choices.

GS: Thanks for your time.

Discussion

15 comments
yosh6009
yosh6009

Well i guess it can be good. But having only 18 characters is bad what DBZ game has only 18 characters. But the only good thing about having 18 characters is that they can build more one each persons abilities and they can graphically enhance every person in the game. But i have a question for those of you who said the game is crap. Did you purchase the game.

Gobo666
Gobo666

Thas has been a step in the right direction for Dragon Ball fighting games, but I think that a sequal needs to have more characters and a greater emphises on transformations. In all this is a solid game.

booomer69
booomer69

Im not going to get it.Its probably going to be Mediocor with diffrent maps and a little diffrent moves.And probably the same story with same charecters!

swizzlar
swizzlar

this game is crap. i wonder who in thier right frame of mind would want to make dragonball z games like street fighter can they see whats been happening to the street fighter series in the past 3 years. i hope they never make this mistake again

_Sam_
_Sam_

I'm not a Dragon Ball Z fan

Olaoye_tw
Olaoye_tw

Why would they make this game when tenkaichi 2 is just around the corner. It's nothin compared to Tenkaichi 2. I'm stickin with the Budokai series.

saiyanman5215
saiyanman5215

can argue there Seffroth, but alas too late for that now...........

V-Pirate
V-Pirate

i tried it and it sucks... to be polite, the overall way it goes out of its way to be an arcade game, the graphics, even though they are 2d could have been better,.....i could go on but to make it short, what you see is what you get and nothing more absolutely nothing else, if not you will get less, and if you are a dbz fan this will feel like a frenzy of nipple twisters, there is nothing extra, no endings no story, not even a friggin character profile. im glad id did not by this then my hairy nipples would never stop hurting. ps. whats this bs about videl, and cyborg frieza, or should i say mecha frieza not being in any games.....if it was a noob it would be okay, but when its a person whom is making a game about dbz who gets something like that wrong not only is it embarrassing but its also a sure sign that the game wont attain anything but disappointment

a_gaming_guy
a_gaming_guy

also cyborg frieza was in budokai3 and tenkaichi also...forgot to mention that one :) and cyborg frieza looks stupid in this...he has a fricken chunk of metal on his back...its pointless

a_gaming_guy
a_gaming_guy

are they stupid? videl has been in budokai 3 and budokai tenkaichi. they need to get their facts straight and this isnt the first time they've messed up either. they've said that in Shin budokai that janemba has never been playable in previous games but he was in budokai tenkaichi. i hate how they always manage to forget that the characters have already been in the games. also this game looks like junk, im just gonna stick with the budokai series cus tenkaichi 2 is gonna be so much better then this 2d fighter junk.

Seffiroth
Seffiroth

This is what DBZ should of been. Not what it should be now!

dbz345
dbz345

Thats a neat interview, though it would have been way better had this been posted several weeks ago. Though it still offers a different perspective to those who haven't already bought the game.