Dragon Ball Z for Kinect Review

Dragon Ball Z for Kinect's repetitive battles and flaky motion controls sap all the fun out of being a Saiyan.

by

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Seeing a plump, ki-filled Kamehameha blast into the face of an evil villain with just a flick of the wrist is a sight etched deeply into the minds of Dragon Ball Z fans. As too are the show's epic airborne battles, earth-shattering explosions, and flame-haired Super Saiyans who perpetually save the universe from certain doom. And while our childhood fantasies of flying through the air and having power levels over 9,000 might not have come to pass, Dragon Ball Z for Kinect has a fair crack at making them happen without any risk of physical harm, or potential YouTube embarrassment. Sadly, Dragon Ball Z for Kinect's erratic motion controls and teeth-grindingly repetitive battles make playing as a Saiyan more of a chore than a dream come true.

A lot of that's also because of the game's rigid structure, which limits your movements and places an emphasis on performing quick-time events during highly choreographed battles from the series. Everything from Raditz's arrival on Earth in the Saiyan Saga through to Majin Buu's emergence in the Babidi Saga is represented, with select scenes from each forming the basis of the game's story mode. Each scene places you at the beginning of a battle where, after a brief but true-to-the-anime cutscene, you're placed in the shoes of one of the famous fighters to do battle against a dastardly villain.

Battles are split into different sections, one that places you in a first-person view where you can perform a range of moves, and another that's little more than a cutscene filled with numerous quick-time events. The first-person sections are where you're given the most freedom, but they still follow a rigid formula that differs little from one fight to the next. You must defeat an enemy by unleashing a range of kicks and punches, which are triggered by kicking and punching in front of you. Land enough hits, and a power bar at the bottom of the screen fills up, after which you have to punch as fast as you can to fill more power bars to perform automated combos that see enemies thrown across the landscape in a manic display of punches and energy blasts.

It's hard, sweaty, and frustratingly repetitive work. The punching process is repeated several times until you've worn down enough of your opponent's energy to trigger another section, where you launch ki energy blasts by thrusting your palms out in front of you; after that you're back to punching. Your opponents don't just sit there and take it, but neither do they put up much of a fight. Their attacks are slow and stumbling, and they hardly conjure up the threatening vibe that all-powerful villains should. Presumably their sluggishness is to give you enough time to react and trigger a defensive move such as dodging by leaning to the left or right, or blocking by holding your arms up in front of your face. But most of the time you can ignore defence completely, and, if you've got the stamina, just punch the air nonstop to win.

Special moves let you win with even more ease, if you can get the game to recognise the stance that triggers them. Charging your ki energy bar launches special moves, such as Goku's Kamehameha or Krillin's Destructo Disk. The stance to do so varies between characters, but a handy icon to the right of the screen lets you know how to stand, which often involves holding your hands by your side or above you. Frustratingly, getting the game to recognise the stance is completely hit-and-miss. Sometimes it works just fine, while other times it requires all manner of weird bodily contortions to be performed. Once you're charged up, a more reliably recognised stance launches the special attack and devastates your opponent's health for an all-too-easy victory.

Interspersed between the first-person sections are numerous cutscenes filled with quick-time events. Often they play out memorable moments from the anime, such as Goku's battle against the giant Oozaru Vegeta, or his battle against the mean-spirited Frieza on planet Namek. Getting through them is simply a case of watching and waiting for the appropriate icon to appear onscreen, which tells you what action to perform. They're largely easy actions, such as running on the spot, leaning backwards or forwards, or holding your arms up to block. A few more-complex moves are thrown in too, but more often than not the game fails to recognise them, which is immensely frustrating if you're on the verge of death.

The whole thing is just a bit half-baked, with neither the motion sensing being as responsive as it should be nor the story mode being anything other than an overly simplistic, disjointed collection of battles from the series. You just don't feel like you're working towards anything of worth, and once the fun novelty of throwing a Kamehameha wears off, there's little else to keep you going. There's no multiplayer at all and no online leaderboards for you to show off any high scores, and the only other mode simply replicates the battles of story mode, albeit minus the cutscenes and with the character of your choice. A card reader lets you obtain more characters via QR codes, but given that there's little difference between how the characters play, it's largely worthless.

At the very least, you're treated to a game that looks the part. Cel-shaded characters and environments capture the look of the anime nicely, even if the facial animations are a bit robotic. The voice acting's good too, despite the cast lacking many of the original actors from the series. And fans will no doubt appreciate the exclusive episode of the Dragon Ball anime included with the game, which is nicely presented in HD. But that's hardly enough to make up for the sheer mind-numbing repetitiveness of the game. If you're really desperate to live out those childhood (adult?) dreams of being a Saiyan, then there are a few cheap thrills to be had here--just don't expect to be playing Dragon Ball Z for Kinect again once the novelty has worn off.

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The Good
Crisp cel-shaded visuals capture the look of the anime
The Bad
Highly repetitive battles
Erratic motion sensing
Poor story mode gives you no real incentive to keep playing
Novelty wears off quickly
4.5
Poor
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TheSkyHMaestro
TheSkyHMaestro

Jesus Christ. No, Son Goku. Save this struggling video game franchise. It's doing the series/movies great harm.

Masenkoe
Masenkoe

I rarely say anything about review scores but 4.5 seems a bit high

ajac09
ajac09

oh I think they are just mad because.. oh I cant do it this game SUCKS

blackace
blackace

It's craptacular!! I'm not buying it. If I find it at a garage sale for a couple buck maybe, but I wouldn't pay more then that for this crap. I wish they would make a Dragon Ball Z game similar to what was done with Naruto's exclusive games on the XBox 360. Those games were great and went through the whole story arc.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

i may play that "if u call it ****" game no matter what.

vsnake48
vsnake48

Is it just me or have Bandai discovered that we will buy anything that has the DBZ name on it?

xGreenthunderx
xGreenthunderx

same story, same game, same indecisive roster after tenkaichi 3.(last good dbz game)

 

when is bandai gonna stop milking this franchise?

 

HardcoreX360
HardcoreX360

I think it's safe to say that most kinect games suck

bowtiman
bowtiman

Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast 2 is the best dragon ball game

bowtiman
bowtiman

 @mykel100 you want Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth! That game looked like it sucked

ALPRAS91
ALPRAS91

"How do you like this?!" hahahaThe english voices are terrible...

mykel100
mykel100

Kinect is not crap/useless. It help me to be fit by Dancing and playing some sports/training program. And it helps us to grow the bond to our family and relatives. And it's Fun to use it. To see your cousins and me and my mom and two brothers battling out in DC and Kinect Sports. Btw, i like too the Fruit Ninja and Gun Stringer.

This DBZ: KINECT is kinda good but not buying it.  I'm a fan of DBZ. :) but i think Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth way better for me. Just sayin' coz i've tried the DEMO and it's FUN. coz when you gonna do an ultimate attack to the opponent..you've gonna say it! :)  Like "HULK SMASH!" and "FOR ASGARD!" and btw, fast gameplay and many moves where you can do some aerial combos. :)

GONtheSKYLORD
GONtheSKYLORD

"For kinect."  Anyone who bought this should have known it would be fail. Shame on you.

saosebastiao
saosebastiao

It's a turd wrapped in pretty paper and sprayed with the best perfume, but it will still sell more than 2 million copies worldwide. Oh yes it will.

 

And that's the bottom line because Stone Cold DBZ fans said so!

JCSBEARMEAT
JCSBEARMEAT

This game had the potential of being a really good game for the Kinect. I mean really, who the hell doesn't want to fire a Kamehameha? But enough said, I can't wait until the Budokai HD remake, though I'm dissapointed about them taking out Budokai 2.

Vravage
Vravage

Behold, the most repetitive game EVER MADE.

ranzikiel
ranzikiel

when i was watching the video "over 9000''...goku keep saying ''how do like this'' after some combo punches..and i was like ''WTF is this!!'' same time as goku..

Drummer4Life321
Drummer4Life321

It is so simple to make a good DBZ game, I don't understand why they won't listen to us. Just make a game with Budokai's story type, Burst Limit's graphics, Budokai Tenkaichi's character roster (or a smaller roster with unique characters) and fighting style. It's too bad that Atari doesn't publish these games anymore, they did well with the DBZ games.

flameon12346
flameon12346

I do have to admit the Kinect is not going to get sell If there alot of bad games. But there another thing that I have to say. WHY do they still assist to make more DBZ games? They abusing DBZ and making it have a bad name. They even still show the shows and make new movies. I want them to stop because I care about DBZ. They should have ended it to Tenkaichi 3. Dang DBZ is failing and it all to the people that continue to make more.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Heh, an anime Kinect game, what a twofer.  It's like getting a swift kick in the pants and then molested right after.

bowtiman
bowtiman

Man i was looking forward to this game... Oh well I'm going to have to get tenkaichi 3 for 360

hunter8man
hunter8man

This seemed doomed to failure from the moment it was conceived.

snova9308
snova9308

personally, i expected this kind of score.

its kinect, what else?

SkullsnChains77
SkullsnChains77

Wow...seems alot of people have a problem with the 4.5 score between this & RE6. I see a big conspiracy against you in the horizon, Gamespot! EPIC FAIL! Still, what a shame :-\ they were both so good back in the day...

ivory_soul
ivory_soul

aaaaaaand this is why I will never buy a Kinect. Enjoy your $150 TV decorations everyone.

 

Duaru
Duaru

So this is as good Resident evil 6 huh? who'd of funk it huh? I guess they must have done a reaaaaaaaally shitty job job for it to have the same score as this right? Screw you gamespot, your credibility is in the grave

ALPRAS91
ALPRAS91

 @HardcoreX360  There's a lot of shitty games, but there's also a bunch of awesome games too, I do not regret having bought Kinect, the games i have bought are awesome.

GONtheSKYLORD
GONtheSKYLORD

 @bowtiman "best dragon ball game of the raging blast series."  I think I fixed that in time before you caused a panic.

Jadedfever
Jadedfever

Please go and play the ps2 Dragon ball Z games and then consider a best Dragon ball z game.

grandboo72
grandboo72

myke is an microsofty employee

 

TheSkyHMaestro
TheSkyHMaestro

 @Vravage You have yet to witness the horror that is Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.

ALPRAS91
ALPRAS91

 @DomaineStickem All Dance Central games, Kinect Adventures, All Kinect Sports, GunStringuer, Fruit Ninja,  Child of Eden, Hole in the Wall,  Fable the Journey, Babel Rising, Crimson Dragon, Leedmees, Haunt, you have a lot of good games. Inform yourself.

TheSkyHMaestro
TheSkyHMaestro

 @Drummer4Life321 

Instead, we just get "Dragon Ball Z: Insert Name, With These Same Old Characters, A Butchered Story Line, And Some One Or Two New Items To Use" these days.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

 @Duaru Trouble is you are assuming you can compare apples and pears but you can't! A particular type of pear might be worth 4 out of 5 and a particular apple worth 3 out of 5 but this does not mean the pear is better than the apple. It just means it got a better score on the "pear" scale! RE6 and this kinect game are so different ( and reviewed by different people ) that to compare their scores doesn't make any sense!!

mkdoomfan2
mkdoomfan2

 @ALPRAS91  I noticed that most of the over hyped ones usually suck, but you are right when there are some good ones :)

davidmancera
davidmancera

 @SadPSPAddict  @Duaru what your saing is that a rotten apple cant be compared to a rotten pear, well they can they are both rotten , dosnt matter the tipe of game if they put a 4.5 they are saing they suck that much, and I dont think re6 sucks as much as this one but well thats gamespot credibility = 0

blackace
blackace

 @Seis_Siete  @rushiosan  @ALPRAS91  @HardcoreX360 No more so then all those other Konami Dance Dance Evolution games that were released previously on ALL systems. People were really into those and I didn't hear to many negative comments. lol!! Dance Central is a great game. My family and my in-laws have all played it. It's great exercise.

blackace
blackace

 @rushiosan  @ALPRAS91  @Seis_Siete  @HardcoreX360 

All the games ALPRAS91 listed are decent. Some more then others. Kinect Adventures and Fruit Ninja are probably the least favorites. Games like Haunt is actually good. Kinectimals was kind of fun too. I did get it for my daughter, but she's not old enough to really try it yet.

ALPRAS91
ALPRAS91

 @Seis_Siete  @rushiosan  @HardcoreX360 it only makes you look like a dumbass if you dont know how to dance. And also, its a party game, its pretty funny when you or your friends start to make stupid figures, thats point of the game. If you dont like to do it, maybe you're to shy, or you have social issues..

rushiosan
rushiosan

 @ALPRAS91  @Seis_Siete  @HardcoreX360 Crimson Dragon isn't even out yet, how can you tell it's not going to be another fail?The only 3 good games/franchises for Kinect IMO: Dance Central, Child of Eden, The Gunstringer.

ALPRAS91
ALPRAS91

 @Seis_Siete  @HardcoreX360 Dance Central series, Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports series, Fable The Journey, Leedmees, Haunt, Fruit Ninja, Crimson Dragon...

ALPRAS91
ALPRAS91

 @mkdoomfan2 Actually, I dont know why they hyped this game so much, I always knew this game would suck, it looks terrible since the beginning lool.

Dragon Ball Z for Kinect More Info

First Release on Oct 09, 2012
  • Xbox 360
Dragon Ball Z for Kinect lets you unleash your inner Super Saiyan - with no controller in the way.
4.2
Average User RatingOut of 37 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Dragon Ball Z for Kinect
Developed by:
Spike
Published by:
Bandai Namco Games, Namco Bandai Games
Genres:
3D, Action, Fighting
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Teen
All Platforms
Blood, Cartoon Violence, Mild Language