Comic-Con 2011: Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Preview

Get ready to Kamehameha your enemy through a mountain courtesy of the new Impact Break system.

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Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
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Over three years ago, the Dragon Ball Z franchise made its PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 debut with the well-received Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit. The visual vibrancy of that game captured the feel of the anime very well, but when it comes to the massive catalog of Dragon Ball content, fans are always clamoring for more. Well, more is on the way in a few short months, and we visited Namco Bandai on the floor of Comic-Con 2011 to take a look at the return of the long-running Budokai Tenkaichi series. Titled Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi (a name chosen by fan voting), this fighting game is fixing to bring large-scale destruction and big-time boss battles to the hard-hitting ninja-on-alien-on-android combat.

Ultimate Tenkaichi is a 3D fighter in the vein of Burst Limit, with spacious vertical arenas and flashy anime visuals. New to the series this year is the Impact Break system, which will let you literally punch your opponent into the ground. Rocks will shatter and mountains will crumble, adding an extra "oomph" to your special attacks. This environmental destructibility resonates nicely with the exaggerated violence of the series' signature fights, and the destructive potential of Ultimate Combos is something to behold. Have you ever hated an enemy so much you wanted to destroy the world in order to harm him? In Ultimate Tenkaichi, you can do just that.

Planetary destruction notwithstanding, Ultimate Tenkaichi is aiming big in a few other ways. New boss battles pit you against towering enemies that mean you harm, and from the looks of it, you're going to have to dish out some serious punishment before you make a dent. We witnessed Goku taking on Janemba's first form, a chubby horned demon with a goofy smile and four strange holes in his belly. After laying into Janemba for a while, Goku was faced with a quick-time event that required some frantic button mashing. Success meant a very damaging attack, which accelerated Janemba's inevitable demise. Namco Bandai representatives told us that a battle against Vegeta in his Great Ape form was also in store for intrepid brawlers.

The final feature that Namco Bandai teased before our demo was over is character customization. Though Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi will be stocked with familiar faces, you will be able to mix and match hair, clothes, and even choose from among a few preset fighting styles. Exactly how far you'll be able to diverge from DBZ canon was unclear, but we were told that more on customization will be revealed as the October 25th release date approaches. Until then, check out the gameplay clips embedded below for a better taste of what's in store for Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.

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