Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai Designer Diary

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai producer Ryo Mito gives us an inside look at the PSP debut for the popular anime-based fighting series.


The Dragon Ball Z series has been punching out gamers on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox for some time now, and it has even made handheld appearances on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. Could a PlayStation Portable version be far behind? Of course not! Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai is the series debut on Sony's slick handheld. True to its DBZ roots, the game will feature plenty of familiar characters from the series and enough game modes to keep the Dragon Ball fan on the go busy. In our first designer diary for Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai, game producer Ryo Mito gives us a peek at the characters found in the PSP game, as well as some behind-the-scenes information on the different game modes you'll be playing when it's released in early March.

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai -- Characters and Game Modes
By Ryo Mito
Producer, Bandai

Hello everyone! My name is Ryo, and I'm the producer of the PSP's Shin Budokai. Some of you may know me as the producer of DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi (PS2).

In Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai, the player can fight battles using one of 18 characters from the Dragon Ball Z story. The special moves and animations for each of these characters are quite different from one another, and each character has been given unique moves and attacks that are faithful to the manga and TV animation series. For example, Piccolo can stretch out his arms (a move known as the Mystic Attack) to grab his opponents and bring them closer to him for an attack. Another character, Krillin, can use his solar flare move to blind his opponents and stop them from moving, just like you see in the animated television series.

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai will feature familiar faces such as Goku and his pals--or his enemies, as the case may be.
Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai will feature familiar faces such as Goku and his pals--or his enemies, as the case may be.

Plus, each of the 18 characters found in the game can transform into other forms. For example, in battle, Goku can transform into any of the following forms: Kaio-ken, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, and Super Saiyan 3. Each form has different attacks.

Pikkon and Janemba are two new characters that weren't in the previous game. Pikkon is my favorite character from the movie series and was powerful enough to defeat Frieza and Cell when they went on a rampage in HIFL. He was also involved in a very intense fight with Goku during the finals of the Other World Tournament. I know that he's quite popular among US Dragon Ball Z fans, and there were many requests for him to be in a game, so he's making his first appearance in this title. In the game, he's a powerful character who uses very fast attacks and has a number of special moves such as the Thunder Flash and the Hyper Tornado.

Janemba is an evil creature that appeared in HIFL. He is the strongest enemy to appear in the Dragon Ball Z anime movies. He possesses overwhelming power and speed and has a variety of special moves at his disposal. He can use his club to create a very sharp sword, which he uses to attack his opponents in the game. He's as powerful in the game as he was in the movie, so he'll be one of the strongest characters in the game.

When it comes to game modes, the main mode in Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai is called Dragon Road. Dragon Road mode is a multiscenario story mode based on the events in the upcoming DBZ movie, Fusion Reborn. After Buu is defeated and peace returns to the world, evil builds up in HIFL, creating a creature called Janemba. Janemba plays havoc with the order of the world for his own pleasure, resurrecting the dead, twisting time and space, and making copies of strong warriors to fight for him. Goku and his friends call upon many different allies, and even some old enemies, to try to defeat Janemba. The sweeping story, which is centered on Janemba and Pikkon (my favorite!), takes place in both the normal world and the Other World. The player follows the events of the story, taking control of many different characters along the way. Of course, these include Goku and his friends, but you will also sometimes use enemy characters in battle, and, depending on the choices you make, the story will take different twists and turns.

Arcade mode, a single-player mode in which you fight against the CPU, allows you to fight battles using only your favorite characters as you compete for dragon balls. In Z trial mode, you fight in battles with a number of conditions or limitations. There are two kinds of Z trial mode games: survival, where you fight against CPU-controlled opponents for as long as you can, and time attack, where you see how fast you can make it through a predetermined set of opponents.

Plenty of game modes means you'll have lots to do when Shin Budokai makes its PSP debut in March.
Plenty of game modes means you'll have lots to do when Shin Budokai makes its PSP debut in March.

In network battle mode, you can enjoy fighting against other players using the PSP's ad hoc mode. One unique feature of this mode is that by fighting with other players, you can steal away your opponent's power level, which is displayed during the game. Skilled players will have a higher power level, re-creating the atmosphere from the Dragon Ball Z anime and comics.

Finally, one of the new features of DBZ: Shin Budokai is the profile card mode. Players will have in-game profile cards that list their name and power level. The players can design their own cards, and additional wallpaper or decorative icons can be bought at the in-game store. You can freely place these icons on the card, increase or decrease their size, or add comments. You can give copies of your profile card to your friends and make a collection of the ones that you have received yourself.

Well, I have more to say, so look out for more information and screenshots on Shin Budokai in the near future. Stay tuned, and I bet you'll love this game!

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