Street Fighter mixed with Dragon Ball Z equals a good solution!

User Rating: 8 | Super Dragon Ball Z PS2
Super Dragon Ball Z is a completely new game with a new fighting engine, quite like Street Fighter. As soon as people heard that Noritaka Funamizu (Street Fighter 2 Producer) was going to develop the game’s fighting engine, the hype began for this game as many people knew what he was doing and expected a good in-depth game.

The game is fun to play, the controls are a little different from what you’d expect and can be hard to learn for those who have never play Street Fighter games. The difficulty of the game can be quite hard at times but, it’s a suitable difficulty for the game. The game contains a rather unique fighting system that suits the theme, Dragon Ball Z and in-depth fighter fans at the same time. There are only 18 characters but, these 18 characters are all very unique and contain their own set of moves and combos. The move commands are just like how to execute moves in Street Fighter, example; Quarter-turn forward plus square is how to do a kamehameha and what’s cool about that? This time, you can charge the kamehameha and it obviously will do more damage. Not only that, the kamehameha will also enlarge and the beam lasts longer. No other Dragon Ball Z game has done this and, it works quite well. There are no beam struggles but, you can still create something like a beam struggle if you and your opponent both did a move like kamehameha. As, whoever charge there’s the longest, will prevail over the other kamehameha. This also applies for balls too. The levels are quite big and detailed. In each level, there’s a secret, either something special you can look at, or use to your advantage, like knocking your opponent off Kami’s Lookout and you will both be on the ground and unable to get back up to Kami’s Lookout. You can still obviously use the environment to your advantage, such as, using a pillar to block a move or, to knock your opponent into.

The modes in the game are: Original, Z Survivor, Versus, Customise, Training and Dragon Summoning. There is no Story Mode which is a downside for some. However, there is Original Mode, which is the arcade version of the game. You fight seven battles (random opponents) and make your way to Cell, and it’s seven for a reason. The hint is on the title of the game. Z Survivor is rather interesting, you fight 9 battles (random opponents) and, at the end of each battle, there is a roulette which contains seven options, like boosting your attack. Oh yes, it’s called “Z Survivor” for a reason; you must survive these battles without your health being restored. Don’t worry, the roulette also contains a health recovery, but, are your actions good enough to get it? The roulette gets faster and faster after every battle. Versus is your usual basic mode where you choose a character, stage and fight your friend. Customise is the place to create your Character Card. This is will keep you attached to the game as, you can develop your character you chosen. The Character Card also contains a unique Skill Tree for each character, where you can give your character extra moves or even upgrade his stats. Another exciting feature of the Character Card is; you can inherit moves from other Characters which can mean endless possibilities for your Character Card. Your Character Card also contains costumes for your character; you can select a possible seven costumes for each 18 characters. Training is your usual place to train. They have made the training a little more interesting as you can set what way you want the stage to be set, whether or not you want to include pillars and, the way your opponent responds to certain attacks or, sits there like a punching bag. Lastly, you have Dragon Summoning; where you collect all seven Dragon Balls and summon Shenron to grant your wish. The wishes are much more detailed, so detailed that there are two different types of wishes; A Normal set of wishes and a Enhanced Set of wishes.

Graphics and Sound:
The graphics are just like the manga and even include the “POW!” when you hit your opponent. The levels of each stage are very detailed and big. Anything is destructible in them. The sound is set to Japanese voices but, there is English sub-titles. The sound of the characters are fine, even better than English voices. Though, a few voices (such as Goku’s) is quite squeaky and can be annoying. The music for the stages is quite fast-paced or, contains some nice little tunes that get you in the mood for the game. All the music is good and suitable for the game.

Playtime and Replayability:
The playtime can be endless hours along with the replayability. The question is; Will you like the game with no Story Mode? That will be the answer on whether or not you will play this for endless hours or, for only a few hours. Even without the story mode, the game is quite addicting. However, it lacks modes meaning, you can get quite bored continually replaying Original and Z Survivor. The Character Cards and Wishes make up for it though.

Final Recommendation:
I’d say rent the game first before buying it, even if you’re a Dragon Ball Z fan. For Fighter Fans or Hardcore Fans; this game will suit you if you don’t care about anything else but fighting.