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Dragon Ball Z

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Reviewed by Vegita Ranking: Graphics: 8/10 Sound Effects: 7/10 Music: 6/10 Originality: 7/10 Play Control: 10/10 Group Enjoyment: 8/10 Individual Enjoyment: 9/10 Challenge: 8/10 Ending: 9/10 Overall: 8/10 Ah, the first (and only) Dragon Ball game for the Genesis. This game featured a nice compliment of heroes and villains, and has graphics that were extremely good for the system it was used on. So, does this measure up to the other Dragon Ball fighters, or does it falter like the system it was made for? Good Points: This is the only 16-bit Dragon Ball fighter to have Kuririn, Rikuum, or Ginyuu. This game was, essentially, a VERY good idea of what Super Butoden 3 should have been: characters from all the sagas, with a multitude of attacks, special moves, and even meteos! Heck, Ginyuu can actually perform his body-switch move! Other good points include the graphics (great), the storyline (or lines, since each character gets their own story), the endings, and lots more! Bad Points: Well, It's on the Genesis, and It's hard to come across. That, and the Genesis only had 3 buttons to work with (unless you got one of the good controllers), so I guess that really isn't a bad thing. Maybe there isn't anything bad to say about this game! General Ratings: Graphics: For the Genesis, this was a great game. All of the characters were fluid and well drawn (as well drawn as they COULD be), and the special moves looked really good. Each character's moves look correct, as some of them are pretty much taken straight from the Manga. There are pseudo-cut scenes whenever your character uses one of their massive Ki attacks. Very nice! I also loved the backgrounds. Some were simplistic (Earth beach), others were eye-candy (Damaged Namek), but they were just fun to look at, while not completely distracting from the actual gameplay. That's how it's supposed to be like, darn it! Finally, the endings, while not PURE eye candy, are still quite a nice site to behold. Sound Effects: Wow, lots of voice sampling on the Genesis. That's really good, although each character says the same thing for both of their super attacks (and Vegita doesn't even say what his attacks are, he just say "Kaoh!"). Some of the sound effects are just plain irritating, though, like when someone launches a Ki attack. That sound just keeps repeating until the next sound interveins. Music: The music isn't bad, but it isn't the greatest, either. The intro music is pretty good (It's kinda catchy), but I also like the Namekian music, when you're fighting Freeza (in the Story Mode). Catchy, and maybe a little sappy, but I like it. My favorite, I think, is that music played at the end, when the credits roll. I just like it, that's all. Too bad the rest of the music in the game couldn't be this good. Maybe it's just the Genesis... Originality: Let's face it, the Genesis ranks up there with the playstation with the number of useless fighting games. This game is easily one of the better ones, because while other fighting games for the Genesis (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat) were either muddled by bad graphics, bad play control, or both, this had neither problem. It's only originality flaws came from the fact that it is a Dragon Ball fighting game, and by this time, there had already been a couple. Now, what can set this game apart from other 16-bit Dragon Ball fighters? First of all, you only use 3 buttons. Since this system has a notable lack of buttons (compared to, say, the Super NES), the controls were streamlined. To dash you just double tap and hold. Your Ki attacks are easy to use, with no seperate buttons to worry about. This game utilizes the largest playing fields I have ever seen in any fighting game (except for Dragon Ball games on the SNES, mind you). If you travel away from you opponent, a split-screen will appear. Not only can you travel a great distance away from your opponent horizontally, but you can also jump up to a flying level, where your character floats along! You can use this fighting area to dodge attacks or to get the drop on your opponent. Now, all this would make you think finding your opponent is quite difficult, right? Wrong! There is a radar at the top of the screen that shows where both characters are located, as well as any Ki blasts they are using (where the attack is, how fast it's travelling, etc). Finally, if you hit your opponent with certain attacks that knock them back a ways, yet you do it at the far edge of the screen, they will be knocked off screen, then fly back on, charge themselves up, and continue fighting! A rather humerous look at the end of the fighting areas! Kudos on originality! Play Control: The characters were so easy to move and work with, it made this game worth getting on its own (just like Goldeneye or Super Smash Bros. did with their games)! Plus the special moves are easy to pull off, and the button-press-to-actual-movement is near flawless. There's no difficulty figuring out basic moves, and the harder ones aren't that difficult to do...and if all else fails, press start and go to the attack list, so you can see ALL your character's moves! Enjoyment: This game is immensely enjoyable, whether you have several people playing (going back and forth), or if you're by yourself. The individual story modes are a great idea, telling a story for each individual character. The multiplayer mode, while not really bringing anything new to the game, is still nice, giving not only the ability to play against other people, but to also change the settings of the battle, like handicaps, location, time limit, etc. So single AND multiple players like it! Challenge: The challenge levels start out easy, and get harder. If you make the settings higher, then the challenge gets quite worthy of a good fighter. Generally, the challenge was done right. The trick is, a challenge system has to actually get challenging AND it has to be paced right. It can't be the easiest game in the world, then suddenly maddening, nor can it start out extremely easy and, by the end of the game, only reach par challenge. This game has a near-perfect challenge level. My only complaint is that the isn't as challenging as I feel it should be (on it's highest setting, that is). Ending: Actually, there are several endings. I guess it?d be fitting to list this as ENDINGS, right? Ok, then endings are great, and there are a lot of them. Each one is developed for their individual character, and has large pictures that show the action as it takes place. Excellent, excellent, excellent! This is, essentially, almost as good as it gets in endings. The ONLY thing that could have pushed this up to a perfect is if the endings were full episode clips from the actual show, giving us a REAL treat. Oh well...this IS the Genesis, so I guess it couldn't handle that sort of thing. Overall: Overall, this is an EXCELLENT game for the Genesis, or any system for that matter! Taking somewhat-obscure characters and putting them into a fighting game doesn't always work (look at a lot of the cast of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and you'll see what I mean), but this game does it extremely well. With excellent graphics, decent sound, wonderful gameplay, and LOTS of plots, this game is a sure-fire win for the Genesis. Now, if only they'd released it in the U.S...

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