Despite the silly name, will this game be the changing point in the Dragon Ball Z game’s success?
You can read our preview of the Console version here.
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is the latest Dragon Ball game in it’s gaming franchise. It’s released on the PS Vita, PS3 and Xbox 360 Jan 28, 2014.
The demo consists of 4 stages, most of which are extremely short and introduces you to the game mechanics and some online ones as well. It’s essentially one long tutorial, unfortunately the demo doesn’t end in a big finale. It just ends after beating Nappa which isn’t too much of a fight either.
This game is essentially your basic beat em’ up, if you’ve played the Naruto Shippuden games then you’ll know what the fighting is like. Remember the tedious overworld sections of that game? That is essentially Battle of Z in a nutshell. With the exception of special character abilities which vary, however some are similar, such as Gohan’s and Goku’s. Both of them are pretty much Kamehameha’s.
The controls are easy to use, mostly due to the games simplicity. You hold L to block, R locks on to enemies, Square and X to dash or ascend and descend, Circle to do a ranged attack and Triangle to do melee attacks. Enemies aren’t tough to beat as you’re mostly fighting the same enemy repeatedly, the saibamen. They can do the same things as you with the exception of special abilities, however I kept getting locked into attacks from two enemies and it takes you out of the experience and is extremely annoying. You can beat the demo just from pressing Triangle repeatedly, which is a shame really because the game has so much potential, I just wished the combat had a bit more depth such as combo’s. However as there are 3 other characters which play with you, it’s possible to play with your friends as there is a co-op mode.
In the demo you occasionally take a break from fighting Saibamen and fight other in-game characters such as Piccolo and Nappa, you can unlock certain characters through out the story and play as all of them. Which is a nice touch, I hated being restricted to some characters, especially ones that I hated. You also gain cards through battle and these can boost stats such as attack or hp, this mixes well as each character has their own role. Some are support types while others are mean’t to interfere with the enemy, you won’t see them do much of that though except getting knocked around, they’re pretty much fodder so everyone doesn’t focus on you.
During battle you’ll see the team mates that you’ve chosen to fight with you, your hp and energy bar which fills up as you attack so you can do special moves. There is also a large energy bar on the top of the screen, after a battle you have the option to give other people energy which can help them in battle.
You do this by pressing the on screen prompt and you watch as you fire your energy into some kind of void. You may also be wondering what you can do with the touch screen on the Vita? Not much, you can press one of the four corners of the screen to select characters. So you can hit the bottom right to select Krillin and give him some energy so he can use his own special abilities. Additionally if a character goes down you can revive them by hitting the Triangle button while near by. When I went down, some count down appeared and once it hit zero I would have a retry and the enemy would still have the same amount of health as last time. I have no idea what happened.
The game looks great on the Vita, it runs with high frames and doesn’t drop at all. At least it didn’t during my experience, the characters look as I would expect, the effects also look great. Especially when you go into the battle, the camera zooms into the Earth, it looks good. However once you get into the actual game, it lowers the quality a bit for whatever reason.
Overall, I somewhat enjoyed this game, it’s not too great but not that bad either. I’m not going to pay retail price of this game, it’s probably worth a rental or buying a pre-owned version of the game. I haven’t played the PS3 demo of this yet, however I don’t want to think that they forced the PS Vita version onto us where they could of focused on the console versions of the game and end up producing an actual good Dragon Ball game.