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Dragon Ball Z

DBZ 2D fighter photo
Butoden who?
There is perhaps less urgency in the Hyper Dragon Ball Z fan fighter coming to fruition now that Arc System Works (Guilty Gear) is releasing a robust 2D Dragon Ball Z fighter. That does not mean I do not want to play both games, however. Especially because Hyper Dragon Ball Z is still looking excellent, as you can see above. That Gohan speaks to me on an emotional level.

Tease photo
Tease

First brief look at Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden


Arc System Works 2D fighter needs a longer trailer
Mar 23
// Steven Hansen
Please cut a longer trailer, Namco. Arc System Works' (Guilty Gear) upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden is the best thing to hit DBZ videogames since this unsanctioned 2D fan fighter. But damn, I just want to see more of...
Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden dated in Japan


June 11
Mar 19
// Chris Carter
Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden, developed by Arc System Works, is coming this year on the 3DS. It's all set for a Japanese-only release for now, and as of this week we have a final release date -- June 11. If you pick up...

Review: Dragon Ball Xenoverse

Mar 14 // Patrick Hancock
Dragon Ball Xenoverse (PC, PS3 [reviewed], PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: DimpsPublisher: Bandai NamcoReleased: February 26, 2015MSRP: $49.99 (PC, PS3, X360), $59.99 (PS4, Xbox One) Most players could probably guess exactly what events of the Dragon Ball timeline that Xenoverse visits. Events surrounding Raditz, Frieza, Cell, and Buu are all present, with a few more thrown in for good measure. The twist here is that some jerk is going through the timeline and messing everything up by making the "bad guys" way more powerful than they should be. For example, when this mysterious time finagler makes Nappa much stronger, both Nappa and Vegeta become giant apes and attack Goku. These "What if" scenarios are usually great, but often very short. There will be a brief "what if" clip, then it cuts back to the original. That's where the player steps in with their created character. Players can choose from five races: Buu, Human, Saiyan, Namekian, and Frieza Race. Yes, it's actually called "Frieza Race." Each race has their own traits, like improved defense for Buus or the ability to go Super Saiyan for Saiyans. From there, players customize their character's look in a variety of different ways. My guy was a purple Namekian with a spiky mohawk head, for example.  Customizing a character is easily the biggest draw of Xenoverse. Tons of people have dreamed of adding themselves into the Dragon Ball universe (shoutout to all the "SSJ Franks" of the world) and this is that opportunity. The downside, however, is that players can not create a second custom fighter until the story is completed. So anyone who just wants to experiment with different options or has someone else on the same console who wants a go will have to delete the first character or complete the story mode first, which is a huge bummer. [embed]288589:57792:0[/embed] The player's created character is tasked by Future Trunks to go back into the timeline and correct all the wrongdoings to preserve the timeline. This often requires the player to team up with the beloved cast of Dragon Ball Z to take down the most notorious baddies. After the timeline is the way it is supposed to be, the character gets warped back out. Characters like Goku and Krillian do react to the presence of this unknown being, but never seem to remember them from one event to the next. Something along the lines of "hey it's that giant purple Namekian again here to save our butts" would have added consistency. The difficulty of the story mode battles range from pitifully easy to "ok this bullshit isn't even fair." Some battles are quick 1v1 battles, others are strings of fights back to back, and some are wave-based. For the longer battles, failing at any stage and selecting "Retry" will boot players all the way back to the beginning, including all of the opening mission cutscenes. There are times when failing a fight results in 7-15 minutes lost, only to then mash start and skip through about two loading screens and four cutscenes to get back to the beginning of a five-stage battle. There is nothing worse than having to re-do a series of fights after losing towards the end of the mission. The story missions fall into one of three categories: "tedious and boring," "completely bullshit," and "okay I guess."  Others task the player to protect their AI allies. These are interesting, since they force the player to be very aware of their surroundings, but the AI is completely unreliable. Sometimes they'll be awesome and create an incredibly awe-inspiring combo from the player's combo. Other times players will be fighting with Kid Gohan and Krillian and they are both useless and why are we fighting the same three enemies seven times? For context, there is a mission in the Frieza Saga that tasks the player to protect Kid Gohan and Krillian while beating 20 enemies. Said enemies are the same three henchmen repeated over and over again. It is is no way challenging, interesting, or worthwhile.  There are items to help curb the difficulty. Some items will regenerate health and stamina for the player, others will heal their allies. For certain missions, it is imperative that the player has these items with them. The game might be hinting that the player should be a higher level, but considering how ridiculous the difficulty swings are at times, it doesn't seem to be the case.  I would recommend to completely skip the Story Mode, but unfortunately players must complete it to create more than one character. The other modes, Versus and Parallel Quests are way better uses of time. Versus mode is both online and offline support, and the former has general player matches and ranked matchmaking. Most people seem to be playing player matches, however that generally leads to my character getting completely demolished by someone much higher level than me. When I search for ranked matchmaking players close to my level, I often get zero results.  The Parallel Quests are the game's strongest point. These consist of missions with various goals that players can cooperate together to complete. Some missions are simple fights, while others are to gather items like the Dragon Balls, while simultaneously keeping the bad guys at bay. These missions also have item drops which can be viewed before starting a mission. However, drops are random, so players may need to repeat quests to get the drop they want. This can be quite enjoyable since these missions are far superior to anything the story mode has to offer. After a mission, whether failed or succeeded, players will gain experience for their created character (even when playing as other characters in Parallel Quests). As the character levels up, they can allocate attribute points to different categories: Health, Ki Meter, Ki Specials, Melee Attacks, Melee Specials, and Stamina. This is great to add a strong sense of personalization to each player's created character, though it's hard to decide early on what exactly to spend points on since the players have no familiarity with how they may want to play. The fighting system itself is easy to understand, yet complex enough to yield a lot of freedom. The player has a health bar, a stamina bar, and a Ki bar. The stamina bar is used for blocking attacks and other defensive moves, while the Ki bar is used for Ki attacks. There are two melee attacks, light and strong, a Ki Blast button, and a defensive teleport that relocates the player behind the enemy at the cost of stamina. By holding down one of the triggers, players then gain access to four special moves (Galick Gun, for example). Another trigger brings up Ultimate moves, which cost more Ki than the basic special moves (Final Flash). While experimenting, players are sure to find links between melee attacks and special moves that jive well, which can really give a sense of accomplishment as players discover their own combos. Combos definitely have the Dragon Ball flash to them; launching an enemy, teleporting, and then launching them again always feel satisfying, especially since it is possible to perform a special move instead of the second or third launch for some extra pizzazz (and possibly damage). Depending on the environment, the camera can be a huge burden to the player. If backed up against a wall, it becomes near impossible to see what's happening and can easily lead to frustration. On PS3, however, the framerate of the game absolutely tanks if there are four or more people involved in the fight. The total number of combatants can go up to six, but becomes borderline unplayable, even offline. This makes the fights feel more like slideshows than the fast-paced ballet that Dragon Ball Z battles are known for. It got to the point where if I saw that it was a large-scale battle, I groaned knowing that the framerate would tank as soon as the action started.  The framerate also takes a huge dip in the game's hub world, which connects to every aspect of the game. There is no traditional menu system; everything goes through the hub world. Here's the process for starting an offline, 1v1 fight: Press start on the main menu, attempt to connect to the servers, then choose a created character. The game will then try to connect to the Xenoverse servers again. This tends to fail a lot and is never guaranteed. Load into the hub world, which is now populated with player-created NPCs like "SSJ_Shadow" and "Gloku," which make the framerate incredibly poor. Slowly meander over to the NPC robot that allows local fights, select the mode and characters, and then it can begin! The hub world is a nice idea that has its moments, but the lack of a conventional menu system, at least for the offline modes, is not a good design at all. The servers are incredibly spotty at the moment, but when they connect, the hub world is filled with actual players and their created characters. While there, players can do all sorts of pre-created chat messages and emotes. You can even do the fusion dance with other people! The framerate is poor, at least on PS3, but it's still a blast to see what other people have created and goof around. If players lose connection to the server, it will boot players back out to the main menu. The strange thing is, I've also had this happen to me when playing offline. It seems that if it tries to upload something to the leaderboards and can't, it still forces you to log out of the game only to re-login and walk back to where they were when they were disconnected. When the game is first booted up, the first thing players will hear is "CHA-LA, HEAD CHA-LA!" and so naturally the game's soundtrack is amazing. The background music for the menus and hub worlds is catchy, and the music during fights and cutscenes hits all the right notes. The art style likewise does an amazing job of looking like the cartoon while still being a polygonal videogame. Thick, bold lines and strong colors help to make each character, especially the player-created one, really look like a Dragon Ball Z character. The environments are a bit hit-or-miss, as some of them are pretty bland while others rekindle fond memories of the show.  Fans of the series will definitely find some enjoyment out of creating their own character and watching them fight and grow alongside Goku, Vegeta, and everyone's favorite, Gohan. However, Dragon Ball Xenoverse has some of the worst design decisions ever embedded into a videogame. There are no menus, the story mode's difficulty is all over the place, and the game's best aspect, creating characters, is locked behind hours and hours of frustrating play. It certainly has its moments and the core fighting mechanics are great, but the game falls flat in too many other areas to be standout title.
Xenoverse Review! photo
Is this the final form?
Dragon Ball Z games have been quite the rollercoaster over the past couple decades. The Budokai series often stands out among fans as some of the best entries into the crowded scene, thanks to its developer Dimps. Well, Dimps is back with Dragon Ball Xenoverse, so naturally fans are excited. A Dragon Ball fighting game developed by Dimps, what could go wrong?

DBZ Arc System Works photo
DBZ Arc System Works

Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden by Arc System Works looks amazing


Loving the art style
Feb 23
// Chris Carter
Arc System Works is developing the Dragon Ball Z fighting game Extreme Butoden right now for the Nintendo 3DS, and these early pictures are sweet. As a fan of the Butoden franchise they really bring me back, and I'm loving th...
Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z: Butōden announced for the 3DS, developed by Arc System Works


The first series entry since 2011
Feb 17
// Chris Carter
Most Dragon Ball fanatics that were alive during the retro era have probably played, or at least heard of the Butōden series. Making its debut in 1993 on the SNES in Japan, the 2D fighter was something else, al...
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He's really the Prince of All Jerks
I was surprised to find myself given the opportunity to interview Christopher Sabat; the founder of voice over studio, Okratron500, and the voice actor for Vegeta, and many other Dragon Ball characters. I've been a huge Drag...

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Watch this purple robot murder a small boy repeatedly


Look, games are hard sometimes
Oct 13
// Max Scoville
Today on Just Saiyan: The Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure saga: Bill and I get our asses kicked by this stupid Red Ribbon Army boss fight for most of the video. But, we tell some of our deepest darkest secrets while this is happening. 
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The cat's butt gazes also into you
Max and I were finally able to resume our series of playing Dragon Ball games, and talking about which Dragon Ball characters are cool and sexually attractive. This is the first of many more to come, so enjoy... unless you don't like Dragon Ball, in which case; why did you click a post with "Saiyan" in the title?

Dragonball photo
Dragonball

Dragon Ball Xenoverse lets you learn tons of moves with your custom character


It looks pretty open
Sep 26
// Chris Carter
Dragon Ball Xenoverse is looking to be a pretty open-ended game in terms of custom movesets. Based on this new gameplay trailer, you can learn new specials from existing characters and choose your favorites. I've always been partial to Makankosappo -- whenever I get migraines I sometimes pretend I can do it. Xenoverse is set to hit the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One in 2015.
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Cosplay


Cosplay
Aug 19
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Cosplay.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse photo
Dragon Ball Xenoverse

That 'mysterious' Dragon Ball Xenoverse character is you


How disappointing
Aug 14
// Brittany Vincent
I should have known this all along, but I was holding out hope that it would actually be a new character. That "mysterious character" in Dragon Ball Xenoverse is a custom creation. So, in essence, it's "you." You'll be able t...
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I want both of them either way
A group of Dragon Ball Online fans, who happen to also be developers, are translating the game into English and re-releasing it as Dragon Ball Online: Revelations. Meanwhile, we've got more screenshots of Dragon Ball Xenoverse, a game which I still firmly believe to be an adaptation of Dragon Ball Online.

Dragon Ball Online photo
Dragon Ball Online

Shenron is resurrecting Dragon Ball Online, or maybe it's just a group of players


English-speaking players will finally get a chance to rock the dragon
Jul 22
// Brittany Vincent
Dragon Ball Online shut down its last set of servers in October of last year, but fans are trying their best to relaunch it as Dragon Ball Online: Revelations. In addition to English the game is also being translated to seve...
Dragon Ball Xenoverse photo
Dragon Ball Xenoverse

Mysterious Super Saiyan revealed in new Dragon Ball Xenoverse demos


He shops at all the same places as Trunks
Jul 22
// Brittany Vincent
A new batch of screens and art have revealed more of the mysterious figure seen during the announcement of Dragon Ball Xenoverse at E3 2014. This character, uncharacteristically for Saiyans, seems to have red hair instead of ...
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R.I.P. Murasaki's b-hole
In this final episode of the first Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure saga: Max and I tackle Muscle Tower, talk about Murasaki's ass pole, Goku's descent into madness, and which Dragon Ball characters we'd like to hang out with.

Dragon Ball Heroes photo
Dragon Ball Heroes

Finally, I can be the female Saiyan I always roleplayed as in AOL chatrooms


Happy card battle good time fun, on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z!
Jul 16
// Brittany Vincent
Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission 2 is a port of the arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes and is a card battling fighting game. So, you already know I'm interested. It contains more than 2000 cards to collect and fight with an...
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If I can't track down this song, I will lose my mind
In this episode, while playing Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, Bill and Max discuss Chiaotzu's dim sum secret, Japanese onomatopoeia, that damn song that I can't identify, and why is Nam white in this game?

Just Saiyan: The 'Advanced Adventure' Saga! Part Three

Jul 04 // Bill Zoeker
Justice - "Stress" [embed]277598:54749:0[/embed] Dragon Ball Z OST - "Prevent It! Cell's Perfect Body" [embed]277598:54750:0[/embed]
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When you're fighting a bum, just remember that you don't have a nose
In this episode of Just Saiyan; Max and I talk about Max's adventures at Fanime, the super nasty Bacterian, and Dragon Ball Z butt rock. You do not want to miss the ending. A dog finally breaks Max. For reference: the songs Max is talking about when he mentions DBZ being sampled are below.

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Dog Dynasty in full effect
Those darn dogs! We're playing Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure for the GBA again. We broach a lot of subjects this time around; from Mr. Popo's endless power, to King Furry's dark secret, to the reason for the Senzu Bean shortage. 

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We may finally get a taste of the Korea-only game
New details have been released about the upcoming Dragon Ball Xenoverse game from Bandai Namco. We see more of the mysterious warrior with a mixed-up costume design, and a design for Future Trunks that looks identical to his...

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Just what is Tien doing with Chiaotzu, though?!
We're back with a whole new arc of hanging out and talking about Dragon Ball. We've jumped into the GameBoy Advance title, Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure, one of the best Dragon Ball games out there. In this episode, we beat up boar bandits, fall down holes, and have uncomfortable conversations about Yamcha and Tien's relationships with their small companions.

Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z joins the new generation with Dragon Ball Xenoverse


What's the scouter say about current-gen power level?
Jun 10
// Abel Girmay
Another year brings another Dragon Ball fighter, but this time, the series has new hardware to play with. Dragon Ball Xenoverse is the next entry of Dragon Ball Z arena fighters, bringing the franchise to the Xbox One and Pl...
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Go eat some damn clouds!
Max and I have somehow been allowed to make an all Dragon Ball Let's Play series, called Just Saiyan, and we have no intention of stopping. Here's the third and final episode of our first "Raging Blast Saga". We just filmed a bunch of stuff for our next saga, so let us know what you like and don't like, and we'll incorporate or ignore those things.

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What's YOUR stance on Yamcha?
If you missed it last week, Bill and I started an all Dragon Ball let's-play/let's-bullshit-about series called Just Saiyan, since we spend most of our workdays arguing like twelve-year-olds about whether or not Vegeta is co...

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Our pun power level is surpassed only by King Kai
Here is the debut episode of Just Saiyan! A Let's Play series devoted entirely to exploring the very long list of video games based on Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. Today, the Max and myself are playing 200...

Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

Hopefully details about the newest Dragon Ball project will come faster than Frieza's defeat


New game teased for PS4, PS3, and 360
May 21
// Brittany Vincent
Next time on Dragon Ball Z, a brand new project appears for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360! A teaser site appears with nothing on it aside from the text (in Japanese) "teaser site open," upcoming plans for a trail...
Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

There's a new Dragon Ball Z game in the works for PlayStation 4


PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 too
May 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest issue of V Jump magazine is showing off a brand new Dragon Ball Z game. What makes this significant in particular is that it's going to be the first Dragon Ball Z title to hit the current-generation of consoles. We...
Awesome DBZ fighter photo
2D, 90's Capcom-styled
Okay, maybe I haven't played a Dragon Ball Z game since Budokai 2, but I think that claim would hold up, even if it's my affinity for 2D speaking. But seriously, this years-in-the-making, well animated, Mugen-based DBZ fan g...

Review: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z

Mar 19 // Wesley Ruscher
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PS3)Developer: ArtdinkPublisher: Namco BandaiReleased: January 28, 2014 MSRP: $59.99 Since the Budokai series on the PlayStation 2, Dragon Ball Z fans have been trudging through the same tired story on a seemingly annual basis. Battle of Z, as both a positive and negative, embraces that many fans have been there and done that. While it’s refreshing to not be bogged down with the same reprized scenes that made the series what it is today, the utter lack of any true presentations makes the whole experience feel rather lackluster. Instead the focus is on four-versus-four team battles. The single-player portion takes players across the same locals that any seasoned DBZ fan has visited numerous times, but now with the expansiveness that cramming eight fighters into an area can afford. Bigger areas to zip through and teleport around, combined with destructible environments like rocks and trees, while enjoyable at first only add later to the tedium of trying to finish off a fleeing opponent. There are 60 missions to fight through culminating in the Kid Buu Saga, but for the most part even when things mix up slightly -- like taking on a single Great Ape Vegeta -- they feel the same since combat typically falls upon the same rinse and repeat tactics. Additionally, in incorporating teams of four into each battle, much of the anime’s canon is thrown out the window, especially when you decide that four Gokus are better than any team with Yamcha on it. Online play is where Battle of Z is hoping to capture the biggest draw for its players. Sadly, a month out of release and the community is all but barren. In fact, I have only found one online match to date and was promptly kicked. The game allows for both cooperative battle -- that I can only assume makes the mission mode more enjoyable -- and team battle modes. Team battle ranges from standard four-versus-four affairs to eight-player free-for-alls, and even has a capture the Dragon Balls mode, but alas since I have no friends playing online and with the complete omission of any local play, I can only imagine that these modes offer more strategy and excitement than the rather mundane single-player offering. [embed]272149:53038:0[/embed] Perhaps single-player missions would be more engaging if Battle of Z felt like more than just a multiplayer serving of the series’ past titles. Combat is regulated to simple button presses to execute each of the character’s special and normal moves. Combos rely on basic, repetitive button tapping and don’t require much skill to execute. It’s the same formula for fighting the series is known for, and even amid the larger scale of events nothing ever amounts to anything more than isolated one-on-one encounters. It may be four-on-four, but aside from the occasional team up or chase attack, things boil down to the standards that made Dragon Ball Z games what they are today. The only things that truly augment combat are the trading cards and the ability to issue basic support commands to teammates. Trading cards are earned after missions and allow each character to be modified and customized to a player's liking. Stats like strength, speed, and Ki can be increased to make characters near godlike with the right selection. I can only imagine this leading to everyone using the same builds online, but as I stated earlier online (at least on Xbox 360) is near extinct. As for issuing commands, they are regulated to different directions on the D-pad. Players can ask their team to focus on fighting, defense, team attacks, or going all out. For the most part the AI reacts properly, but aside from when I asked my squad to go on defense, I never really felt they acted too different. Then again when are fights in Dragon Ball Z presented as anything less than all out? Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z could have been something special with its eight-player battles. Prior games have been all style and no substance and unfortunately the latest is more of the same, possibly even less thanks to its bare-bones presentation. If you’re a huge fan of the iconic anime looking for even more fighting action -- and you have friends who are willing to fork out the cash to join you online -- there is some enjoyment to be had. For everyone else, aside from the increased multiplayer, you've already played this before.
Dragon Ball Z reviewed photo
More like Battle of ZzzZzz
On paper, the thought of participating in an eight-player Dragon Ball Z battle sounds like the stuff of fanboy dreams. Blasting Kamehamehas across the chasms of Namek while fighting alongside your favorite Saiyans could be as...


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