Ladies and Gentleman of Destructoid:
I can't take it anymore. I am so sick and tired of the lies, the deceit, the bottled up emotions, contained for too long!
I have literally spent the past 8 years denying the truth! I've told myself that what I feel isn't healthy, that it isn't natural. That my feelings would ostracize me from the rest of the world. I'd be forever looked upon in disgust and shame.....
The God Damn haters trying to keep me trapped inside myself!
But why should I have to deal with this pressure from the rest of the world?! Why should I have to hide in dark holes and closets? Who the fuck do these shit-pricks of the world think they are, riding atop their high horses, telling me that what I know in my heart is a sin. The hell with them, and the hell with all yalls who don't want to here it!! I refuse to deny myself anymore!
I'm going to be the person I was born to be, and if God doesn't like it, then I'll see him in that jerk in hell!
My name is Droll, and I LOVE DRAGON BALL Z.
I love it stupid action! I love its ridiculous fighting! I love how they spend most of the episodes talking instead of fighting! And I love that HAIR!
I love the fact that every episode is more ridiculous and stupid than the last! Every episode is a brand new train wreck of mindless lunacy, like listening to Linkin Park!
ANALOGOUS TO EVERY EPISODE OF DRAGON BALL Z.
ALSO ANALOGOUS TO LINKIN PARK.
And I want the whole world to know that DRAGON BALL Z IS TOTALLY BALLZ.
OBVIOUS JOKES ARE ALWAYS FUNNY.
And now, I have the perfect opportunity to talk about it! Because a demo of DragonBall Z:Burst Limit has arrived on the 360!
CHECK OUT THAT SWEET SEGWAY, BRO'.
SEGWAY!(Podcast hosters! If you want to see this or any other totally sweet and amazing segways at my disposal just like this than contact Droll by sending him a private message! Or just spam his inbox with pornography. I'll get the message)
The most important thing to start off any Dragon Ball Z game coverage- review,preview, or otherwise- is to simply state that most ANIME GAMES ARE GARBAGE,BECAUSE MOST ANIME IS GARBAGE, AND NEARLY ALL DBZ GAMES ARE SUPER GARBAGE, SENT FROM THE FUTURE BY A MISANTHROPIC GOD WHO WANTS TO DESTROY ALL LIFE IN THE GALAXY."
That's a little extreme, but so is everything else in this blog. With the bull comes the horns.
In fact, the only truly worth wild Dragon Ball Z game that I ever remembered hearing about(and never actually had the opportunity to play) was Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3, which(as I hear tell) offered a fighting system that was as explosive as the television show, but still fun for fighting game fans.
It's perhaps lucky( for all of us good ol', god-fearing quality game fans!) that Burst Limit was made by Dimps, the same developer as Budokai 3. It seems that Bandai/Namco and Atari( the bastard parent co-publishers of the game) put the series back in the hands of the one development house that can pull off those games right, and, if the demo is indicative of the quality of the product, Burst Limit may once again be the game that appeals to DBZ lunatics and fighting game fans alike
ACTION FOR EVERYONE!
The Xbox 360 demo(clocking in at 435 megs) doesn't offer too much in the way of content: the Burst Limit trial lets you try out two characters - spiky haired series stalwart Goku and.....Yamcha.....
who I think must be related to "Lamb Cha"...P.
There we go!
You won't be traveling through some slice of the arcade mode in the demo( like you might find in the Virtual Fighter 5 demo). Rather, both Goku and LambCha battle in individual story sections. It seems like the game will offer a light story mode, where the players will fight through the major storyline battles throughout the series. That's fine, since, as anybody who's anybody knows, DBZ episodes are usually 90% talking(buildup!) and 10% fighting(CLIMAX!).
THIS EXPLOSION IS ANALOGOUS TO EXTREME FIGHTING!
Speaking of the fighting.....that's in the game!
Burst Limit appears to be a pretty standard fighting game, even by Dragon Ball Z standards. You have both fast "rush punchers" and stronger/slower "smash punchers". The B button on the 360 controller makes fire balls. If you try and do quarter circle forward, and than hit the B button(like, say Ryu's fireball, SubZero's ice blast, and every other projectile laden fighting game ever" the Ka-me-Ha me is gonna HA!-eat things up.
....I am going to get murdered by the grammar gestapo.
Actually, the really nice thing about the fighting engine: its super fast and super smooth. Developer Dimps has created an engine that forces faster combat than just about any fighting game out there(save the silky smooth DOA 4 on the 360). Combos are pretty easy to doll out, and they come in a manner that could be described as both fast and furious. Blasts of energy and fists can quickly turn your generic anime fighter into mush, forcing the player to alternate between smart blocking and quick dodging. Both movement and fighting move so fast that it doesn't feel anything like even slightly more technical fighters( Soul Calibur, Tekken, and especially Virtua Fighter can't match Burst Limit's speed) All the fighting unfolds at a pretty smooth clip as well: the rock solid frame rate makes the action seem all the more smooth and impressive
SMOOTH MOVES! WARIO AIN'T GOT NOTHIN'!
A nice Dragon Ball Z touch is the ability to dodge the more powerful projectiles(as well as super moves) by teleporting behind your opponent just before the blast hits. This was apparently a feature from other DBZ Budokai games, but it neatly evokes the ludicrous combat of the show, and allows you to give your opponent the beat down.
Another good, little anime inspired touch to the fighting can be found in the form of pursuit moves. By holding the left trigger after sending an opponent flying, you'll engage in a classic "ridiculous fighting madness!" minigame, where both you and your opponent try to quickly mash the face buttons of the controller as quickly as possible. If you engaged the pursuit move yourself, you will be racking up a huge number of combo-ed hits by mashing buttons, while your tried to block your attacks in the same fashion. It's not a terribly original feature:you find these button pressing mingames in the "kinda okay, but not too great but also totally dumb because of the source material" Naruto: Ultimate Ninja games on the PS2. However, it another fun little sequence that does a great job of evoking the show's ridiculous action. And, just to accentuate it again,for the record: it makes the game feel FAST!!!!
EVERYONE IS THIS PICTURE TOTALLY SUCKS.
Part of the reason the pursuit moves are fun, however, is that they just look awesome. In fact, the whole game has a really terrific look to complement that fast action!
Now, let me clarify. Of all the lame,terrible, ridiculous Anime artists out there(you know, the one's who are not Hayao Miyazaki) there is no lame terrible ridiculous anime artist more more played out that Akira Toriyama, and lame, terrible ridiculous Dragon Ball Z characters. We've seen Toriyama designs in so many dumb anime games(looking at you, Blue Dragon!) that its almost impossible to look at that dude's artwork and care.
Almost. That's the key.
It's hard to maintain the above "enthusiast cool guy who likes to hate on stuff!" cred when Burst Limit looks so awesome. It looks so good that I can't think of a way to describe it without falling back on the tired cliches: 'It looks just like the T.V show!" or "It's a DBZ episode come to life!" Burst Limit so faithfully replicates the style of the show that it doesn't need to be propped up by a dumb comparison or a cliche. It's that amazing.
TOTALLY SWEET. END OF STORY.
I can't say enough nice things about the animation as well. Characters have a terrific thick design that makes every blow look as ridiculous and ridiculously painful as they ought to be. There are some really subtle cloth animations(especially evident when you play as Goku) that help the game not to feel static(like so many of those "cel-shaded games"). Animation in general is really smooth, and seems to strike a nice balance of being faithful for show fans and exciting enough for fighting game fans.
But the best Dragon Ball Z touches of all come in the form of some really slick cut scenes that occur DURING THE FIGHTING. Over the course of matches, players will naturally trigger various cut scenes that will, supposedly, have an effect on the fighting. Various characters will sometimes jump on screen and deliver a powerful blow to opponents and send them flying. Opponents will become more cautious and start to change their fighting style to match your aggressiveness, blocking certain attacks more often. These tiny little game play effects are accompanied by terrific/ridiculous/extreme cut scene action that DBZ has always been known for. It may sound like a bad idea, to break up fighting game action with story scenes or dialog, but it, like everything else in the game, seems to do a really terrific job of evoking the action of the stupid television show its based on.
There are a couple tiny problems with the game that could potentially affect your enjoyment of the full product. The voice actors, who must have been brought in for the 90th time to read the same lines they read the last 89 recording sessions, sound bored and more laid back than they ought. A DBZ game has to be about OVERWROUGHT AND DRAMATIC ANIME YELLING! and not the weak ass voice acting these guys and girls are bringing to the table.
The game camera usually does a good job of keeping up with the games frenetic pace
of the action, but sometimes, to try and get the best/most dramatic view of the action, it will spin around wildly. , leaving the player totally confused as to what's actually happening in the fight. This usually lasts for less than a second, but it could potentially throw you off if "you're competing in the DBZ:BURST LIMIT fighting game competitive scene!!!!"
THERE IS NO HIDDEN DEPTH. THE GAME IS JUST SHALLOW.
Burst Limit isn't doing anything new or different(at least from this demo) but the gameplay is solid(i.e good) enough, and it captures the anime inspired lunacy you'd want from anything remotly Dragon Ball. From the demo, I am now cautiously optimistic about the full game's launch this June. If the rest of the game turns out as well as this demo, DBZ Burst Limit could be a fun little fighting game that nicely appeals to fighting game fans and DBZ fans Look for a full review in this blog, exclusively on Destructoid DOT COM!
Unless, of course......the world BLOWS UP?!!?!!!