Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 3], XBOX 360
Rated: T for Teen
Namco Bandai has presented gamers over the past several years with high quality productions, whether it’s been Naruto or the DragonBall series. However of all the installations, the series has never reached the pinnacle of what’s being introduced in Battle of Z. The only other consideration is the new development team Artdink that’s handling DBZ. How will Battle of Z compare?
If you’ve played the demo then you already received a great idea of the overall experience. With the amount of content Namco Bandai laid on the table for gamers to partake in, it was like a 50/50 intake. They truly want you to embrace the return of DBZ and did so by giving you the biggest demo possibly in the history of games.
Knowing that I would be handing the final review, I refrained from playing the demo to fully recap Battle of Z.
There are three modes to choose from: single player, co-op mode and battle mode. The order couldn’t have been placed any better, as the next option from left to right indicates the level of interest. However, being granted access to co-op and battle mode must be earned.
Jumping into single player mode controls is simplistic, almost jokingly easy. Performing combos is quick for any newcomer to master. It’s when you begin to focus more on special abilities and skillsets where a bit of a challenge kicks in. Locking in on characters can be performed by tapping the right stick to change focus, another move you’ll need to pick up during the early tutorial.
While battling characters are also able to perform chain combos, share energy and revive teammates during the fight.
At the end of each mission you have the opportunity to obtain special ability cards allowing you to upgrade your character, allowing you to perform greater in areas they were less significant in. The biggest advantage to completing missions however is unlocking characters!
At times you also have the ability to share energy with players not on onscreen but friends around the world in need of some extra help from the Saiyan gods. What really stands out most is the flow of the original TV story. You’ll notice some of the changes that allow the co-op throughout the game to be believable.
Co-op follows the same story, but allows you play with three other online characters. Battle Mode however gives you a variety of options to find the greatest overall interactions. Play 4v4 in teams to earn the most points, capture the most Dragon Balls or have a full blown free for all.
The camera angles play a huge role to supporting the fighting aspect. It’s a 3rd person angle that keeps just the right distance to focus on the fight and pan the immediate area when locking on to enemies.
A sheer disappointment to Battle of Z is, while multiplayer is pretty amazing, the lack of single player battles. A simple versus mode would have made the game more enjoyable while driving through DBZ, unlocking all the characters at hand. The result of no multiplayer is the root to any connectivity issue in Battle of Z. It’s a bit harder to time a few of the chains when your players are a short distance away crossing with off timing.
The only other oddball is audio. The characters converse in the middle of battles, making it hard to follow, let along hear the dialogue.
Battle of Z graphically has a noticeable change in comparison to other recent Namco Bandai games. There’s an authentic anime look that doesn’t visually look as crisp as Ninja Storm 3, but is sharp as the television show itself. Gamers will definitely respect the visual quality implemented in DBZ.
Every time you pick up DragonBall Z: Battle of Z, it will give you an entire new experience. You can change characters up in the single player or with help during co-op or even take your favorite Saiyan to battle against the best online. Battle of Z is a must have for any fans of the series that want to create their own experiences to the stories that many cherish even today.
Replay Value: 4/5