Jeffrey Markiewicz On August 15, 2008 at 6:23 am

Dragon Ball Z has enjoyed a long life in videogames, from the original Nintendo Entertainment System to the recently released Burst Limit on our contemporary consoles. To the masses they have had a lukewarm reception but to diehard fans most were loved. As the first game Dragon Ball game the next generation platforms, Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit from developer Dimps looks to create a game for everyone.

Dimps has created a decent fighter that can appeal to everyone. The game has an adequate amount of depth to keep the Dragon Ball Z fans playing  while staying simple enough for casual gamers. The excellent part of  this game is almost everyone can jump in immediately and excel. If they  want to dive deeper, the nice tutorial makes them proficient in little  time. Every major move can be pulled off effortlessly and almost all of them can easily be blocked or dodged with correct split second timing.  This makes it easy for newcomers while not being cheap. The move list  for each character can be accessed while pausing the game during a fight  but unfortunately there is not much variation or depth in the advanced  moves between characters. The game boasts only 21 characters which is  significantly less characters than previous iterations with little to  compensate for the loss. Another letdown is that there are only 5  stages. Overall it can be a lot of fun, especially for Dragon Ball Z  fans and casual gamers but fans of fighting games will think it is a tad  too shallow.

This game contains 5 different modes, Chronicles Z, Versus, Trial, Tutorial, and Training. The story mode is called Chronicles Z and covers  the Frieza and Cell sagas and encompasses 45 fights. This mode is mainly  for the hardcore fans since it only covers the major fights from those  sagas and casual players will be confused. At the end of each of these matches you get rated based upon a consistent set of criteria, like pulling off certain moves and unlocking small cut scenes during the fight. Versus is exactly what it sounds like, it allows you to fight with the CPU or against others locally and via Xbox Live. In addition to selecting your character, you get to select their ultimate, a partner, and drama pieces that will help you from time to time when certain conditions are met during battle but it is not a true tag team system. They will only do things like deflect ki blasts or taunt the other player. In trial you are presented with 3 different challenges: survival, time attack, and battle points. In survival you successively fight up to 100 enemies to see if you can defeat them all, which can take a long time. Time attack pits you against 10 enemies in an attempt to get the lowest time. The Battle Points mode is exactly the same as time attack except you try to amass the most points instead of time. Tutorial gets you up to speed quickly with basic, intermediate, and advanced moves. Training allows you to try those moves out on an opponent who does not attack back. The modes cover the basics of any fighter and individual fights have a decent amount of customization but fighter fans will wish there was more.

The Xbox Live multiplayer is hit or miss, not that the features or the game play aren’t there, but because of possible lag. If you connect up to someone with a good connection, your experience in indistinguishable from local multiplayer, but if you connect to someone with a bad connection, it’s horrible. Therefore if you plan to take the show online, at least know if your connection is decent or not.

The graphics are impressive and adhere very closely to the anime. Every shot looks like it was taken directly out of the show. The best of this are the excellent player models and animations. The largest drawback is the worlds. They seem flat and static and generally not up to the same standard they set for the character models.

The voices are the same as from the show and are all used beautifully. The only complaints are that the lip sync on the models is always synced to the Japanese voice track which is included in the game and the sounds can become repetitive over time. Thus sometimes you will see the mouth continue moving a couple seconds after they are done talking. The music is great. Overall the quality matches the show excellently.

This game was made for the Dragon Ball Z fans, greatly evident from the single player campaigns apparent lack of a coherent story. The game is quick and easy to pick up. You can bring it over to a friend’s house and have fun for a couple hours even if they aren’t fans of the show. The online aspect brings friends to you but can occasionally be marred by lag. The graphics are on par with the anime but the levels can come off as very static. Those who remember the previous titles might be disappointed at the lack of playable characters and levels. Diehard fighting fans should avoid this title because of the shallow fighting system. On the whole Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is a good accessible fighting game but nothing special unless you love Dragon Ball Z.


Story is confusing if you do not watch the show. Very few playable characters and levels considering the previous iterations on the PS2. The game is accessible but the tradeoff for that is that it is also shallow. It’s a can be fun but do not expect a serious fighting game.


The character models are great but the consistency is marred by the fact that the levels are so static and dull.


Music and sound match the consistency of the show. Lip sync is locked to the Japanese track. Overall good but can become repetitive over time.


Dragon Ball Z fans can bump the score up a notch, but overall you have a very accessible fighting game that you can pick up and play but can be very shallow at times. It matches the consistency of the show relatively well. Overall a fun experience but try the demo to see if it warrants the full price.

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