Customer Review

44 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best DBZ Game; Not the best Fighting Game, November 24, 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi (Video Game)
I like DBZ and I like gaming. I'm going to give it to you straight, with a review of the experience as a whole and a review of the different gaming aspects individually. Here goes;

Individual Gaming Aspects

1. Graphics- The best of any DBZ game hands down. The character models don't look 100% anime-like, and to my surprise, I actually like it better this way. Melee and Specials(whether regular or ultimate) really capture the epicness of the series. It does this better than any before it. The way the battlefield looks after a special/ultimate is amazing, although it does revert back to the original battlefield afterwards(that is slightly disappointing).

2. Story- The main story is the main story. You probably know it by now, and if you don't, then I suggest you watch Dragonball Kai in jap with english subtitles(easily found just google), then DBZ for the Buu saga. Don't count on the game story mode. It goes into some detail, but a good portion is told through text walls, and that's boring. Plus all games that are based off anime usually never completely follow the way the anime was presented to a T. What it actually does show through cutscenes and in-game fights is very well presented, following the storyline VERY closely, even including some redone HD anime clips of the series. You can tell that if Spike actually had decent time to develop the game(i.e. more than 1 yr) that it would've been really special. As it stands, the main story is 3.5/ 5, above average but not quite there yet.

Hero mode, however, is another story. It's an alternate storyline parallel to that of the canon, where you create your character to try and save the world. How you save the world, I will not say, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Just know that it's pretty damn good fun to do so. Creation options are limited at first, as you have to unlock different hair types, clothes, etc. as you play along in the mode. Throughout the mode you get to train under well known Z fighters and/or villans to learn their melee style, supers, and ultimates, leaving you the choice to mix and match which moves you want. Be forewarned, it starts out pretty easy and simple enough, but somehwere around halfway through, there's a sharp difficulty increase, so you will have to level up your character through more training, world tournaments, etc. It's really fun to create your own character and see how they develop, and is easily where you will spend most of your time outside of online. The down side is that you can only create a saiyan, a male saiyan. I can see why only a saiyan when playing through this particular story, but it could've had the option to choose male/female and not had a problem with the development. All in all, a fun mode with very solid foundation for the sequel.

3. Gameplay- This is where most who are fans of the series are divided. Some prefer the way Raging Blast and tenkaichi 3 plays, where you control everything all the time. I like how DBZ:UT plays better for one reason and one reason only; It's the closest anyone has ever come to replicating DBZ fights. I don't want a standard fighter skinned with DBZ characters, I want a DBZ fighter, and that's what this delivers. The way the camera cuts when you do any super or ultimate looks like it came from the anime. You have three choices when an super/ultimate attack is fired towards you: Guard/Evade/intercept. What you can choose depends on your Ki level. The interactions look amazing, very true to the series. Of course, you may want the choice of just evading by moving the stick a little to the left or right, but I think this interaction makes for a better dramatic experience, which is what DBZ is all about. Supers/Ultimates themselves are not tied to Ki, but to a Spirit Meter, which fills as you land combos, so you can't just build up Ki, fire ultimate, build up Ki, fire ultimate. Combos/melee are what needs the most work for the sequel. Chain attacks look great, providing great camera angles and explosive blows. The combos leading up to the chain is where it can get repetitive. You combo, then it transitions to dramatic cut of you and the opponent about to clash. You guess what the other will press, ala Budokai 3 for PS2, but this time there's only two choices, so it's down to a coin toss with the added pressure to predict which button they'll press. It would've been better with 3-4 choices, and made it feel less repetitive.

Online is pretty good, with some flaws that make you go: what the hell? It's great that I can use my Hero created character online(be sure to level him up though, as in the beginning he'll be weaker than the stock characters). It's great that you can have online tournaments, but it SUCKS that you cannot watch other people's fights as they participate in the tournament. How they missed that baffles me. So yes, you have to sit there and wait for them to finish while you look at the tournament bracket screen, hoping for the character pic to move up sooner than later. Some people rage quit as well, so don't be surprised if you're kicking butt only to find the connection "time out."

Roster- 41 characters, but some noticeable ones are left out. Goten and Trunks aren't in the game, yet Gotenks is. SS4 Vegeta and Goku are NOT in the game yet Gogeta is(both SS and SS4). Goten and Trunks I can see, since they dont do much on their own, but they left out SS4 Goku and Vegeta? That's a big miss. This is where longer development time would've come in handy.

Overall Experience:

When it comes down to it, DBZ UT is a fun DBZ experience. It's not the deepest fighter out there, where I have to remember combos, hitboxes, etc., but if I want that, I'll go play Street Fighter. What I want when I play a DBZ game is to feel like I am in their world, following their rules, and that is exactly what this provides. While it does leave some characters out, most of the important ones are definitely in. While it does have some repetitiveness, it also has a lot of spectacle and amazing cutscenes/ camera angles. You can only do so much in 1 year, as Spike had to rebuild EVERYTHING from the bottom up for this game. It finally seems like they have decided to focus on making the best DBZ experience, and not the best fighting game, and I'm thankful for it. A fun game with a great foundation to build upon; if you like DBZ, you can't go wrong with this one.

Note- Bandai has publicly stated that this will probably be Spike's last game. However, the next developer will use the assets from this game for the sequel.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 27, 2011 10:39:43 AM PST
Elias B. says:
Your review is very good, and got to the core of why I enjoyed the game. You voiced a sentiment that I was unable to get across in my review, and I applaud you for that. :) Fantastic write-up of a fun game.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2011 12:47:56 PM PST
GamesGuru says:
Thank you very much for the compliment. ^_^ I try to keep my writing informative/cohesive while at the same time somewhat entertaining enough so you'd want to read through it.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 4:51:51 PM PDT
Why would anyone wanna watch it in jap with English subtitles? English dubbed is way better, people wanna watch, not read.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 5:01:55 PM PDT
GamesGuru says:
Many anime are subbed online. English dub is better for DBZ, but not anime in general. If you think no one watches subbed anime, you are naive.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 6:42:25 PM PST
JACE says:
hey that was a great review really like how you basically answered every question about the game and you got me convinced to buy it.. thanks again

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 4:07:39 PM PST
GamesGuru says:
If you havent bought it yet it's 9.99 right now on microsoft store dot com :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2013 5:48:13 PM PDT
Dontay says:
Well the anime actually follows the manga.

Posted on Jan 27, 2014 1:35:02 AM PST
Clearly you played the game longer than i have. Before this, I hadn't played any current gen DBZ games and I was baffled by the many changes since the Budokai Tenkaichi games for PS2 (which are my favorite DBZ games). I dislike the new voice cast although the overall game can't be blamed for this.

My main gripes here are the gameplay and the control over your character. The gameplay mechanics are so foreign to me, and the controls seem like guitar hero or something.
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