Super Dragon Ball Z

  • Old-school arcade battles
  • Plenty of special moves, unlockables
  • Versus mode with upgraded characters
  • Lame single-player modes
  • Relatively tame special attacks
  • Predictable, repetitive opponents

The more "serious" arcade-style approach effectively drains the game of all that over-the-top, high-energy DBZ action we're used to. Attacks that once devastated entire planets now amount to little more than glorified hadoukens, and are easily blocked.

Although the combat is certainly different, it hasn't necessarily increased in depth. The easier computer opponents can be defeated nearly every time by repeatedly performing a one-button "homing attack" that sends you hurtling into your foe. The harder enemies are better at blocking, which tends to turn battles into long distance energy-attack contests that test your ability to repeatedly press down, down-forward, forward and Triangle.

Two single-player modes are available in the game, but neither are very redeeming. Original mode is a direct port of the arcade game; you'll battle a series of random competitors, three rounds each, with unlimited continues, until you reach Cell. Your reward for beating Cell is a short, uninspired cutscene followed by the credits.

The second mode, ZSurvivor, doesn't do much to improve the situation. You must battle nine competitors consecutively with increasing difficulty, one round each, with one health bar. Between each match, you have a chance to gain bonuses, some of which will increase your health, attack power or defense, keeping you on your feet round after round.

Patched over the shallow single player modes is an experience and leveling system based around "Character Cards," profiles that allow you to customize and upgrade specific characters. As you play either Original Mode or ZSurvivor using a Character Card, you'll rack up Battle Points and collect Dragon Balls. Battle Points are used to learn new skills and attacks, while collecting seven Dragon Balls enables you to summon the magical dragon Shenron and wish for new abilities, attacks, characters, and extras.


More Info

Release date: Jul 18 2006 - PS2 (US)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Atari
Developed by: Namco Bandai, Crafts & Meister
Franchise: Dragon Ball
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Cartoon Violence

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer

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  • JohnnyApplesperm - November 29, 2010 5:42 a.m.

    If you're reading this Tyler, "eh, its better than I thought".
  • jscriber100 - September 18, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    this is a poor dragonball z game.the budakai series were much better dragonball z games.
  • super2j - April 10, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    I can't believe no one commented on Tyler Wilds first review. Anyway, i remember this game. It was not that great, budokai series itched that spot much better.