Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is completely out of control. To anyone who knows the animated series, that’s no bad thing. What starts out looking like a standard 3D fighting game soon gets turned on its head when the big-eyed brawlers start flying and shooting insanely damaging energy beams from their fingertips.
It’s still a one-on-one beat ‘-em-up, that somehow carves a new niche into the well trodden way of the warrior, and this was a genre that brought us the likes of PowerStone and Guilty Gear. Dragon Ball Z is way more insane than those, and the fact that a single round can last up to ten minutes has a lot to do with it.
For those unacquainted with the original manga or anime, it’s a series with a reputation for ridiculously epic battles that span several episodes at a time. The typical scenario is just when the hero Goku thinks he’s defeated one of his extraterrestrial enemies, they either evolve into something even more powerful, or come up with a special desperation move. Said move takes five minutes to blow up a planet and by "five minutes," they mean 26 episodes.
Some of these battles seem to go on forever, and although the game’s fights can’t do that, they still last about five times longer than any other fighting game we’ve played. This might sound drawn-out, but the cel-shaded visuals are so in-your-face, and the pace so delirious that there’s little opportunity to get bored.
Before each match begins, you’re able to select three ability cards known as ‘Drama Pieces’ that act as support moves during the battle. Usually these cards are bought into play automatically when you’re hit with an extremely powerful move. When the three-eyed master Tenshinhan hit us with a fully charged beam of Ki energy, Goku’s friend Kuririn burst onto the scene and knocked us out of the firing line. Another card later on in the battle allowed Goku to evolve into the way more buff Kaio-Ken and Super Saiyan forms.
Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is aimed at a younger crowd, and is never going to oust Tekken. Nevertheless, it’s a lot of fun. It’s one of the most faithful franchise games we’ve seen this year.
Jun 10, 2008