Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai

Wednesday 5 April 2006
Ludicrous plots, spiky haircuts that would shame a Wella Shockwaves ad and fights upon battles after punch ups. But then what were you expecting to see in a Dragon Ball Z game? True to form, this is all beating the crap out of each other as flamboyantly as possible.

It'll probably come as no surprise to learn that it's not the deepest of scrappers either. The fighting, while doubtful to worry the likes of Virtua Fighter, packs a fair amount of variety into a simple two button combo system.

There's also loads of diversity between the different characters' abilities, with Piccolo's brilliant extendable rubbery arms and Trunk's big sword soon making them our favourite choices in arcade mode.

It looks great too, with sharp cel-shaded characters pinging about the screen, although the featureless backdrops could do with a spruce up, in our opinion.

The bulk of the game is built around the Dragon Road mode, a series of story-led battles. But there's a host of other options to play around with as well. The best is the chance to enjoy a WiFi ruck with your mates. There are also survival modes, time trials and profile card trading - a kind of sticker album made of pictures you unlock in the game.