Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai Another Road - hands-on

The screaming, spiky-haired Dragon Ball Z anime series concluded years ago, but the torrent of games based on it is still going strong. That probably has something to do with the fact that flying around and smashing things as fireball-tossing kung-fu aliens never really gets old, and the DBZ games have done a fantastic job of not screwing that premise up, especially lately.

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai Another Road, despite having a really unwieldy title, looks to continue that tradition. We've only spent a short time with the title, but it's already an impressive piece of work for the PSP; unlike the first Shin Budokai, which was a more traditional, side-to-side fighter, Another Road steals its setup from the Budokai Tenkaichi games. That is, you'll fight over huge distances from an over-the-shoulder, third-person view. The fights are fast, button-mashy and addictive, and they look great, with smoothly animated fighters that look as though they just stepped out of the anime.

A the same time, this isn't a Tenkaichi game, really; the perspective's identical, but the arenas you'll fight in are just huge, flat, endless expanses, without any notable scenery to hide behind or smash through. With 24 fighters and fewer special moves, it's not as deep as a Tenkaichi, either, although a couple of the cooler touches from Tenkaichi 2 have been brought over intact. Players can now perform cinematic-looking "banishing attacks," and can transform into hyper-powerful, blond Super Saiyan versions of their characters mid-fight.

Another cool addition brought over from Tenkaichi 2? Non-canon "what-if" storylines, one of which forms the basis for Another Road.