Review by Super Rodimus Prime
Like Gohan in the Buu saga, this game had a lot to offer, but most of it's potential ended up going to waste.
If you aren't familiar with the story, you'll have trouble understanding everything that's going on. At times, characters are just there and you wouldn't even know where they came from or why they're there. Trunks is a prime example. The first time we see him in the story mode is when he's training with Vegeta. They do attempt to fill in the holes after you finish each saga with a montage including footage that isn't even shown within the story mode, but unfortunately that doesn't quite cut it. There's no reason why they couldn't have included those scenes in the story mode itself.
Another short coming is that a lot of sequences are recycled. Raditz and Goku clash before a fight. later on Tien & a Saibaman clash in exactly the same fashion before their match. That's not to say that it hurts the experience. It's just difficult not to notice.
The biggest WTF moment in story mode has to go to the scene involving Vegeta's famous "IT'S OVER 9000!!!" line. There's nothing wrong with this scene itself. It's the scene afterwards that's the problem. Even though he crushes his scouter, he's wearing it in the next scene. Smells like lazy to me.
Though it's far from being the best looking game on the PS3, it is the best looking DBZ game to date. The colours are vibrant and crisp. The character models are superb. The effects on the energy attacks are spot on. The stages look better than ever. Without question, this game is an eye pleaser.
The music and sound effects are what you'd expect. The music itself doesn't stand out too much when you're fighting so there isn't much of a problem there. It's not as if you'd need to turn off the music if you didn't like it because it's really difficult to notice when you're in the heat of battle. All of the battle sounds ie. energy attacks and melee combat sound just as they should.
The English voices are probably the lowest point when it comes to sound as a whole. Some of the VAs sound great (Goku, Tien, Krillin, Broly), and some are alright (Freeza, Gohan, #17, #18), but considering how many years these guys have had to act out the same story, it was only a matter of time before they started to lose their passion. Unfortunately, it really shows in some of the characters. First form Cell was simply horrible. At times he sounded like a cross between Babidi & Garlic Jr. Perfect Cell's voice sounded like a piss poor attempt at a British accent for the first few lines he had in the story mode. Recoome is probably the worst in the bunch though that's been the case for a long time. His VA in Budokai 1 was so much better. Now Sabat has him sounding like a brain dead moron.
This may very well be a button masher's wet dream come to life. Though you can try to utilize a strategy when you fight, you could easily get by on mindlessly mashing buttons and achieve the same level of success most of the time. On higher difficulties, this may not work as often, but it can still be effective. For the most part, the controls are very responsive with the possible exception of pursuit attacks.
The drama pieces can be either a blessing or a curse. At times they've helped get me out of trouble, but the same can be said for my opponents. You do have the option to not have them in your battles outside of the story mode so the choice is yours.
I have yet to encounter a lag free match and it seems I'm not the only one. You do have a great deal of options when it comes to customizing your matches. You can choose how many rounds you can have with a max of best 5/9. You can choose the length of each round with a max of 180 seconds. You might think that having no time limit would be best, but that doesn't seem to be an issue. Matches seldom last long enough for time to run out. You can even opt to have Drama Pieces active or inactive. If you're feeling like reproducing the kind of battle you'd see in DBZ then keep them on. If you just want a straight fight with no interruptions, then leave them off.
All but one of the drama pieces can be unlocked through the story mode. The one in question is unlocked by completing the tutorial. Some of them require some very complex conditions in order for them to be unlocked so you could end up spending a good deal of time trying to get them all. Outside of that, there's little to keep you playing. Versus, Trials, & Online Versus are the only other modes outside of the story mode. This is a huge step backwards when you look at the previous DBZ fighting games from the previous generation of consoles. In short, there isn't a whole lot in this game to cause you to keep coming back for more.
Fighting game fans might not have enough of a reason to give this a go. This game is mainly for fans of DBZ, however it isn't as good of a DBZ game as the ones of old. Some of the new features are great, but they aren't enough to really make this game stand out of the crowd. The battles are fast paced and intense if you're facing a skilled opponent. While the BT series did a great job of simulating the battle style of DBZ, BL seems to have done a great job of reproducing the intensity and fast pace of DBZ battles. If you really want to check out this title, I suggest renting it first. It's fun for a little while but soon afterwards, you may find yourself wondering if you really got your money's worth.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (US, 06/10/08)
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