After what it felt like an eternity Dragon Z: Extreme Butoden is finally here, featuring more than 100 characters from all the Dragon Ball universe, it is a sure way for things to get hectic on this awesome 2D fighting game.It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the series since it began, so when this game was announced the Otaku in me started to jump in joy, and began crossing my fingers for the overseas arrival, and let me tell you I was not disappointed.
After the opening movie( made me laugh) you are presented with the title screen after that you can use one of the 3 save slots ( a huge plus for those that have to share games) and start your adventure, and the obvious choice is the Story Mode, which covers everything from the battle against the Saiyans to the final battle with Majin Boo.One of the good things about Story mode( at least for me), is that you can blaze through the entire DBZ story in just 10 battles, so unlike past releases you don’t have to do the extermination missions that were present in previous games of the franchise, namely the Saibamen, Frieza Soldier, and Cell Junior defeat X number of them. After finishing the Z Story Mode you unlock the Adventure Mode which offers an alternate story( and the mode that you will enjoy the most for all the unlocks it offers) and the different What If’s scenarios that became an staple on the series since its first entry.
The Adventure Mode is by far my favorite mode, since it offers an alternate story(different from all the What if’s so far) and in which you have a series of mission based battles across 8 different areas.The missions range from doing a set number of combos to finish an enemy after a set time, and so forth.There are three ranges on each mission S, A and B, is better to go for S rank since it always gives a new Z assist and Zenny, which you’ll use to buy items and such to aid you on the mode( since there are some tough missions out there, and you’ll need more than healing Z assist to finish them), it is a welcome addition to the overall experience.
Now those on the know about fighting games in general, will know that Arc System Works is really experienced on battle mechanics and such, and you can see that they left their mark on DBZ: Extreme Butoden. The Universal Battle System in Extreme Butoden is worthy of praise, although some experienced players might find it off putting, it gives newcomers to fighting games a chance to have fun, and this puts both types of players on equal ground in terms of gameplay.Having the same combo scheme for each playable character doesn’t mean that they are the same, the devs did an amazing job to balance the game, and each of them possesses all the traits to make them different from each other.For example Krillin has its Solar Flare and Destructo Disc special attacks, and its Multi Destructo Disc as a ultimate combo. So even if the button inputs are the same for all, they don’t play the same.Another of the great things about the combo system is the Awakened State, in order to get it your health( or your whole team health combined) has to be on 50% or below after that you get access to 3 tools that are available only on Awakened State: The Sparking, Dragon Soul, and your character Final Ultimate Combo. Sparking can be used to break out of a combo( think like the burst on Blazblue), Dragon Soul raises your attack and defense power, but slowly depletes your health bar so think of it like a last line of defense. And the FUC is a powered up version of your character signature move, like Vegeta’s Final Flash.
While the Character Roster is low I really like the fact that secondary characters like Bubbles for example can take part in the fight as a Z Assist, which varies depending of the character, Bubbles raises your speed, Hercule( Mr. Satan for me) does the “Hercule Miracle Special Ultra Super Megaton Punch” ( does 0 damage), it captures the essence of each of the personalities of all the members of the DBZ universe( some are really funny like Oolong pantie wish). And this to me balances the game since a weak character like Krillin with the right Z assists can take on SSG Goku for example, so it is a question of strategy and player tastes.
Bottom Line Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden is a solid fighter, that caters to experienced and newcomers alike, has a lot of characters( even if some of them are only assists) and a combo system that can be easy to learn and master. I definitely recommend it to any fighting game enthusiast, and DBZ fan alike.Especial thanks to Bandai Namco for providing us with a review code.
SHIGERU REVIEWS SCORE: 9.0/10
PD. Also while it “didn’t” came with an online versus mode at launch, at the time of this review, with a game update for the Japanese version was launched that added online gameplay and more assist characters. While it has only been released for the Japanese it is only natural for the NA and EU to follow suit.