Friday, November 20, 2009

DBZ Burst Limit review. now with more screaming!!

I got DBZ burst limit for 360 from my brother, and now that I've actually beaten the game it's time to get down to the reviews. I don't consider myself as much of a hardcore DBZ fan as I used to be, however with that said it's really great to see Atari and Dimps coming together to make some pretty excellent stateside entries into the DBZ video game foray. No matter how much i enjoyed those games, I do not miss intentionally ruining my Playstation to play Ultimate battle 22 and Legends.

Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is a continuation of DBZ based fighting games from Dimps and published by Atari. Z games like the Budokai series and the Tenkaichi (Sparking!!) series feature tight controls and minigame features that make the action seem right out of the anime. Burst limit pretty much follows this tradition, but with a few slight changes. The biggest change this time around is the Drama Pieces. Drama Pieces are attribute boosting cutscenes that are activated when certain conditions are met during a fight. To put it simple; you basically have to reenact how the battles went in the DBZ manga to unlock certain drama pieces. While this seems interesting it actually puts a damper on the combat due to not being able to skip through the cutscenes once they're activated. You would think that Dimps would of taken a cue from SquareEnix and allow them to be viewed once and then skipped afterwards.

The story mode of Burst limit is called "Z chronicles" and plays the story out from the Sayajin saga to the Cell game, with the Bardock movie and the Broly movie storylines spliced in for good measure.The Z chronicle storylines have a difficulty that range from very easy to Z difficulty. Normal difficulty, which is what I played, is pretty fair. You'll find the Frieza battles to be the most challenging due to some massive power ups he gets due to drama piece unlocking.It's kind of confusing as to why the Majin Buu saga was left out especially considering that would of extended the playtime to at least another hour or so. Another issue I have with this is the lack of characters this time around. The only members of the Ginyu squad you fight are Recoome and Captain Ginyu, and most of the secret characters are basically transformation stages of Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Trunks, Cell and Frieza.

As i've stated before the controls are pretty much retained from previous DBZ games. and are what make DBZ fighters worth the purchase. There were a few confusing new additions like using R trigger for pursuit attacks, and using the L trigger for EX pursuit attacks. ( this could of just been on the same trigger.) Also with the EX pursuit, instead of the "paper-rock-scissors" approach of Budokai 3, you just mash all four buttons to kick the crap out of your enemies in lightspeed. The mega crush attacks are a nice knockdown move to either open up your opponent's defense or to bail yourself out of a crushing combo pummeling.

The graphics are a big improvement from the previous games. I'm sure this has mainly to do with graphical power of the HD systems, but it's not like older games were graphical slouches either. I do find myself disappointed at the lack of variety in the use of special attacks, especially with the lack of environmental damage. I miss performing a Spirit bomb, Death Ball, Final Flash, ect, and seeing a shot of earth with a large ki based explosion pulsing out it's side. That's a large part of the Dragon Ball Z gaming experience. Messing up the other guy so bad that both he, and the planet have lasting scars.

The Opening theme is sung by Hironobu Kageyama, who has done work on the DBZ anime intro songs like Cha-la-head, and We gotta power!! The stage music is awesome as always. I don't know who decided to throw in guitar solos, with hardcore anime violence, but that person deserves a raise. Though, I do have to say that title track is the only memorable one. I know I make a lot of serious comparisons to Budokai 3 , but this is because of such a high standard that it had for DBZ games in the last generation. Once again, that game has this one beat in terms of memorable tracks.


The Spiracy Scale

Graphics - Sweet. I felt that more could of been added if they weren't so stuck on making the cell shading look better than in previous iterations.

Controls - Sweet. They retain the same feel of being in a DBZ game while other controls seem like they should of been more streamlined.

Sound - Good. The title track is fantastic, but other tracks are forgettable at best.

Difficulty - Good. it's adjustable.

Replayability - Meh. You can unlock everything in one playthrough of Z Chronicles. There are different play modes, but nothing really to bring you back unless you're in it for achievements or want to get all the drama pieces.

The Verdict - Borrow it, Rent it, or get it used! I find it perplexing that the previous games had gotten to a point where they were virtually perfect, and then they decide to shave characters and features off of this game. Since Burst Limit is now a bargain bin game you could give it a shot, otherwise you should check out Budokai 3 which is an amazing game, or the Tenkaichi games which retain everything that seems to be missing from this entry.

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