Namco Bandai Games America Inc.’s Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 is a standard fighting title that offers quick fighting action and adds a new character customization option to the fight fest.
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi includes Story Mode for a single-player campaign, Hero Mode for single-player fighting with a custom character, Battle Mode for local versus, World Tournament for local 16-player action, Customize to create a character, and Online Battle for network versus battles.
Story Mode offers an overworld to move and select which battle to enter, along with full cinematic banter prior to each battle. The mode includes new large boss battles that are fought with blast attacks and quick-time events to dodge major blows.
The control system solid and similar to prior entries, with a attack and dash options. New is a divide between Melee Range and Blast Range, which changes attack options from melee to projectile blasts. Each fighter begins with 50,000 HP to allow each match to last long despite hefty combo beatings.
New is a linking combo system that will trigger after an Attack Clash, which offers two attack options to the user. Depending on the button press of the opposing player, the clash will lead into a linking combo or be countered.
Should the Attack Clash proceed, users are pummeled in a multi-move juggle that can link up to four times. While the juggle can be broken with a mash of two buttons by the opponent, the combo juggle may be off-putting to fighting purists that would rather deploy the technical, snappy bouts of prior entries.
Users charge Ki with a down press of the d-pad and unleash super attacks or an Ultimate Attack with the right analog stick.
With a custom character users can select from a range of options, many of which must be unlocked first, and enter Hero Mode to battle with the custom character. Each victory will add points to the user’s stats and unlock new custom skills, like Power Skill, Action Skill, and Master Skill that can be equipped in battle.
Online Mode offers Ranked Match, Player Match, and World Tournament options. Battle Points can be gained or lost from each fight to wager a threat to each loss.
The graphics engine is solid at 30 frames-per-second. Cel-shaded characters animate on par with classic TV episodes and voice actors ignite each character with a bout of fighting passion.
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is a standard entry in the fight franchise. While technical fighters may lose control over the new combo linking system, franchise fans will charge up for over-the-top fights and custom character options.