Dragonball Kai: Ultimate Butoden Review

Dragonball is back with another game on the DS. This time the game returns to it's fighting roots. This new installment is called Dragonball Kai Ultimate Butoden, right now it's only out in Japan. Is this game worth the import?

Story - The story is what you are use to seeing in a Dragonball game. The story follows all the major events of the Dragonball Z series. The game also includes some what if scenarios like other previous installments. It's told through in game cut scenes and it's told very well.

Gameplay - The gameplay consists of 6 modes. The modes go as follows, Story, Challenge Mode, CPU Battle, Wireless Battle, Training and Customize. The fighting mechanics is the best Dragonball for the DS. Y button is for weak attacks, X button is used for strong attacks, A button is to grab and throw your opponent. The R button is use for the Ki blasts. The offensive side works very well, combos are easy to pull off, once you get used to the combinations. The defensive side of the game is also well put together. B button is used to dodge. X is used to counter attack while dodging. A,B,X and Y can be used to break falls. The game also includes a mini game when it comes to counter attacks. The mini games in story mode are beam struggles and the ring push. Ring push is pushing the ring in the circle when the timing is right. Other mini games include collecting blue and red dots for energy. Selecting a Dragonball shown on the screen. Others like moving an energy ball into a can and etc. The game feels wonderful and the mini games get a little getting used too, but rest assure the gameplay is the best Dragonball game for the DS. Another huge addition to this game is the customization. First time ever you can customize your Z fighters or Villains attire. You want to put the a hat on Goku's head, go ahead. You want to have Android 18 with an eye patch or something silly go crazy. It's a nice addition and fun to see what you can make your character. Hopefully one day Bandai will give us a create a fighter feature. Overall the gameplay is refreshing and a blast to play. The learning curve is easy to normal and it's very fun to play.

Gameplay Video

Graphics - The graphics is one of the best on the DS. The best Dragonball game on the DS. It is a beautiful to see and look at. The destructive backgrounds when you send your opponent flying. The look of the facial expressions when Vegeta does Final Flash is amazing. It's like a DS version of Budokai 3 graphic wise. All the locations are intact and the in game cut scenes are great. I didn't experience any framerate issues during my play. Awesome graphics.

Sound - The music is pretty cool, it captures the feel of the DB universe. You even get the Dragon Soul instrumental when the game starts which is pretty cool. Voice acting is great as well, but don't expect full blown voice over cut scenes. Whatever bit of voice used in the game is great.

Replay Value - There are tons of stuff to unlock and the game is very addictive. If you are fortunate to have a friend who imported the game, then you will have even more fun. Also the customization is going to keep you busy. The combinations of how much you can put on a character is funny.

Final Grade B+/8.5 - Dragonball Kai delivers on what it was going for. It is an enjoyable fun fighter with your favorite characters from the Dragonball Universe. The A.I. can be a little easy to hard and the mini games are a refreshing addition. However no online play really stings, but it's not something you will miss. The game gives you plenty to do, so you won't bored. Final Grade B+/8.5.