Dragonball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi Review

Dragonball Z is back with another Tenkaichi installment. DBZ Ultimate Tenkaichi introduces some new mechanics and modes, but is it enough for fans and gamers a like?

Story - The story follows the same story from every Dragonball Z game in existence. You follow the Z warriors as they battle and stop threats from the Saiyans, Freiza, Androids and Buu. Also you get a few stories from the movies. If you're familiar with the Anime, then you already know everything.

Gameplay - Dragonball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi has five main modes, Story Mode, Hero Mode, Online Mode, Battle Mode and World Tournament. Story Mode follows the story of the series from the Saiyan Saga to the Buu Saga. It is not a fully accurate story mode as they're missing a couple of key stories like Garlic Jr, and more. However it does stick to the main core of the story for the most part. Hero Mode is a new addition to the series. For the first time ever players can create their own Saiyan, as he hunts for the 7 Dragonballs to restore the world. The problem with Hero Mode is that you don't have much to do in creation department. Most of your characters will look very close to the Z fighters, and the option not to be a female Saiyan is disappointing for female gamers. The mode is the best in the game, with RPG like elements. You will take your Saiyan and train with various characters to gain attacks, stats and aura for your Saiyan to choose from. The story is pretty interesting and it has some cool battles for you. The other modes are pretty basic, online works smoothly depending on the other players connection. The game has enough content to keep you playing, but how it plays is a whole different ball game.

The gameplay is not bad, but it's a little too easy and too repetitive. The gameplay is simple, you have your main attack button, which leads into a choice of quicktime events. This is basically a game of chance if your facing the CPU. You will have a choice of the melee attack, or the teleporting attacks, if you and CPU select the same thing, the CPU will counter. It's a game of chance and it can get very tiring very quickly, another disappointing thing is Super Attacks take too long to build up. Gone is the combinations, or build up to the attacks. It's melee until your meter is full, powering up your KI doesn't help towards your Super Attacks or Ultimate Attack, it just boost your melee. Players will get two Super Attacks and one Ultimate Attacks. Besides the Super Attacks, Fighting Stances, KI Aura and Ultimate Attack, every single character fights the exact same way. The same melee sequences happen, the counters are only three choices, intercept, evade and guard. Sometimes you can't even counter, you have to just take the attack. Another annoying part is, sometimes you can be dominating an enemy and they somehow have energy for a full blast.

The gameplay does capture to feel of the series, but the fact that each fighter feels the same and you basically don't do any real playing, the constant quicktime events might turn off some players. There is no real strategy on winning, it's basically on a game of chance and who has at higher power level. It will get very stale, really quickly.

Gameplay Video

Graphics - The game looks amazing, this really took a page from Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. This is actually the best graphics in the series, the environment, lighting effects and presentation nail the show down the middle. The characters look great and their bodies look very detail, the facial expressions and the best part, the planet exploding. Also real cutscenes from the Dragonball Kai series makes the story mode worth playing.

Sound - The sound has some issues in the voice acting department. It's not the voice acting, both English and Japanese did a good job. It's the annoying two English voice actors for one character that feel really weird. For example in sometimes you will hear the original voice actress who play Frieza in one dialogue, then the next dialogue you'll hear the Kai actor. It switches from original DBZ to Kai and it gets annoying. Gohan also has this problem. The music is generic, but has some pretty cool tracks. It allows custom soundtracks, but however you can't import them into the game, you just have to play it from your music playlist. Overall the sound is decent, and the music will be awesome if you put the soundtrack on your systems.

Replay Value - Regardless of it's shortcomings, this game has some replay value, mainly in Hero Mode and World Tournament. Hero Mode leveling up and RPG elements will keep players on the grind, especially since you can fight online with your Saiyan.

Final Grade D+/6.5 - Dragonball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi isn't a bad game, but it isn't a good one. Heck you hardly play at all, but it still enjoyable thanks to Hero Mode and some online fun. The custom soundtracks is a nice addition, but the two voice actors at once is annoying. The game captures the feel of DBZ, but I just wish they let you actually be part of it. Final Grade D+/6.5.