GBA REVIEW: DRAGON BALL GT: TRANSFORMATION

Finally, a Dragon Ball game that I can sink my fist into.

Let's face facts, Dragon Ball Z games are average fare. I don't care how much you like the cartoon and the videogames, the series has become stagnant over the years. It's repetitious and really adds nothing to the world of fighting or adventure. Dragon Ball GT: Transformation might just change all that. It could still be called repetitious because of the continual combat but it's presented in such a way that you just can't wait to get into the next skirmish.

Unless you're blind, the first thing you will notice about Dragon Ball GT are the graphics. It's amazing the difference great graphics can make. The game is rendered in faux 3D. The backgrounds have multiple scrolling levels that add depth and you can actually walk around your opponents, which offers more freedom and strategy to the gameplay. You can also pick up items in the environment and throw them at the enemy. Or you can smash some of them to obtain various power-ups that lie within.

It's difficult to say that there's a lot of variety to this game but like a good blues song, it's all in the details. There is a good balance of things to do within a limited framework which ensures you're not overwhelmed by control configurations or bored with only a few characters and commands.

There are nine characters to choose from. Each has a different moves and powers. They can run, jump and float in the air to perform some aerial combat. Each character also has a Ki energy blast that they can use to send an enemy hurling toward the opposite end of the screen.

Before you begin the story mode you must choose three of the nine characters for your team. You can switch among them instantly. All character replenish their health when out of service so make sure you switch characters that are getting low on health, because if they run out, they will be out of the bout.

Goku has been transformed into a teenager while training with his pal Uub. To restore himself to adulthood (and who the hell would want to anyway?) he must collect all the Dragon Balls which have been conveniently scattered throughout the universe. Can't anyone keep their damn hands on these balls after all these years? As lame as the story may be it gives us an excuse to go planet hopping where you'll discover some incredible scenery and some absolutely huge and imaginative bosses.

Despite the tag-team configurations of the story mode there is no multi-player story mode. What is offered instead are a few multi-player bonus games which support the Link system but you have to have individual copies of the game which isn't worth purchasing just for the multi-player experience. The single player mode is so good that you probably won't have any trouble finding a group of friends with a copy of this game.

With such spectacular graphics one shouldn't expect great sound. This is the GBA, nobody expects great sound anyway. You'll hear some grunts, smacks and explosion with a sprinkling of music from the cartoon series. As I've mentioned the graphics are great and really do the cartoon series justice. In fact I think the graphics look better on the GBA. At least the animation is smoother and not jerky like traditional anime.

If you've always wanted to own a Dragon Ball game this is the one to get. Word!

System: GBA
Dev: Webfoot
Pub: Atari
Release: Aug 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Dean
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.0
GRAPHICS
5.0
CONTROL
4.5
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
3.0