Dragon Ball: Evolution Review
Dragon Ball: Evolution box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Dimps 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Namco Bandai 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 7, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The visuals in this game continue the low-quality streak that touches basically every other facet of the game. Character models are extremely simplistic, and environments are basic at best. The entire visual makeup can be described in one word: featureless. Basically, every facet of Dragon Ball: Evolution's visuals lacks detail, color, or inspiration. It doesn't necessarily fall into the "bad" category here, but the overwhelmingly bland look certainly doesn't fall into the "good" category either.

Dragon Ball: Evolution screenshot

Sound, however, is very bad. One thing that struck me as especially odd about this title was that there was absolutely no voiceover. Say what you will about movie-licensed games, but one of the hallmarks of titles based on movies is that they almost always feature voivceovers taken from the film, and considering the amount of dialogue from the movie in the game, I would have figured that slapping some of the dialog from the movie onto the game would have been a cinch.

But as it is, the characters are completely silent, and you'll just have to imagine what they sound like as you read the miles of scrolling text that comprise the plot scenes in this game. There will be some looping background music that accompanies these scenes, but this is repetitive and annoying at best.

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Dragon Ball: Evolution is probably a terrible movie, but I can say with all certainty that it is a terrible game. Poor graphics, a non-existent soundtrack, long loading times, and sparse play value make this title one that you should definitely skip. This is especially so if you have played previous Dragon Ball-inspired games, or enjoyed the anime. This game has nothing in common with your fandom and, as such, should be avoided at all costs.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.1
Graphics
Character models are far too simplistic and environments are bland at best.
2.0
Control
Basic fighter controls get the job done, but just mashing a single button will net you a "super" ranking.
1.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The total lack of voiceover is maddening, and the sparse music during plot scenes is ineffective.
2.0
Play Value
There are several different modes, but since they all require basically the same button smash, this game's variety is all but lost. Even if you do attempt the different modes, you can get 100% completion in less than an afternoon. Just stay away.
1.5
Overall Rating - Avoid
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • In Dragon Ball: Evolution for the PSP system, ultimate powers collide as players match up against their favorite characters from the film release and battle for control of the seven sacred Dragon Balls that have the power to grant any wish.
  • Dragon Ball: Evolution employs an easy-to-learn yet difficult to master fighting system which provides everyone the power to pull off stylish and dynamic attacks.
  • Ki (energy) management will be essential to gain the upper hand and unleash a devastating attack on their unsuspecting opponents.
  • Participating in intense battles, gamers are invited to follow the path of Goku to his predestined fight against the evil Lord Piccolo in Story mode.
  • Players can also battle against a number of opponents in Arcade mode, accept challenges in Mission mode, or hone their technique in Training mode.
  • Dragon Ball: Evolution also lets players challenge friends to tests of strength in multiplayer battles.


  • Screenshots / Images
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