|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||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: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Despite this lack of replay value, Tenkaichi Tag Team does have some elements that will pull fans into its grip. Chief among these is the huge player roster, which has more than seventy characters. Though there are no new characters (I'm pretty sure everyone has been used before, with the notable exception of Master Roshi's turtle), the list includes all your favorites as well as plenty of supporting characters. Unlocking characters will take some perseverance, as the game's story mode is a little bit on the lengthy side, and you'll have to beat some mini-game like extra battle modes in order to get all the characters. Once you do get all the characters, it is fun to make some unlikely pairs (my favorite was Raditz and Chaiotzu) and try them out in battle.
And speaking of battle, the battle system does seem worth mentioning, although it is nearly identical to the battle system found in other Tenkaichi titles. You use a single button to hammer on your basic attacks (which can be modified with the directional buttons), you have another button to use your super-attacks, and then another for your ranged attack. The game also includes a "follow" command, which allows you to keep pace with a fast enemy over long stages. The battle system is simple and will feel instantly familiar to fans of the Tenkaichi series, which is good if you want to skip the training mode but a little depressing if you were hoping for something a little bit newer from this title.
Technically, this game is fairly proficient on the PSP. Its not the best-looking game on the PSP, but the fighting environments and animations are well done and nicely detailed. However, the story-mode's overworld does look dated; the environment is stoic, and the non-moving enemies look bland. Sound is also a mixed bag in Tenkaichi Tag Team, as the voiceover (which features performances from the anime's original cast) sounds great, but the background music is bland and repetitious.
Your enjoyment of Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team will likely depend on two factors: how excited you are to play another Dragon Ball Z game and how high your tolerance for repetition is. The fact is that the Dragon Ball franchise (at least on the PSP) hasn't changed much in the past five years, and with the notable exception of DBZ: Another Road, this game feels almost exactly like every other DBZ game for the system. Though the Tag Team mechanic is an interesting twist on the formula, at the end of the day it doesn't have a meaningful impact on the gameplay, and it doesn't make Tag Team Tenkaichi a stand-out Dragon Ball Z game. The series really needs some invigoration if it is going to continue in any meaningful capacity.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC News Editor