Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3
Dev: Spike
Pub: Namco Bandai
Release: October 25, 2011
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Cartoon Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language

But if you've seen the DBZ story far too many times, Ultimate Tenkaichi gives you the chance to create your own. You basically get to create your own DBZ character, which then travels throughout the DBZ world, leveling up, learning new techniques, and saving the world. It actually feels more like an RPG than a fighting game, as you tweak your health, power, speed, and so on in a quest to become the strongest fighter out there.

Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot

Unfortunately, this mode has its flaws. Other than hairstyle and skin color, you don't have a whole lot of options when it comes to creating your characters. You earn your clothing as you play, and every face looks like the same generic Akira Toriyama-drawn face. In fact, you can't even make a female fighter. (I was dying to make my own version of Android 18.) It also takes forever to grind up your stats, and your special abilities are really just alternate versions of the special attacks other characters have. In the end, all this matters very little considering everyone pretty much fights the same, but it also reduces that personal touch of truly creating a character of your own. Once you successfully create a character, you can take him online and use him in vs. modes, but without a lot of grinding, your character will be less powerful than most of the stock characters.

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In the end, the entire game can be described as fun but flawed. While the anime cutscenes are awesome, the story is more often told through extremely slow moving walls of text. While the characters all have their original voice actors (or very similar voice actors in the case of some of the villains), the music is very generic. While the battles have lots of satisfying quick time events and cutscenes, the load times in the game are absolutely criminal. In fact, I'd say the load times are the biggest flaw in the game by far. I have literally booted up the game to play a single match, and, out of sheer boredom, turned it off before the match loaded.

So that's my final verdict on the game: it's a fun cinematic experience with several flaws, but if you are a DBZ fan, you might as well check it out.

By Angelo M. D'Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
If there is one area where this game excels, it's the graphics. The battles look better than even the original anime.
3.2
Control
In the end, it's pretty button mashy, but at least the controls respond fairly well.
3.1
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Generic music, but many of the original voice actors./div>
3.8
Play Value
The game is fun; it's just not a masterpiece. Know what you are getting into, and you'll have a blast.
3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Complete Character Creation & Customization - Appearance and attributes can be customized such as model body, face, hair, attire, fighting style and more! Additionally fighting style and special moves can be selected.
  • Enhanced Battle Mechanics - "Impact Break" system allows large scale environment destruction. Improved mechanics allow for faster long-to-short range fights. There is also an added health recovery system and a vast collection of more cinematic camera angles.
  • Deeper Brand Representation - Fight presentations more closely mirror the animation series. Battle against a new group of giant bosses as in the animation series. Experience 15 animated scenes with bosses up to 15x the size of playable characters! Also enjoy bonus level from movie and Dragon Ball GT series!

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi - SDCC 2011 - Debut Trailer - click to enlarge
    SDCC 2011 - Debut Trailer
    Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi - SDCC 2011 - Air Combat - click to enlarge
    SDCC 2011 - Air Combat

    Screenshots / Images
    Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Screenshot - click to enlarge

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