Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z Review: Goku and chums pack a punch
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Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z packs quite the punch, offering an interesting take on the franchise lore with an extensive character line-up and a great co-op campaign.
- Interesting take on the main Dragon Ball Z lore
- The extensive character line-up
- The four-player co-op campaign
- The lack of offline co-op and versus
- Some minor camera issues
- Visuals aren't quite as polished as they could have been
Meanwhile, a robust difficulty is mainly due to poor teammate AI. Support characters won't help you as much as a normal person playing would, which can cause some frustration, though the fact you can play the entire campaign online helps with this issue. However, this still leaves those who don't have access to the Internet or just simply don't want to play online with some problems later on in the game. Battle for Z also has a command system, which uses the directional buttons to tell teammates what to use most, and though you can’t control their individual actions, you can suggest to either go full-out offense or defense. Frankly, apart from a few fights, I mainly just told them to stay defensive so that if I did get knocked out, there was a higher chance of being revived.
The graphics are very impressive, and they certainly don't seem to be pushing PS3 hardware--for being this late in the generation, it's a bit of shame. Nonetheless, they still have a good anime-style look to them with an impressive amount of detail, while the environments are incredibly varied, with a decent number places to explore. Meanwhile, the PS Vita version of the game holds up very well, with a decent framerate and all the features of the console version. Battle of Z also features a solid soundtrack, and though some of the show's original voice actors are absent, I didn't mind the new voices so much. Lip-syncing issues are a bigger distraction.
A note on cross-platform functions: Battle of Z has Cross-Save features so if you play on PS3, you can upload your save file and then download on your PS Vita, or vice versa. This would be nice if the game came with Cross-Buy, as experiencing these features comes at considerable cost otherwise.
The strange lack of offline multiplayer is also very confusing, as this is something that I've come to expect as a staple to the series, especially for this game's heavy co-op emphasis.
Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is very enjoyable and far from the series' worst entries to date. Plugging away allows one to move past surface-level flaws and find an inventive fighter that packs quite a gameplay punch.
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