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Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors
Score: 7.5 / 10
I like and even love a lot of anime. But
one I canít find a place in my heart for is Dragon Ball Z.A lot of anime
doesnít have the tightest storylines or make sense in many areas, but I
just donít get DBZ at all. That however, isnít the case for a large
number of fans that have hooked onto DBZ. The overwhelming popularity of
DBZ has led to many video games since the days of the earliest consoles
starring the DBZ cast of characters. The new addition to the DBZ Game
Boy Advance ranks is
the fighting game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic
DBZ fans will have a lot to like. First off, thereís a full roster of
DBZ players here: 13 in all, including Krillin, Piccolo, Vegeta, Goku,
and Frieza. Who these guys are, I personally donít know, but all DBZ
fanatics will undoubtedly be thrilled they make an appearance. The
fighting that occurs in DBZSW is
right out of the usual battling seen in a
typical episode of DBZ. These arenít quick little scraps, either. Most
fights last a few minutes each, with plenty of smashing combat.
Although thereís a lot of moves to learn to master DBZSW and the
controls are responsive as they need to be for a fighting game, most of
the fighting usually turns into a button-mashing fest, where you can
defeat your adversary simply by mashing buttons rapidly. That decreases
the challenge level that DBZSW presents to the average player, who can
mow down opponent after opponent with relative ease simply by having
fast thumb reflexes. Thatís a shame, because the game utilizes the small
availability of GBA buttons to its advantage perfectly for very reliable
fighting game movement and fluid fight action. Making the gameplay more
focused on using combos instead of simply button-mashing would have
given veteran gamers a tougher and more appreciated challenge.
There are plenty of modes to extend the playing life of DBZSW, even with
a low challenge difficulty. When you first start playing, there is both
a Tutorial and Training Mode to teach you the Dragon Ball ways of
fighting. A Free Battle mode gives you a chance to try out some of what
you learned in game action, although you wonít earn any bonuses while in
Free Battle mode.
The Story mode places you in a DBZ-style
adventure that takes place in different environments. The Z Battle mode
enters you into a DBZ tournament. If you win you climb up the tournament
ladder. Lose, and your out. And finally, the one mode that can give you
a real challenge is the Link Versus mode, where you can connect to
another fellow DBZSW ownerís GBA with the GBA Link Cable and throw down
the DBZ gauntlet for a little one-on-one DBZ mayhem.
Disorienting in-game physics throw you off in heated battles of dynamic
DBZ destruction. Because the characters can ďflyĒ a portion of the
fighting takes place zooming in and out of the air to the ground and
various points in-between. But since the GBA doesnít have a true 3D
graphical ability, DBZSW tries to fake the 3D and it doesnít entirely
work to give a true 3D sense to the gameplay. It is passable, but thatís
more a GBA issue than a developmental slip-up.
Graphics are surprising stellar for a GBA title. Itís usually only the
Nintendo-developed titles that turn out this nice-looking on the GBA.
But all the DBZ characters are extremely well drawn and animated. They
are close to being dead-on perfect to their anime counterparts, much
more than you would expect them to be. Sound effects donít carry the
same impression, sounding too midi-created to really be anything but
I may have enjoyed Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors a bit more if I
had some sort of vested attachment to the DBZ characters and license.
Still, itís easy to recognize that this is still a good fighting game,
albeit a somewhat easy one to get through, that does justice to the DBZ
legacy that not every DBZ game is able to do. It looks good, plays
solid, and offers the chance for multiplayer fighting. DBZ fans will get
their portable kicks (and punches) with DBZSW.