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Gameboy Advance












T (Teen)



Q4 2004



- Levels are rich in color

- Multiple super moves for each character

- Official GBA fighting game for Dragon Ball Z fans



- Characters lack solid color; doesn’t match the detail of the background

- The easiest fighting game you will ever come across

- Superficial gameplay with repetitive moves

- Weak sound

- So easy, it’ll become frustrating!



Review: Super Smash Brothers Melee (Gamecube)

Review: Virtua Fighter 4 (Playstation 2)

Review: Dead or Alive 3 (XBox)



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Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu

Score: 5.9/10

The GameBoy Advance has proven good for a few things: RPGs, Side-scrollers, and my favorite, fighting games. Now, more fighting games are making their way onto the compact GBA from King of Fighters to Street Fighter 2. For all Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu does right, it also proves that a simple system of fighting can be flawed.


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Dragon Ball Z, for those of you who don’t know, is a popular Japanese anime, which has spawned a plethora of games, toys, and TV shows. The most recent video game from this series, other than this, is Dragon Ball Z: Budukai 2 (on the PS2). With the popularity of that game and the reputation of the series, it seemed like the right move to create a port of that fighting game onto the GBA.

DBZ: Taiketsu is as straightforward as fighting games get. From the start screen, you can choose from several different fighting modes (some of which must be unlocked).

The Tournament mode is the “story” mode of the game. From the story mode you can choose one of fifteen different characters, each with his/her own unique abilities, strengths, and speed, in combat versus other Dragon ball characters.




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But where the game starts rolling downhill are the graphics, which range from plain to shoddy. A lack of color and odd saturation make the characters look pseudo-3D (i.e. Tekken on GBA) while the background remains rich in color and detail. This contrast of a detailed background against a rigid foreground takes away the idea of the characters actually fighting in that area. Alleviating some of this is very-good animation. Kicking and punching moves have various styles and motions that make the fighting look pretty cool for a GBA game.



In gameplay terms, DBZ may be the worst ever fighting game.   Though the characters move fluidly and smoothly, the fighting is way too easy – the AI is stubbornly defensive and rarely attacks. If you begin attacking the opponent, he/she will block, but not respond with an attack of his/her own. Another flaw is the corner of each level. All you have to do in order to win a match is to force the opponent into the edge of the screen, where it locks, and throw the opponent over and over again. The defenseless AI does nothing to stop this, and makes for quick and easy victories.


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There isn’t much to be said about the sound, nothing special to be heard here. The kicks and punches all sound the same, and it seems every character has the same grunt, so it’s hard to tell if you’re grunting or if the computer is grunting. The music is vague and heard softly in battles because of the rapid punches and kicks that are thrown, but from what I could pick up, “beeps” and “boops” filled the air.

Like I said before there are different modes to be unlocked. By beating the game with each character you unlock music, bios, images, settings, and various fighting types. This is clearly something for the Dragon Ball aficionado that most will find does little to extend play time.

DBZ: Taiketsu is a poorly constructed fighting game that doesn’t have the same fun and addicting aura that Street Fighter and King of Fighters has. If you love the Dragon Ball series and are dying for a GBA game with authentic characters, moves, and presentation, than pick this game up only as a collectible.

- Eric Lahiji

(February 14, 2004)

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