Dragonball Z is a much loved franchise amongst the younger folk and fans of anime (Japanese cartoons).
This game is based exactly on the cartoon by the same name and essentially if you have seen the cartoon then you know what to expect. There are really no new surprises for you, which in and of itself is not really a problem.
Essentially, the hero of the story is called Goku and his son Gohan has been kidnapped. The title follows the exploits of Goku as he makes his way from Master Roshi's island in search of his boy.
The game is a fairly linear affair that attempts to mix elements of action and RPG (role playing game), being that you can fully control what Goku does and he gains experience points based upon your actions. The combat sequences are nicely done with effective graphics, however they don't fully realise the insane over the top action present in every Dragonball Z cartoon.
Goku does move fairly sluggishly with no diagonal movement available to him, the poor guy, so it's a case of moving right, moving up etc.
Quests are given throughout the game, ranging from the simplistic, "get me my magazines", through to the more sophisticated, "find a person" type puzzles. These type of tasks are easy to carry out and the objectives are normally carried out within the general area you are in.
I noticed that during combat the game definitely encourages you to get up close and personal as it is impossible to easily launch a ranged attack.
Goku can fly for periods which does speed up his otherwise slow progress. Progress is made through the game, however and the pacing could be sped up just a little bit for a more engrossing play.
If you are going to undertake this game, I would suggest that you take the time to watch a few of the cartoons as there is no real back story to any character or event and you will be playing it by ear from the start.
There are two save locations on the cartridge which make for easy playing. A fault however is when you load the game, you are back to full health and all your enemies are alive again.
Dragonball Z is a fun game which should keep player occupied for at least 10 hours plus, not including failed missions. The story is entertaining and a nice addition to the Dragonball Z saga.
- Tory Favro