I have played my fair share of Dragon Ball Z games and I was very curious to try out a portable version of this well-populated franchise. Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team follows a long line of DBZ games that have been less than stellar, to say the least. What DBZ Tag Team brings to the table this time round is a high flying, fast paced, portable version of the Dragon Ball Z universe that throws multiple characters into the mix of their over-the-top planet shattering fisticuffs.
Dragon Balls to the Wall Action
If you have played a DBZ fighting game in the past, you know exactly what you are getting into. If you have not and this is your first experience in the DBZ universe then the fighting style may come off as exciting, but only for the first few battles. The main feature of the game that separates it from the rest of the pack is the fact that you can have not only one on one battles, but two on one and obviously paired fighting for a two on two bout. Having more characters within each battle is actually pretty neat as it adds to the depth of the game allowing you and your partner can pull off some pretty stellar tactics. Being able to combine your efforts allows for a multitude of crazy combined attacked that completely obliterate the other team. Of course, no DBZ game would be complete without this experience as this is the type of antics DBZ is known for (and people either love it or hate it) For a video game it works well, and the first few fights I was definitely getting into the action.
The tutorial suggests that there is quite a heavy learning curve in order to pull off most of the advanced move s, but it does a terrible job at demonstrating how to do so. Telling you how to perform the move is one thing, but the tutorial falls flat on showing how to actually do the move in game. Without a solid tutorial you are unable to witness the cool moves this game has to offer, unless you are on the receiving end of them since the computer player has no trouble performing in battle. This lack of guidance is paralyzing and it prevented me from learning the advanced techniques in the game, but don’t worry they actually don’t matter all that much.
Being able to throw a Super Saiyan Ultra Kame Ki Blast is quite the spectacle, but it is unnecessary as I was able to fight my way through most of the game using the basic attacks of punch, kick, and projectile while maneuvering my way around the environment with ease. With the success of the basic controls, it is nice to see that the game was very accessible and I have to give Namco Bandai credit for this because many fighting games do not boast this quality. The controls were surprisingly tight (for the PSP) and I could fly around my opponent to get a better position or dodge enemy attacks. Using the shoulder buttons to lock on to enemies and following this up with the analog stick, you can move closer or further away from your enemies depending on what style of fight you want to have.
Unfortunately the movement was really the only takeaway I had during the fights and the mechanics are worn-out and they have overstayed their welcome. It is time for the DBZ fighting games to take a look in the mirror and start to re-think their process if they want to compete in this next generation of fighting games. If you are a veteran to the series or someone totally new, I have to be honest and say that the fighting gets really stale, really fast.