This is one of those games, along with any Dragonball Z game, that has prejudice against it. Many of its predecessors were button-mashing, overpowered disasters that appealed only to die-hard fans. While I, myself, am indeed a fan of the series, I believe that Dragonball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is revamped and innovative game that is a first of its kind for Dragonball Z.
The regular story mode follows the story of Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT from Raditz to Omega Shenron. Those unfamiliar to the Dragonball series… I don’t know where you’ve been but it would take me far too long to explain its story. However, there is an alternate story mode that is a first for Dragonball Z games. This game features a character creation mode called “Hero mode”.
In hero mode, you have to create your own Saiyan warrior and save Earth in an alternate universe. There is very little customization to start off with, but more is unlocked as you play. The planet has been thrown into chaos due to a mysterious enemy’s wish with the dragon balls. Your character is on a mission to collect the dragon balls and set things straight. Over the course of the campaign, you fight battles to improve your character’s statistics and can train under well-known characters, such as Piccolo, Goku, Gohan, etc., to gain new abilities, such as Kamehameha, Spirit bomb, etc.
The character creation is not the only thing innovative about this game. The actual combat is more cinematic than I have experienced in other games. Button-mashing still does play a role in the game, but most of the combat is about picking the right attack and when to use your specials. Counters and boss battles are the only times that button-mashing is used. However, countering is a big part of combat so button-mashing is still in the game a significant amount.
Combat is also broken up into ranged and grapple. If you are close, you will attack with melee moves, but if you move too far, there will be an interactive cut scene after which you can only attack with “Ki” attacks. Charging also serves no other purpose than defense. I found that charging really only hurts you in this game because if you charge, you leave yourself open to a combo much to much.
Big boss battles are a new and fun addition to the Tenkaichi series. It is partially combat and partially interactive cut scenes with giant enemies. Most of them are story significant enemies such as “Great Ape Vegita” and Baby. I found most of the fights to be on the easier side but there was a few annoying ones.
Other than hero mode, the other modes are basically the same. There is still versus mode, tournament mode and a story mode. The character was okay, not great. Also there is only one Super Saiyan 4 character, that character being SS4 Gogeta. That disappointed me, but there isn’t a big gap in characters abilities.
Overall Dragonball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is a great Dragonball Z game. Dragonball Z fans should definitely give this game a try. If you ProvenGamer fans are not also fans of Dragonball Z, then this may not be the game for you.