Since the release of the first Dragon Ball Z Budokai game, Atari has found the franchise to be its saving grace, as the game's continue to perform exceptionally well with every release. Through collaborative efforts with Bandai, Atari has continued to release one DBZ game after another. And now that we're in an all new generation, it's time to release one in high-def. We've got our first sampling of the game, and we think DBZ fans should find the game rather enjoyable, if a bit simplistic.
Admittedly, it's been quite a long time since I've played a DBZ game, so I'll refrain from making any comparisons to past games. The control scheme of Burst Limit is pretty simple, you have two attack buttons, a Rush Attack and Smash Attack which you'll use to perform combos with. The Ki Blast is what you'll use to let-off fireballs and perform other special attacks. And, of course, you'll be able to guard attacks that come your way. When you move to the shoulder buttons, there you'll have access to the Blow-Away Attack, Transform, Aura Spark, and Pursuit actions.
Playing Burst Limit is pretty straightforward, but even though it's simplistic, you're still able to dish out some pretty solid combos on your opponents. Like all fighters these days, you can pop open a command list by pausing the game and there you'll see what moves and combos can be executed. Like I said earlier on, you'll primarily use the two attack buttons to dish out combos, but you'll also be able to mix up the mayhem with special moves, teleports, grapples, and other actions to mimic the fury of the anime.
If you let the game run on its own and watch the A.I. fight, it demonstrates that the game can do a pretty convincing job of mimicking the cartoon. It also encourages you to try and learn these moves in order to get more creative with your technique. While I wouldn't brand Burst Limit as a pick-up-and-play kind of game, the learning curve is relatively easy to overcome. Your first round may feel clunky, until you get used to the controls, learn some of the more basic combos and moves, and only then will things begin to click. The story presentation is well done, so trekking through the story mode should be pretty enjoyable if only to watch the tale unfold through the in-game cutscenes. Even during fights the game will trigger cut-scenes, again, to make the fights feel more like the anime. Completing fights also yields a ranking that spans a number of letter grades from D to Z (Z being the best, S being the second best, followed by A, B, C, and D).
Visually, there's no doubt about it that this is the best looking DBZ game we've seen to date. It's also the closest we've ever been to the cartoon from a purely aesthetic point. Even though the characters are three-dimensional, they still retain the anime's signature look down to a tee. Fighters are brimming with all the details that their anime counterparts boast, so DBZ fanatics can rest at ease. Environments are large and very expansive, allowing you to fight on an enormous terrain on either the ground, or in the skies.
The one crippling aspect to Burst Limit may be its online gameplay. Developer DIMPS hasn't been able to properly familiarize itself with next-gen hardware just yet, so online matches are limited to one-vs-one affairs, and that's it. Look for Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit to hit June 10th. Fans of the series may want to take a look at this one.