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dragon ball

Review: Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden

Nov 08 // Anthony Redgrave
Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden (3DS [Reviewed])Developer: Arc System WorksPublisher: Bandai Namco GamesReleased: June 11, 2015 (JP) / October 10, 2015 (US) / October 16, 2015 (EU)MSRP: $29.99 Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden is a simple fighter that has a few rough edges that, unfortunately, tarnish an otherwise solid game. The title has a limited amount of modes that are initially locked away until playing through the main story mode titled Z Story. After that, you are introduced to What If scenario's which is the same story mode you had just played but with different characters and the adventure mode where most of the unlocking takes place. You can blast through each campaign in about 15 minutes and even shorter if you skip the dialogue. It takes you through the major fights in the series, from the initial conception of the Z Fighters against Raditz up to Goku and Vegeta's final stand against Kid Buu in the Buu saga. It is a heavily cut down and abridged retelling with players unfamiliar with the show's lore and storyline being kept in the dark about the various character dynamics and intricacies the show has. The what if scenario's are misleading as it's just a retread of the same story but through the eyes of another character. Even as Vegeta defeating Goku in the Vegeta Saga will still  result in Vegeta retreating and reuniting with the Z fighters on Namek.  The main mode is Adventure mode as it is here you will be spending the most time unlocking assists to use in the other modes. The story provided is very silly as it involves all the villains being resurrected thanks to the power of the black star Dragon Balls and it's up the Z fighters to set things straight. Both adventure mode and Z story mode follow a dialogue, fight, dialogue progression in each stage is the player can keep count of what is happening and the consequences of each fight. However, the dialogue scenes often take longer than the actual fighting sessions causing a large break in gameplay flow between each fight. I found myself skipping the dialogue just to get to the next fight. This game could have really benefitted from a streamlined arcade mode. Rounding off there is a standard vs. mode against computers or local and a Quest mode involving guild cards. At the point the review I have not been able to use the Quest mode as I did not Street Pass with anyone with the game. It's disappointing to see Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden omit standard fighting game modes like a training mode, tutorial, and online play as the gameplay is fast, frantic, and fun.  The game plays similar to Naruto's Ultimate Ninja series. Every character has the same control scheme and button combination to pull off their unique special moves. There is no Street Fighter-esque quarter circle backs or charge moves. Instead, it's repeated button presses and at most two button combinations. My only gripe with this control scheme is that assist characters and tag ins/outs are confined to pressing the bottom screen on the DS which is very difficult in the heat of battle. The story mode will not challenge you in the slightest as you will breeze through Goku's legacy in 15 minutes. The Adventure mode is slightly more challenging, testing you to beat each match under certain conditions for assist unlocks. I found it difficult to obtain an S rank on any of the missions due to my limited grasp on the more advanced tactics and move sets. This is where a training mode would've come in handy so players can practice their combos and come to grips with the finer nuances of the characters.  Easily the best part of Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden is the presentation. Arc System Works have gone for sprites instead of 3D polygons contrary to the 3D moniker of the 3DS and they made the right choice. While the 3D does look fairly basic putting fighters in the immediate foreground and adding some depth to the background, it's the most impressive when the beam struggles are being fired off. The 3D adds that extra oomph to the scene making the glow of the ki blasts more epic and visually pleasing. This series provides a lot of variety of Dragon Ball characters going as far back as Goku's original aggressors in the Red Army to his modern day antagonists seen in the movies including Golden Frieza and Beerus. Unfortunately, not all of them are playable. They are assists that can be summoned to help out during a battle a la Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. The actual roster is actually quite small for a Dragon Ball Z title clocking in around 18 (including the 4 forms of Goku you can play as). There are many many assists you can unlock completely dwarfing the playable roster. Unskilled players do have the option of looking up cheat codes if the Adventure Mode prove to be too difficult to obtain S ranks in each mission.  Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden is one more the better portable Dragon Ball Z fighters on the market. It's gameplay is great and finding a friend to play local wireless with is a blast. But there is very little growth that comes with this game. Without an in-game tutorial, the download code I was given didn't explain the fancier concepts like executing a reply beam struggle. A lack of a training mode and easy AI opponents means the player cannot find new and better combos to use resorting to either the same combo or button mashing to get the job done. I wanted more to do with this game since I liked the gameplay, but the game got repetitive fairly quickly. Fans of the series may want to pick this up when it's discounted or wait for a sequel.  One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 (PS4 [Reviewed], PS3, PS Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Bandai Namco GamesReleased: March 26, 2015 (JP) / August 25, 2015 (US) / August 28, 2015 (EU)MSRP: $59.99
Dragon Ball Z photo
Kamahamahas in my pocket
I think every 90's kid remembers Dragon Ball Z as their first foray into anime and was eagerly anticipating a decent Dragon Ball Z game. We waited, and waited and then sometime during the noughties there was an explosion of y...

J-Stars Victory photo
J-Stars Victory

J-Stars Victory Vs+ releases early for EU and Australia

The Testosterone Game
Jun 27
// Anthony Redgrave
Weekly Shonen Jump is one of the biggest manga umbrellas in the industry, collecting some of the biggest franchises like; Dragon Ball, One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, and Gintama. Their ventures from the black and white weeklies ...
Dragon Ball photo
Dragon Ball

Praise Shenron! Dragon Ball returns to TV in the Summer

Is this a good thing?
Apr 28
// Hiroko Yamamura
I should have seen it coming. After the huge success of the last two Dragon Ball Z films, and the waves of merchandise that was tied in, I guess the thought of a new Dragon Ball TV series shouldn't come as a surprise. The Aki...
Dragon Ball photo
Dragon Ball

Live in Los Angeles? Q Pop is holding a Dragon Ball/Toriyama Tribute Art Show

Does this mean that there'll be over 9,000 art pieces?
Nov 10
// Salvador GRodiles
With the Dragon Ball series' 30th anniversary around the corner, the people at Q Pop are preparing for an art gallery that's dedicate to Toriyama's series on Nov. 15 in Los Angeles. Not only that, people can look forward to v...

Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods has 20 extra minutes and a new trailer

I felt like a kid again
Sep 12
// Hiroko Yamamura
Our friends over at FUNimation have shared the newest trailer for the DVD/Blu-Ray release of one of last year's surprise pleasures, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. I went into seeing this movie with very low expectations, and...
Dr Slump photo
Dr Slump

Arale and the rest of the Dr Slump crew want you to buy a Suzuki

Throwback sales tactics
Sep 12
// Hiroko Yamamura
One thing that I feel like manga and anime legend Akira Toriyama never really gets enough credit for are his mechanical designs. Sure, he's made some amazing characters in the Dragon Ball, Chrono Trigger, and Dragon Quest un...
Corgi power photo
Corgi power

This corgi's costume is over 9,000

Oh my dog
Aug 29
// Dale North
Cosplay? Corgsplay? With their long shape, oversized head, and ridiculous features, Welsh Corgis make the best costume dogs. And as members of the herding dog group, they're a perfect fit as scouter users. I almost couldn't b...
Dragon Ball photo
Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball Z's Androids names revealed

These names rock. Or they're gems, I can't tell
May 06
// Pedro Cortes
Did you ever feel like you didn't know enough about the young, hip Androids 17 & 18 from Dragon Ball Z? Well, thanks to Akira Toriyama answering questions in a Q&A column, we finally know the names of our favorite and...
It's Over 9000 in Spanish photo
It's Over 9000 in Spanish

Kaio-ken! It's Over 9000 powers up into a Spanish release

It's Over 9,000! en Espaol!
Jul 22
// Salvador GRodiles
So I was just thinking about my brief time with the Spanish dub of Dragon Ball Z, and all of the sudden, Derek Padula's latest book known as It's Over 9,000! When Worldviews Collides has been published in Spanish! Para las pe...
Dragonball Z BATTLE OF Z photo
Dragonball Z BATTLE OF Z

Dragonball Z BATTLE OF Z coming to lots of consoles

All the Z's. All of them.
Jun 19
// Elliot Gay
Dragon Ball Z BATTLE OF Z is an awful name. Far be it from me to judge Bandai Namco's naming sense though.  What is BATTLE OF Z you ask? It's the latest Dragon Ball Z game from the folks over at Bandai Namco, and it's sl...
La Cumbia de Goku  photo
La Cumbia de Goku

La Cumbia de Goku transforms the Spirit Bomb into a dance

Caada de la Cumbia! Oaxaca, Mexico!
Apr 23
// Salvador GRodiles
Well, I never thought that I would live to see the day that we get a Cumbia song about Dragon Ball Z. Jumping into the Fusion Dance, two Mexican music groups known as Cañada de la Cumbia and Los Weyes Que To...

Import Review: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

Apr 03 // Elliot Gay
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (Theatrical release)Studio: Toei AnimationRelease Date: March 30, 2013 (Japan) Taking place between the end of the Buu saga (chapter 517) and the final chapter (518) of the original manga, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods tells the story of the ruthless God of Destruction, Bills. Waking from his 39 year slumber, Bills is startled to discover that the diabolical Freeza has been defeated by a mere Saiyan. Before settling into his long rest, he had seen a vision that one day a Super Saiyan God would stand before him in battle. Excited by the prospect of an all-out brawl, Bills sets off for Earth in search of his ultimate rival. Back at Capsule Corp., Bulma is holding a massive birthday party for herself. All of the Z warriors are present save for Goku, who's off training with King Kai. The celebration takes a turn for the worst when Bills and his assistant Wiss arrive in search of the Super Saiyan God. With the Earth's fate in the hands of a fickle God, Vegeta is forced to step in and tend to Bills every request. The clock is counting down, but will Goku be enough to stand against the most powerful being in the universe? To say that Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is light on story would be an understatement. Bills wakes up, goes to a party, eats some food, and then engages in a final battle. The events of the film wrap up in a single day, and because we as viewers know how this story ends, there's absolutely no threat of losing a single character. Battle of Gods lacks any kind of dramatic tension, and doesn't really ever try to create any at all. This new film also makes no effort to try and reintroduce the cast, assuming that at this point everybody and their mother knows who these men, women, and children are. Even the so-called Super Saiyan God is a disappointment, coming off as pointless and lazily designed. The pacing is quite terrible, with long stretches of time devoted to side characters running around trying to steal the Dragon Balls. Despite being a brisk 90 minutes long, Battle of Gods could have easily been trimmed down into a 60 or 70 minute feature. Yet when I walked out of the theater, I was still smiling like an idiot. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods doesn't tell a good story, but it seems like director Masahiro Hosoda never set out to do that in the first place. Battle of Gods is a celebration of Dragon Ball's long history. Every major character makes an appearance and gets at least one chance to take the spotlight. Even Emperor Pilaf and his two cronies are given a sizable chunk of screen time, reminding viewers of DBZ's humble beginnings. Rather than tell a dark and dramatic story, Toei Animation opted to make a light hearted, joke-filled film. The characters bounce off one another well, making references to prior events and acknowledging different moments in the franchise's history.  If you've ever considered yourself a Dragon Ball Z fan, you'll find yourself laughing much more than you probably ever expected you would. The characters are as you remembered them, though Son Goku actually gets fairly little screen time or interaction with the rest of the cast. He spends most of the film training or out of commission, which leaves the burden of being the main protagonist on Vegeta's shoulders for 75% of the movie's runtime. Fortunately, the antihero handles the pressure admirably, and comes out as the most memorable part of Battle of Gods. His attempts to calm Bills' rage are some of the funniest scenes in the film. Sadly, Bills is something of a mixed bag. Despite being billed (no pun intended) as the God of Destruction, he's hardly the evil antagonist DBZ fans are used to. Even when he threatens to destroy the Earth, Bills never comes off as threatening because he spends most of Battle of Gods' runtime eating food and partying with the Z warriors. His overall design leaves much to be desired as well; a skinny purple rabbit isn't exactly how I had envisioned a world destroying God. Sadly,  Battle of Gods is not a looker. Often darting between mediocre and terrible, rarely does the animation quality ever seem remotely close to being film level. There are some flashes of brilliance; watching Goku and Bills engage in a high speed chase through the clouds is exhilarating. Much to my chagrin, these moments are few and far between, replaced with inconsistently drawn characters, unimpressive action sequences, and awkward CG that at times resembles flash animation. One five second scene was so poorly drawn and animated that my friend and I burst out laughing in the theater because it was so out of place. Previous Dragon Ball Z films have done action significantly better than this. The other massive disappointment comes from the soundtrack, composed by Norihito Sumitomo (Asura, Shikabane Hime: Kuro). Battle of Gods' score is bland and generic, with the only recognizable tunes being rearrangements of the original Cha-la Head Cha-la. I find it bewildering that Toei didn't bring back Shunsuke Kikuchi (DBZ), especially considering how iconic his music in the original series was. The film is a celebration of the franchise in a lot of ways, but Toei really missed a golden opportunity here. The new version of Cha-la Head Cha-la by Flow isn't awful, but it can't even begin to compare to the original theme. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is not a good film. I can't in good conscience recommend it to someone who has never enjoyed DBZ. The writing is a mess, the pacing is awful, the animation is subpar, and the soundtrack is a complete disappointment. Even amongst the DBZ films, it doesn't rank very highly. That being said, if you've ever enjoyed the series, Battle of Gods will make you smile and laugh. You'll remember a time when watching a couple of spiky haired guys scream at each other as a planet explodes was the best kind of entertainment out there.  Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is a 90 minute stroll down memory lane that never aspires to be anything more than that. A good friend of mine summed up the experience quite well: "it sucked, but it was awesome." I suppose after a seventeen year hiatus, that's enough for me. 5.0 – Average. This one’s just “okay”. It has many flaws, and just couldn’t follow through on its intentions or had ones that were simply too narrow to warrant consideration. Some will still enjoy it, but should temper their expectations, or perhaps just opt to pass. Watch more trailers and read more reviews before you decide.
DBZ Battle of Gods Review photo
A purple rabbit versus a spiky haired macho man!
I spent a good portion of my childhood devouring anything with the Dragon Ball Z brand on it. School would end, and I'd rush home to catch the latest episode of the Cell Saga on Cartoon Network's Toonami block. Everyday ...

Jump-shot Dragon Ball photo
Jump-shot Dragon Ball

This fun trend in photography is jump-shot Dragon Ball

2D power in 3D real life
Mar 29
// Josh Tolentino
It's great the hilarious and awesome things you can do just by getting your timing right. The cool results this time come straight from schoolgirls all over Glorious Nippon getting into the habit of "fake Dragon Ball" photogr...
DBZ Food photo
DBZ Food

Goku's hair has never looked this delicious before

All of this is making quite hungry
Mar 13
// Hiroko Yamamura
It looks like KFC isn't the only place doing interesting promotional products for the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods movies. Instead of just making some silly toy, Japanese convenience store chain, Mini-...
DBZ KFC photo

Son Goku's secret is eating KFC

Fried chicken power!
Mar 01
// Hiroko Yamamura
Ever wonder why Son Goku's power level is so high? It's because he gets down on some fried chicken! A new commercial is airing in Japan, advertising the new KFC, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods promotion. Even though getti...

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods gets a hype filled trailer

Feb 27
// Elliot Gay
As hype for the new Dragon Ball Z film, Battle of Gods, continues to build, Toei has released a brand new trailer with quite a bit of new footage. This time we get to take a look at the weird rabbit-like villain of the film,...
Daily Dose photo
Daily Dose

A Daily Dose of Music: FLOW

Get ready to jump!
Feb 26
// Hiroko Yamamura
Ready to add some energy to your Tuesday? We have that and then some, in the form of the hot new single from Japan's premiere rockers, FLOW. Their new single, Hero ~Kibou no Uta is chock full of their expected funk...

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods gets a new TV spot

Feb 04
// Elliot Gay
Eighteen years after the original manga ended its serialization, Dragon Ball Z is still one of the most popular media franchises in all of Japan. It's not rare to see dozens of kids at school carrying some form of Dragon Bal...

Toriyama's Kintoki manga arrives next week

Looks cute!
Jan 22
// Hiroko Yamamura
If you check out the new issue of the digital Weekly Shonen Jump, you'll see that Viz will be bringing the one-shot manga Kintoki. The short story is created by non other than Dragon Ball's Akira Toriyama, also responsible fo...

KFC serves up some tasty Gohan

At least there's not figures to make me jealous
Jan 22
// Hiroko Yamamura
Man, KFC in Japan is so much cooler than the one by my house. When I've gone to pick up an order they've even once told me they are out of chicken. How does a fried chicken joint run out of fried chicken? In Japan they don't ...

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods trailer is here

No more Fusion please!
Dec 25
// Hiroko Yamamura
It's been a while, but it looks like Son-Goku and his pals haven't missed a step. The Toriyama team returns on March 30th of next year with the new feature length film, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. The flick picks up 10 ye...

Jumping to HD with Project Versus J

My pun is bad and I feel bad.
Dec 05
// Chris Walden
With plenty of Shonen Jump characters earning their own HD games this generation, it seemed a little saddening that the 'Stars' series found on the Nintendo DS never found its way onto home consoles. Not that the awesome pixe...

Naruto Ninja Storm 3 features Dragon Ball Z outfit, more

And also a choice between Despair and The Will of Fire
Nov 06
// Josh Tolentino
Hey, you know what's big in Europe? Naruto, apparently, if the flood of news for Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is any indication. I mean, sure, Naruto's big pretty much anywhere it is, but lately it's been events and tr...

Remember, London MCM Expo begins on the 26th

I think I'll be original and go as myself.
Oct 13
// Chris Walden
Get that cosplay ready, as there are only two weeks between now and the next London MCM Expo. As per usual there will be plenty to get up to, but let's take a look at the video games and guests that'll be turning up! Namco Ba...

Japanator Recommends: It's Over 9000!

Sep 25 // Brittany Vincent
It's Over 9000! When Worldviews Collide Author: Derek PadulaRelease date: August 2012MSRP: $2.99 (Amazon) I'm not a child anymore, and I don't need to study and interpret Vegeta's actions on my own anymore, nor reasons why he and I should have wed and reproduced instead of Bulma. But that's another article, and I'm not here to digress into a potentially scarring anecdote. I'm here to talk about It's Over 9000! When Worldviews Collide, an intriguing book from the mind of one Derek Padula, released via e-book. He's responsible for the equally exhaustive The Dao of Dragon Ball, a similarly great read for rabid fans. Having pored over its pages prior to the release of his current work, I knew I'd be in for quite an indulgent ride, at least as far as one of my favorite characters was concerned. And I'm pleased to say I was right. It's a thoroughly engaging piece of literature that examines the origins of the "It's Over 9000!" meme, its relevance to society, and the rivalry between none other than Son Goku and the Prince of Saiyans himself, Vegeta. Be still, my heart. Regrettably, It's Over 9000 is devoid of images of the good Prince (possibly, I felt, due to copyright concerns) but it's a well-written and well-informed exploration of some of Dragon Ball Z's key moments (Vegeta's self-sacrifice, the way Goku ended up influencing the Prince after their initial meeting) that could only come from someone as passionately in love with the shounen epic as many of us are. Derek Padula has done a stunning service to those looking to turn a scholarly eye to the series to dissect comparisons between the two heroes, their similarities, and key turning points during which we could immediately discern the characters had grown both mentally and physically -- though we all know physically is usually the case when it comes to this screamfest, don't we? There are some exceedingly relevant points made within the work that highlight resounding suggestions I'd never stopped to think about, such as the way the way appearances are taken to mean that's all one is capable of -- remember how surprised Vegeta was to learn of the power level via Scouter? He certainly wasn't thinking he'd see anything as high as that simply by looking at his opponent, and Padula makes a great argument here comparing the Scouters to human nature to judge solely on appearance. It's a fantastic talking point -- I wish I'd thought of it. Aside from the cross-examination between the cultivation of both iconic warriors and the views on the whole "9000" meme, there's also discussion regarding the inner workings of the Saiyans after their exposure to human life and values, and what makes each respective warrior tick. Fascinating stuff -- even if you'd consider anything other than Vegeta x Mary Sue smut great writing. All jokes aside, Derek has compiled a great primer piece for series enthusiasts and newcomers to the series. He's done his research and it certainly shines through that he's just as emotionally invested in this as the everyday fans -- he's a fan himself, and if you're looking for a peek into the more intellectual side of Akira Toriyama's masterwork (at least, that's how I see it) you'd do well to check out It's Over 9000. From one Vegeta fangirl to the hundreds of others out there, you'll find something to love here. 8.0 – Great. Well-written, with a loving attention to detail. Among the best of its genre.
A classic rivalry, explored.
For the record, as many of you may well be aware, I'm a bit of a Vegeta fangirl. We're talking massive amounts of fanfiction, being banned from the school library back in 6th grade for printing 100 pages of Vegeta pictures, a...


Sweeping landscapes, Goku tease new Dragon Ball Z movie

Aug 13
// Josh Tolentino
A new Dragon Ball Z film is on the way, but unfortunately for folks who want more concrete information, this landscape crawl and Goku smirking is all you're going to get...for now. After all, it's far too early to truly...

Rejoice, a new Dragon Ball movie is on the horizon

Jul 10
// Josh Tolentino
Because another movie about Dragon Ball is exactly what the world needs, right? Actually, I might not be entirely sarcastic there. Shonen fight properties have gotten complacent. We need some dudes above the nine-thousand mar...

Friday Night Fights: Goku vs. Luffy

Jun 08
// Josh Totman
*Ding Ding Ding* IT'S OVER!! Flying around and wearing him out, Eva Unit 01 couldn't run away. Zeta Gundam is the winner! (23 > 15) For tonight's match up we have a battle for the ages. In one corner we have Goku. The alwa...

Reminder: London MCM Expo starts on the 25th

May 19
// Chris Walden
It's almost that time again, as us folk in the UK are now less than a week away from the next London MCM Expo. It seems like it'll be another good turn out, as many different guests and exhibitors have announced their partici...

Despair, the next Dragon Ball Budokai game'll be the last

May 18
// Josh Tolentino
In the same way that the average Dragon Ball Z fight could seemingly go on forever, one might be forgiven for thinking that the same could be true of games based on Dragon Ball Z as well. It's been nearly a decade since the l...

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