My first exposure to the world of Dragon Ball Z was in a Jr. High School gym. I remember a friend was looking at a small stack of cards that were filled with Japanese writing and spiky haired anime characters on them. I was just getting into the anime scene hardcore at this time so I was immediately taken by the cards. This was just a couple of years before Dragon Ball Z would hit the west with a power just as great of a power as a Kamehameha attack.
Through high school and college, my love for anime and DBZ grew at an alarming rate; I was joining anime clubs and driving almost an hour away just so I could buy the newest issue of Newtype magazine, the magazine was completely in Japanese and cost about 15 dollars. I was buying almost every anime DVD released and was also desperately keeping up with the increasing volumes of Dragon Ball Z. However, not all was good in the land of Goku and Piccolo, when the first DBZ video game (Dragon Ball GT Final Bout) was released in the states; it was a moment that turns my stomach when I look back on it.
You see, Dragon Ball Z has had a long history of video games with various levels of quality or in most cases the lack thereof. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love the world of Dragon Ball Z, despite its insane plot and long windedness. Unfortunately, the video games always fell dramatically short of what could have been a great gaming series. Now I present to you, the newest addition to the long line of Dragon Ball video games, Dragon Ball Raging Blast.
The premise for Dragon Ball Raging Blast is that you get to play through the entire storyline arc of Dragon Ball Z so sadly no DB and gladly no GT storylines. Each saga is broken down into chapters which depicted each particular fight of the said saga. In addition to the DBZ saga we also get chapters of gameplay based on the Legendary Super Saiyan Broly Saga lifted right from the movies. Also, an added bonus of what-if stories, by which are very cool for Dragon Ball fans. Each of the major sagas are instantly accessible from the get go, so if you wanted to jump right into the Majin-Buu Saga then you can. All of the story elements are fine and dandy, however the presentation for the giving story line is done very poorly, due to the fact that we are given a paragraph of text as the story. However, after the text, we are giving a prelude speaking scene before the fight that sets the tone very well.
The gameplay is one-on-one or team-on-one third person fighting. You progress through the saga until the whole story is completed. I must say, the fighting is both awesome and a pain in the ass at the same time. You see, Dragon Ball uses every single button on the controller and also employees the right analog stick as another set of buttons. If you think that this is just convoluted then just hang on to your butts, you also must press multiple buttons at the same time to do even more fighting mechanics. Another thing that completely sucks about the fighting system is the completely absurd level of perfect timing that is required of you to block grabs and power beam cannons. This game runs at 30 frames per second and you problem have a 2-4 frame window in order to hit the buttons perfectly, this means that the timing is roughly three times as tough as Street Fighter 4.
It may look like that I am bashing the game, but I do feel that for the most part that this is a fun game. I do like the level of depth that this game executes and it plays unlike any other non-Dragon Ball fighting game. The game feels like a very fast paced Armored Core game, and most importantly, this game makes you feel like you are apart of the Dragon Ball universe.
The graphics and art style in Dragon Ball RB are a sight to behold. You could almost swear that you were watching one of the latter Dragon Ball movies in HD the graphics and colors just pop out of the screen. The game also shows off a lot of special effects raging from the standard dashing effects to the over-the-top super movies, which will cause your eyes to bleed. The environments are also very nice, due to their incredible vastness and their ability to be destroyed; the stages are an execution of epic to the ninth power.
Speaking of epic, Dragon Ball RB also has multi-player by which you fight other players in spectacular glory. The multi-player ran very smooth for me and was a very competent multi-player experience. However, you really should know the crowd that plays Dragon Ball RB, with names like Goku69 and SuperSaiyanJimbo, you should know what you are getting into.
Dragon Ball RB also comes with a lot of features and extras. Some of the extras that come with DBRB include training mode, unlock shops, items, secret stages, and host of over 70 characters. You can even customize your super attacks and use items in order to create your very own version of any character. As an added bonus, you could even unlock more butt-rock songs and listen to the voices in the game.
Simply put Dragon Ball Raging Blast is a game for fans of the long running anime series. Its does its job not perfectly, but well. The game does make you feel like super saiyan at times, and then turns around and makes you feel like a green blooded Namek instead.