Dragon Ball Z Tenkaichi Tag Team Review


Dragon Ball Z Tenkaichi Tag Team retains all the fast paced and explosive action from previous Tenkaichi titles all in one portable package.

The bulk of the game is in Dragon Walker. In this mode you will go through the entire Dragon Ball Z story from the arrival of Gokuís brother Raditz to the defeat of Majin Buu. You will spend plenty of time in the over-world map guiding your fighter to certain destinations and encountering various foes. Despite itís similarities to Shin Budokai Another Worldís over-world map, Tenkaichi Tag Team manages to make it bearable enough and even fun. Who doesnít like to see their favorite Dragon Ball Z characters brought down to size with huge bobble heads? A frequent problem with Another Road was repetition. You would have to battle the same enemy numerous times consecutively, even if he isnít your primary target. This can grow tiresome even to the most die-hard Dragon Ball Z fan. This was done away with in Tenkaichi Tag. Enemies are spaced out much further and are easier to avoid. Itís really rather simple to make your way straight to your primary target without worrying about bumping into a random enemy and wasting time on a needless fight. The developers decided to be nice this time and give you a chance to avoid a random battle even if an enemy is right on your tail. For example, if you are using Goku, you can press the square button to use Solar Flare to temporarily blind any nearby enemies. You can then make your escape. Though youíre limited to two bursts until your gauge refills.

Dragon Walker is a decent re-telling of the classic Dragon Ball Z tale for the die-hard fan who already knows the story, but less than stellar for anyone who may not be familiar with Dragon Ball.

In Tenkaichi Tag Teamís Free Battle mode you can choose to relive classic fights from the series or create your own.Want Future Trunks to duke it out with his kid self from the Buu arc? You can do that and pretty much any other fight you can imagine. The action is identical to that of previous installments in the Tenkaichi series (thatís right, all the biggest and baddest moves from Tenkaichi 3 are still here) with some control revisions due to the PSPís lack of secondary shoulder buttons and dual analog nubs. Itís mostly the same so Tenkaichi veterans shouldnít take too long to become accustomed to the new control configurations. New-comers will find the controls comfortable and easy to learn. You can also make use of the training mode to get the hang of the gameís unusual third person perspective and to develop your skills for use against the CPU or friends in the Multiplayer mode.

Now to what the game is all about, two on two matches. Playing two on two on the hardest difficulty can prove to be a frantic and fast paced experience. It is the gameís primary gimmick and it delivers it well. The fights are fun although can be problematic at times. Sometimes when youíre concentrating on one thing, your enemyís ally will blast you from out of nowhere, but that can be forgiven since it isnít that much of a detriment to the overall two-on-two experience. Itís always fun to pair unlikely allies together and see what snide comments they make prior to a matchís commencement.

Sound: DBZ Tenkaichi Tag Team is full of awesome sound effects that give that extra oomph to your matches. The background music is mostly generic with only a couple of standout themes. The voice overs are great as always, though there are some notable voice changes. Stephanie Nadolny (Gohan) and Linda Young (Freeza) have been replaced by the folks who voice these characters for Dragon Ball Z Kai. Although I prefer Linda and Stephanie Nadolny, these new voice actors certainly voiced their parts well.

Graphics: The graphics are definitely a step down from the console versions, though thatís to be expected. The venues and character models can at times look blurry but thatís hardly a deterrent considering the game has great game-play and replayability.

Pros:

Decent Story Mode: Not perfect but it definitely gets the job done.

Over 70 Characters to choose from

Deeper In-game transformations. You can choose Gokuís base form then transform into Super Saiyan, and then to Super Saiyan 2 and 3. You can also transform into Super Saiyan 2 or 3 straight from base form by using the analog nub while pressing the select button. You can also undo a transformation. For example, if youíre in Super Saiyan 2 mode, you can quickly return to base mode by pressing Down + Select.

Great Fighting Mechanics: If you loved the Tenkaichi series on the Playstation 2 and on the Wii, you will love it here. Tenkaichi Tag Team is identical in nearly every way with the only major difference being itís portability.

Cons:

Difficulty: The only thing that prevents this game from surpassing or being as good as previous installments in the Tenkaichi franchise is the gameís difficulty. It is far too easy. While it is suspected that the general difficulty may have been decreased to accommodate the new two on two feature, it leaves the one on one experience lacking in excitement.

Despite this one flaw, I highly recommend this game to all Dragon Ball Z fanatics. It is very well worth the $39.99 price tag. After all, it is a portable version of Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 with two on two features, what more could you possibly want? Except for a harder difficulty of course.