The Dragon Ball series just is not the same as it used to be, mainly because it has been officially over for a few years now. And yet publishers still continue to push out games based on the once incredibly popular anime every so often. Here’s another example of one that, like Burst Limit before it, tries to recapture the fighting genre. And once again, we are left with a game that feels like it should have been released three or four years ago.
Presentation wise, this game looks incredible. The developers are continuing to go for a cel-shaded look, and it only further impresses me each time I see this. Playing this game in HD is quite an experience, and it definitely seems like a game that will age incredibly well, graphically. Sound wise, the voice actors you know from the anime are all here, as campy and corny as ever. But if you’re already a fan, you won’t mind at all. The music on the other hand can get very old, very fast.
The game follows the story of the Dragon Ball Z anime, and unless you are already a fan of the series (which at this point it is assumed you are), then you’re going to be incredibly confused. Of course, before you can even dive into the story, it is recommended you do training. It took me at least a good hour before I could get the hang of the controls. Even playing the training mode a couple of times, I just had a hard time getting the hang of everything.
Another major problem is the camera, which constantly tries to get in your way during battles. Just when you think you’re about to win, the camera comes along to screw all of that up. You’ll be getting pummeled by the cheap A.I. as you try to find out where the hell you actually are. And by the time the camera is in a better position, you pretty much already lost. This is my experience with a lot of the battles in this game, and it never seems to get any better the more you play.
And finally, there just is not a whole lot of value here in this game. Once you get through the single player stuff, there is a nice online component, but you’ll just get bored of the game fast. And with its problems, including the always annoying camera, you won’t find yourself coming back to this one too much. Although the roster is full of 40+ characters, there isn’t much reason to keep coming back to this one.
Dragon Ball: Raging Blast feels like a regression of the series, and it seems to only continue regressing as time goes on. Developers just keep pumping these games out, despite how bland they seem at this point. There is not anything here that has not been done, and much better, even in the past console generation. Even if you’re a hardcore Dragon Ball Z fan, this game is only worth a rental at best.
Pros: Amazing cel-shaded graphics; solid controls (once you get used to them)
Cons: Controls take a while to get the hang of; terrible camera; music gets old fast; not much content to keep you busy