DragonBall Z for Kinect preview

Each year sees a new Dragonball Z game hit our consoles in a bright, flashy, shouty manner, and fans can rest assured that 2012 will be no different. What IS different this time around is that YOU are the controller, as Dragonball Z for Kinect blasts onto the Xbox 360 in October. We got to see a preview of the upcoming title at the MCM Expo.

Dragonball Z for Kinect is aesthetically very much like last year’s title, Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi, with exactly the same graphics, character models, animations, sounds effects, music and dialogue. The only real difference in the presentation of the game are the camera angles used when certain attacks are performed, not least of which, the first person view that is used when punching your opponent.

Battles all play out in pretty much the same way with small basic punching combos leading to extended, more damaging continuations if you’re successful in hitting your opponent. The occasional break to charge your ki and fire an energy wave is also seen a lot in fights, keeping in true DBZ fashion. Out of the four fights that I witnessed in the demonstration, there was no real variation to speak of thanks to the repetitive combo animations – something that brought Ultimate Tenkaichi down and clearly hasn’t been improved on.

There are very slight differences in the combat when compared to the previous game, simply due to the use of the Kinect sensor. The main one that I noticed is that instead of the game using a rock-paper-scissors system like Ultimate Tenkaichi, DBZ for Kinect requires you to fill a small bar by punching as fast as you can in order to continue your combos. This leads to what is essentially a dumbed down version of an already pretty basic game, however, being that this is a Kinect only title, fighting depth was never the aim.

DragonBall Z for Kinect appears to be (and according to the people that have played it) a lot of fun. The demonstrators really got into the spirit of things with the exaggerated punching, jumping and charging animations that the game requires you to do, and it was described as a workout more than once by Namco Bandai staff.

The mode that was shown in the preview build was Score Attack, which requires you to score highly by using damaging combos and attacks, but other modes in the game include normal battles, and a story mode that stretches from the beginning of DBZ against Raditz up to the Majin Buu saga at the end of the series.

There are 50 characters in the game, including one that has never been seen before, and anime cutscenes are used to tell the story, with some scenes that have never been seen before (outside of Japan).

Dragonball Z for Kinect will be an interesting title to watch when it is released later this year. I mean, how many among us can honestly say that we’ve never wanted to fire a Kamehameha or actually punch Vegeta in the face? Whether it will be a game worth having on your shelf, or simply a five minute novelty still remains to be seen though.

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