DragonBall Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi hands on

It’s October and it means that once again the Super Saiyans are here at MCM Expo!

The demo of DragonBall Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi that’s available features eight playable characters: Goku, Super Saiyan Goku, Android 18, Frieza, Cell, Trunks (sword), Broly and Vegeta. I decided to pick my personal favourite matchup and do battle as Super Saiyan Goku against Cell.

A cutscene at the start of the battle kicks it off to a good pace, and the rapidness of the action is maintained throughout the fight which captures the feel of DBZ nicely. Aside from the pace, small scenes featuring various shockwaves, craters and huge beams firing off of the planet also help to remind you that this is DBZ, and it is epic.

Combat has been seperated into two modes in-battle now, “Blast Range” and “Melee Range.” Blast Range is simply the mode that you’re in when too far away to physically hit your opponent. As it says on the tin, you will be at the perfect range to blast them with energy attacks and deal damage the flashy way. When you fly within a certain distance of your opponent, you will enter melee range and your combat options change slightly. Small ki blasts can no longer be fired with the Y button, but you’ll be able to pummel your opponent and activate cutscene attacks for massive, awesome-looking damage.

Performing lengthy combos in Ultimate Tenkaichi is largely based on luck. After landing your basic 5-hit melee combo on your opponent, you are presented with the option for either an X button follow up or a Y button follow up. If your opponent presses the same button as you did, the combo ends and they counter your attack. This is based on the same formula as seen in the Dragon Rush attacks back in Dragonball Z: Budokai 3, which means that no matter how skilled you may be, there’s always a 50% chance of your opponent getting one over on you.

Super attacks have been drastically changed since previous titles too. Beams can now only be fired once your spirit gauge is high enough, and this is only raised by doing enough damage to your opponent. This means that the freedom of being able to charge your ki and fire a Kamehameha whenever you want has gone, but the attacks feel much more dramatic when they are activated as there is no way for people to spam them until they get boring.

It’s clear that Spike have focused on making the game look aesthetically brilliant, and it pays off as the fights really do look and feel like they’ve been taken straight from the anime. Dragonball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is out for sale now worldwide, so don’t hesistate to pick up a copy, or you can try it out for yourself at the MCM Expo this weekend!

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