Bandai changed up the formula this time around. It’s not simply a fighting game where you plod through the same story AGAIN with the same characters. This time you make a custom character of any race who is in charge of correcting past events which have been tampered with by mysterious evil people. And it’s actually pretty cool. You’re not just a shadowy figure who fixes things and leaves the other characters none the wiser. You show up smack dab in the middle of a battle and the Z warriors are like, “Who the hell is this guy?” There’s something awesome about creating a custom character and having Goku talk directly to him. Closest you can come to meeting your childhood cartoon hero I suppose.
Along with being an integral part of the main DBZ storyline, your character’s moves are totally customizable and there’s an admirable effort to add some RPG flavor to the mix. As your character levels up you gain stat points, new moves, and new clothing that lets you focus your character’s strength based on your preference. It wasn’t done perfectly but it was refreshing and rewarding to deck out your character in nostalgic DBZ gear and rip off a kamehameha whenever you want.
The fighting mechanics have been tightened up too. You really have to pay attention to your Health, Ki, and Stamina meters if you want to win a fight. You can’t just do any move at any time and the combos aren’t a given anymore. It still has its problems (and pardon my sentence structure) but pulling off a sweet combo that ends with one of those classic DBZ gut punches which sends them flying and then you teleport into their path only to start up another combo and then smash them into the ground and then unleash that Vegeta-style energy barrage that sends hundreds of ki blasts at the guy (but would never actually kill him) is pretty exhilarating. Yeah you guys know what I’m talking about. Badass.
Almost forgot! The battles aren’t 1v1 anymore! You can do up to 3v3 and wow it really feels like a DBZ fight. There are pockets of battles going on all over the battlefield and it really takes the game to a new level. Couple that with online play where you and a friend can beat the hell out of Frieza and the Ginyu Force and you’ve got yourself a good time.