Review

Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Review (Xbox360)

Dragon Ball Z: Burst limit is a difficult game to classify. You could easily try and label it a story-driven fighter but that would be too easy as story driven games are usually remotely easily to follow. Of course you do have some convoluted plots like the ones in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Halo 3, but at least you have an idea of what you're fighting for. Not so in DBZ. The story is utterly incomprehensible and considering there's so much of it, it really starts to get in the way of what is otherwise a reasonably decent title.

One thing that strikes you immediately is how easy the game is to pick up. If you follow the tutorials and characters from the cartoon, such as Mr. Piccolo who will teach you the basics and the completion of these will unlock intermediate and advanced techniques for you to learn. However, you can get reasonably far in the game just by learning the simplest of moves which makes the game instantly accessible to its target audience. The battles themselves are set in different 3D landscapes against a variety of enemies all with different skill-sets and special moves. These backdrops however are sparsely detailed and not exactly inviting to look at. The character models too are basic at best although all are functional and represent the cartoon to perfection. I would have liked to have seen a bit of artistic license here however: maybe a bit more detail, shading and lighting effects wouldn't have hurt.


Everyone in this game poses and prances around!
Aerial battles add an extra dimension to the gameplay


What is entirely unique about Burst Limit is that part way through the battles you get a cut-scene. This usually involves lots of shouting, "You'll never beat me!" and "You're not so tough!" These are quite fun at first but after a while it starts to grate. The idea is a good one but when the characters pretty much say the same over and over, and the little bit of story that you're treated to being so utterly unfathomable, it really becomes a case of waiting until they're over. This in itself is a shame as there is a lot of scope as to what could be done with this concept: a change of character, change of scenery, gaining a new power etc.

You are awarded a score at the end of each round based on how many cut-scenes you can unlock. In order to do this entails pulling off a vast variety of moves from Special Attack, to combos to counters. The cut-scenes are yet more "plot" fillers and are mostly arbitrary but it is an incentive to learn the difficult moves and not just furiously button-mash. Being rewarded a Z for every level within a story-arc was a great achievement, as it meant I had to really practice and train hard. The game has to be given full marks for that aspect. The rewards could have been better - unlocking characters and cut-scenes wears a bit thin - but all in all a well implemented mechanic.


the graphics are simply, yet effective
He's serious.


The sound is as you'd expect it to be: straight from the Japanese cartoon. Fans of the series will undoubtedly revel in this and speaking from an outsider's point of view I can see where they're coming from. It's energetic and fun. Thrashy guitars: erratic time signatures, just about everything you could want from a fighting game. Again however, it isn't very varied and begins after a while to grate on you. Beginning to see a pattern?

To sum up Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is its own worst enemy: there are load of good ideas in there but it suffers due to the fact these aren't really explored fully. So much more could have been done with these innovations and although the first impressions are positive, the lack of depth and imagination makes the game feel somewhat of a chore. That being said fans of the series will be delighted, as it stays very true to the television series. But fans of the series have probably bought this anyway and won't even be reading this review!


"You'll never beat me!" He yells for the 100th time
Very 'Akira'. Very good.


There's a lot of fun in there, a lot to explore and unlock. It's easy to pick up right from the off and won't scare you away like many other fighting games out there. The five difficulty levels ensure a massive challenge for those who can look past the annoyances and you'll certainly feel like you've got value for money. In a nutshell: tread carefully with this one. Try before you buy by downloading the demo.

Top Gaming Moment: Getting a Z rating in every round

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