Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu
Like the two Legacy of Goku titles that preceded it, DBZ: Taiketsu is an average-at-best game shielded by pretty visuals and the enormously popular Dragon Ball Z license. To be fair, this is probably more than enough for your average 10-year-old, but if you're in the market for a deep, well-balanced handheld fighter with a good amount of replay value (like, say, Street Fighter Alpha 3), this ain't gonna cut it. Taiketsu's characters are large and well-animated, but their move sets lack variety, and the unforgiving controls make it needlessly difficult to put together effective combos. On the plus side, Taiketsu offers a host of unlockable extras, including artwork, character bios, music, and a couple of bonus modes, but again, if you're not big into DBZ, most of this will seem frivolous at best. Bottom line: Unless you're of the Saiyan underwear-wearing variety, you'll probably want to pass.
Even if you love DBZ so much that you and your friends greet each other by character names, do yourself a favor and avoid this game. It'll bring nothing but disappointment. The first inkling that something's wrong is in the pseudorendered graphics. Something about them just doesn't look right, and everything moves slowly and stiffly. And the gameplay is just as unbalanced. It's a button masher, pure and simple, with very little skill necessary. Sure, the unlockable rewards are fairly cool, but only the most patient DBZ faithfuls will suffer through it for that long.
You don't publish a game like this to recruit new Dragon Ball Z fans. You sell it to the huge base of existing acolytes who will buy it before they can even look up what the hell a Taiketsu is. So I'm not surprised that gameplay here shows no effort whatsoever. Understated punch-and-kick flurries make up most of it, but even Capcom vs. SNK-style charge-up abilities suck BallZ. The developers did faithfully re-create some of that awesome DBZ action for the fans: Once, my opponent and I threw the same exact fireball, then jumped into the stratosphere and had simultaneous seizures. His must have been more violent, because he lost some health on the play.... What a world.
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