Morphin at the Arcades: Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 (PS1)/Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout (PS1)

Published by MorphinBrony in the blog MorphinBrony's Blog. Views: 2935

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I dunno, guys, are you sure this guy was killed by Superman?
Dragon Ball Z is an anime franchise so iconic that everyone and their mother has heard of it by now. Practically every American kid in the early 2000s wanted to go Super Saiyan and do a Kamehameha. And what better way to achieve that than with a video game?

However, sometimes your parents can't afford to get you the new PlayStation 2 so you can play Budokai. Fortunately, you still have a PlayStation 1. So your parents, tired of hearing you pretending to go Super Saiyan, buy you a copy of the only PS1 Dragon Ball Z game released in the States.

Yes, I speak, of course, of the 1995 game Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22. The reason I say 1995 is that the American version was released eight years later, in 2003. Published in the States by Atari, this game is merely a poor man's version of the much better Budokai series.

Why is it called Ultimate Battle 22? Because there are 22 playable characters to choose from. That was a lot for 1995, but not very many for 2003.

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The first thing you'll notice are the graphics. The character sprites are faithful to the show, and the backgrounds are rendered decently for PS1 standards. There is also an awesome soundtrack, which consists mostly of arranged versions music from an earlier DBZ game, the Japan-exclusive SNES title Super Butouden 2.

However, that's as good as the game gets. The controls are stiff and occasionally unresponsive, and the hit detection is random at best. Using energy attacks quickly drain your energy bar, and powering up is a chore. The special moves are near impossible to pull off, even more so than a Fatality in Mortal Kombat.

There is no story mode to speak of, only a P1 vs Computer and a P1 vs P2 mode. There is also a mode where you level up a character, but it doesn't reward you at all. The game is very boring and offers little challenge. But it's not the worst Dragon Ball game on the PS1 by a longshot. That dishonor goes to Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout.

Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout has an even more limited roster than Ultimate Battle 22, consisting of only ten characters, only a few of whom are actually in Dragon Ball GT. Just before a fight, each character has something to say, in a very poorly dubbed manner.

Then the fight begins. The graphics are muddier looking than Ultimate Battle 22, with character models that are barely a step above Virtua Fighter. The soundtrack is generic and boring, none of the tracks stand out.

But even worse is the gameplay. Hit detection is awful, controls are even stiffer and less responsive than in Ultimate Battle 22, and once your opponent lands a hit on you, you're screwed six ways from Sunday, as they will continue to hit you repeatedly. Your best chance is to keep spamming attacks, but even then, you'll be met with cheap enemy AI. The game is very frustrating, often resulting in you getting your butt kicked, no matter how much you mash buttons.

Ultimate Battle 22 had potential, but failed to deliver, while Final Bout was simply screwed from the start. Something tells me that the Mane Six won't have much positive to say...

Twilight: Ultimate Battle 22 is a rather weak effort, but Final Bout is a pure, unadulterated blob of excrement from the bowels of Tartarus itself.

Rarity: WHY WOULD GOKU WEAR INDIGO?! IT LOOKS TERRIBLE ON HIM!! At least in Ultimate Battle 22 he wore his trademark orange and blue...

Applejack: Ah don't know much about vidya games, but ah know the PlayStation was capable of better than these games.

Rainbow Dash: Ultimate Battle 22? More like Ultimate Piece of Crap 22! And as for Final Bout, I don't want to see it ever again!

Pinkie Pie: GET THOSE THINGS AWAY FROM ME!!!

Fluttershy: Um, I've never really been a big Dragon Ball fan, but these games... I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemies...

FINAL VERDICT (ULTIMATE BATTLE 22)

★★☆☆☆

4/10 "Goddamnit, Nappa..." -IGN

FINAL VERDICT (FINAL BOUT)

★☆☆☆☆

1/10 "Not even Shenron can make this game good." -IGN​
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