(Note: This is our partner Haedox’s review. Every time he makes a video, we’ll put up the script along with the video, for your viewing pleasure. Or you can just not read it and wait for a price drop or sale.)
Dragon Ball Z EXTREME BUTODEN is a game I didn’t know even existed until a couple days ago when I saw some promotional material about it. And since then, I have seen almost no buzz about it, whether that be positive or negative. So, I decided to just buy it and see if this Dragon Ball Z title was any good. After all, I really enjoyed Xenoverse on the PC so perhaps this 3DS installment could be a hidden gem. To some degree, it is. But on the other hand, it’s pretty mediocre.
Probably the weakest element here is the story and although I love all the Dragon Ball Z sagas, the execution of this story is not good. Essentially, the story is broken down into the main story, which follows the traditional DBZ saga, several character story arcs, and one adventure mode. But all of these have you reading many many lines of dialogue that are uninteresting and written poorly. Because there are no cutscenes, no character interactions, minimal facial expressions, no character movement, or anything, the game has to literally tell you, like a teacher to a preschooler what’s going on. When Goku fights Radditz, for example, and Radditz takes a Special Beam Cannon to the chest, EXTREME BUTODEN will explicitly tell you what happens and not actually show it on screen. I can understand time constraints or the fact that the DBZ story has been done to death, but the execution here is still pretty lazy.. They didn’t even use the English dubs for voice acting! Why even include the story if there are so many lines of unnecessary, uninteresting dialogue that most players will probably skip. It adds nothing to game and only makes it more tedious to get through because you can’t actually “skip” these “cutscenes” entirely. All you can do is just fast forward the dialogue! What makes this even worse is the fact that you will have to sit through these interactions multiple times if you want to complete every character saga.
The presentation doesn’t fare any better. While the sprite based art style for characters is neat, it’s pretty bare bones by the standards of the 3DS. Sure animations are fluid and not bad, but there’s nothing interesting or unique about the visuals. They lack any real charm or soul. For a 30 dollar game, though, I guess it’s not that horrible. As for the soundtrack, it’s repetitive and forgettable. Not one track stood out from the rest and it’s just there primarily for background noise.
Now, I’ve offered a lot of criticism about EXTREME BUTODEN so far, but I have to admit, the gameplay is okay. Well, it’s basically a Street Fighter clone in the way that it is a 2-D fighting game where you can do light, heavy, and special attacks, and movement is pretty stiff. But, unlike the few 2D fighting games I have played, the AI is rather incompetent. I mean, look at this! I can basically beat the entire game by just spamming the A button for special attacks. See, if a player is given an easy way to deal with every problem that comes their way, they will most always use that method for every little obstacle. I almost never did any combos or fought up close because of how broken the special attack is. Sure with Vegeta and Trunks you can’t do this because they have different special attacks, but even then, the combat is boring and not challenging. Even on the harder difficulties, fighting the computers was monotonous and too easy. And because there is no challenge to fighting enemies, the gameplay gets really repetitive, really fast. It’s a shame too considering how much fun I had with Xenoverse. The only quality that could redeem this experience would be the multiplayer, but since there is no online and none of my friends have this game, I wasn’t able to play with friends.
So yeah, overall, Dragon Ball Z EXTREM… eh whatever, it’s really not a good game. It’s as run of the mill and lackluster as fighting games come by. The combat needed more balance, challenge, and satisfaction. It lacks replayability, and there is not one great feature that makes it shine. From the story to the gameplay, it is boring to sit through. It is not worth the 30 bucks at all nor do I even think it’s worth playing. If you want a *good* DBZ game to play, check out Xenoverse on Steam, Xbox One or PS4. That is my favorite DBZ fighting game and leagues better than Extreme Butoden. But as always, if you disagree or agree with me, let me know in the comments below. Thank you so much for watching and take care! Have a wonderful day and good bye!