Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review: Dragon Ball Z (360 for Kinect)


 I must be getting old.

After popping this disc into my 360 and calibrating my Kinect (which, to be honest, hasn't been getting a whole lot of love lately) I was ready to dive into Dragon Ball Z for Kinect. Dive I did! (And there's a "popping disc" joke in here, but I'll let you make one up. Head to the comments section with your own!)

After getting used to the menu system (controlled by Kinect using motions only) I was on my way. You only have one choice for a character at the beginning, but it's nice to know there are 49 more waiting to be unlocked. I chose story mode and indicated I was ready.

Before long, I found myself in a first-person perspective view of a fight. I wasn't sure what the combat was going to be like in this game, and soon after I was punching the crap out of the air in front of me (and trust me, the air felt it). I said earlier that I must be getting old because before long, I felt something akin to an arthritic pain in my elbow. Ouch. I needed to slow down.

The game actually took care of that for me. Combat is intense but brief as it is broken up by sometimes long elements of the story. The story is rather disjointed, however, combing various battles from the series into a larger picture. The voice acting is pretty good (and not as annoying as I have seen it before) and the overall production values of the game are pretty good.

Where I have issues with this title is the repetitive nature of the combat. Although there are over 100 moves to perform, I found most of what I discovered to get repetitive quite quickly and sometimes the game did not understand my moves. Also, the battles are mostly split into two parts. The first part is first person and then to a different view where you can perform special attacks. It quickly becomes rinse and repeat and sometimes you feel like you are just part of a choreographed movie rather than really controlling the combat.

The game does include a cardboard Super Saiyan Goku hair piece with a QR code on it that can be scanned into the game. Other codes are available as promotions and will enable various characters and power ups. This is a very cool feature. The addition of a 20 minute movie is a nice touch as well.

The addition of a Score Attack mode (which essentially has you trying to achieve a high score) is marred by the fact that there is no online leaderboard so you can compare your score against others. Although the lack of multiplayer isn't a deal breaker for me specifically, it will be missed by some players.

The bottom line is that if you are a Dragon Ball Z fan, this is probably going to be a good value for you to play through all the characters, watch the movie, and try to get the additional QR codes for added fun. If you're looking for a good fighting game on Kinect, this one might leaving you feeling a little defeated.

- Syd Bolton

The Good:
- Combat is fun – in the short term
- Innovative use of QR codes
- Lots of content for fans of the series

The Bad:
- The game is fun only for a brief time
- The combat is too choreographed and repetitive
- Story is rather disjointed

Score: 6.0 / 10


Syd Bolton is Canada's top video game collector and founder of the Personal Computer Museum (http://www.pcmuseum.ca) in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

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