Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi

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Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi review
Liam Edwards


80 and counting

The Ultimate Tenkaichi? (cntd)

Once in blast range you are able to fire ki blasts at your opponent at will. This can lead to being then able to rush your opponent down again quickly in melee by throwing enough blasts in sequence that you character dives towards the opponent. But the blast range also allows users to be able to perform what Dragon Ball is known for, GIANT EARTH-DESTROYING BLASTS. But to perform these damaging moves you have to build up your charactersí spirit gauge. This gauge can be built up by performing rush attacks, correctly guessing pressed buttons and generally counter-attacking and attacking successfully. Once built up you can perform one of three moves against your opponent. One move can be triggered by pressing up on the right stick and another by pressing it down, each move has a certain amount of spirit gauge needed to be available, but usually the move spirit gauge needed the more damaging and powerful the blast will be.

Once you have your opponent on the ropes and they are near death they will enter a mode called spirit high. This mode allows them to have higher attack power and reload their ki energy faster, also once one player enters this mode, the game then frees up the use of Ultimate Attacks. The ultimate attacks are the most powerful moves that a character can use, and you have to have all of the bars of your spirit gauge filled out before usage. This element can change the entirety of match, with a player low on health with a full spirit gauge being able to perform ultimate attacks to bring the other opponent down to their health or even finish them off. This intense element of the gameplay is fun and one of the high points of Ultimate Tenkaichi, it is satisfying to win a match with an ultimate attack against an opponent who was one hit away from destroying you.

Although fun at times the combat and gameplay of Ultimate Tenkaichi is one of complete repetitiveness and gambling. The heavy usage of button pressing and guessing is sometimes intense but most of the time, especially against the CPU, boring and time consuming. Battles become continual battles of charging, diving back, blast attack, dive back in, rush attack and then repeat. It is disappointing combat system to with more depth could be brilliant the limited of usage of beams is a good idea and the idea of being able to use mind-games against your opponent is fun. But the over-usage of this element and the very limited depth in melee combat is poor and shameful from a developer who created some outstanding combat systems in previous titles.

The yearly modes

As nearly every Dragon Ball titles before it and mostly likely after it, Ultimate Tenkaichi features the same modes featured in all previous games. The story mode follows every saga from the series from the Sayian saga right through to Omega Shenron in GT. It offers nothing more than previous games, except the chance to fight your favourite villains again. Although the mode does offer new HD cutscenes of some of the most famous scenes from the series (itís over 9000! (which actually originally was 8000)) for any Dragon Ball Z fan to drool over.

Ultimate Tenkaichi also features the famous World Fighting Tournament mode. This mode allows players to pick a character and fight others to be the ultimate tenkaichi champion. Although custom in previous games means that once you hit the grass outside the ring you are out, it is near impossible with UTís combat system to hit someone hard enough to be grounded, which means matches last a lot longer than usual in the tournament.

With the rehashed previous features seen before comes a new mode with some interesting features. The Hero mode, is a new mode that allows players to create their very own sayian and act out a completely different storyline to the original series. This has been a dream for any Z fan since the early 90s, drawing your very own sayian in school and at home for years can now become transformed virtually, although with some limit. The customization is limited to only 4 sets of hairstyles (the most important part of a sayian) and very limited costumes, although being able to use any colour is fun and having bright pink sayians is rather hilarious when fighting in earth balancing clashes.

The story of hero mode takes part in an alternate universe to the one in the canon Dragon Ball series. The story pits your hero against the various characters of the series as you work your way around saving the world. The mode asks you to get heavily involved in training with different partners and building up your characters stats and health so you donít get annihilated by more powerful characters later on. While fun and nice to design your own sayian, this mode is also lack-lustre and slow.

Not the first and certainly not the last

Well repetitive and certainly simple, it is hard to deny the fun Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi provides in terms of multiplayer. Especially to fans of the series, having some friends over who all know the classic lines from the series allows for forgiveness in terms of the problems the game suffers from, and gives you overwhelming nostalgia in a fine form. Graphically the game is the best in any Dragon Ball title to date and provides some intense moments between friends.

For the asking price it isnít worth picking up. But for any fans looking for their Z warrior fix, you can do a lot worse than renting Ultimate Tenkaichi and having some friends over to re-live some classic moments from the series while pulling of some simple, flashy fighting. It can provide the goods of entertainment, as long as you allow it sometime to grow on you.


fun score


Provides some classic fun for fans of the series. And simple flashy fighting.


Repetitive and sometimes boring. Also 50-50 fighting chances appear way too much.