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June 12, 2006
Super Dragonball Z - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
24/7/2006AtariCraft and Master1-2$49.95

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Screens from the Japanese version.
It's amazing how much interest any new Dragonball Z title generates. It's fans are nothing short of fanatical about any new release, be it a movie, book, toy or video game. Super Dragonball Z is the latest title currently in development for Namco BanDai and Atari at Craft and Master - a new development studio. This game promises to bring a fresh spin to the franchise with an all-new arcade styled fighting system not seen in home consoles to date. Indeed the game has been released in Japanese arcades as Chou Dragonball Z where it has already earned quite a following. Here we give you the latest screens and info on this highly anticipated title.

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The graphics look good...
Based on the arcade game Super DBZ includes 18 fighters to get to grips with including some newcomers such as Chi-Chi who is Goku's wife. Each has his own unique fighting moves and styles for every character, including Goku, Gohan and Gegeta, Super DBZ gives gamers super-fast combination moves and battle scenes. In the air and on the ground, Super DBZ will give players a hardcore 3D arcade-fighting DBZ experience! What must be noted, however, is that unlike Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and its upcoming sequel this isn't a free roaming world with massive battle arenas. This game has been scaled back for a purpose - to keep the focus firmly on the fighting.

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...even if not overly detailed.
In terms of game mechanics the game uses the four face buttons. Two are used for attacks - one is strong, the other weak - while a third button is used to guard against attack and the fourth to make your character jump or, by holding it down, fly. It is perhaps interesting to note that the game is being worked on by Noritaka Funamizu - one of the creators of a small brawler you may have heard of - Street Fighter 2! His input into the game mechanics give Super Dragonball Z a very old school brawler type feel, and the scaling back of level sizes as mentioned above means there are few places to hide.

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Fast Attack with 2 hits.
One thing to be certain of is that while the Dragonball Z franchise is popular with youngsters, many of them are now growing up and this game is set to be a real challenge with not only more difficulty, but also some massive combos and moves to master. Namco Bandai are hoping this becomes another major fighting franchise as Street Fighter, Tekken and Virtua Fighter have become over the decades.

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Backgrounds are interesting.
Graphically the game uses the familiar cel-shaded graphical technique of the movies and previous games in the franchise. The games seven stages are varied and include objects which can become a major part of the gameplay. We would have liked to see more stages, but this game is more about the action then asthetics.

We still have our reservations about this game. The graphics look average at best, and we aren't sure if it can live up to the other Dragonball title in terms of depth either. Still, this is a budget release at only $AU49.95 in Australia, and fans of the series will still want to check Super Dragonball Z out in late July.