Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team


posted 11/24/2010 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PSP
Not every battle involves four players; this game is full of one-on-one and one-on-two skirmishes.  Adding so many extra people on screen may sound chaotic, but it can be an exhilarating experience.  Your two opponents will work together to trap you, forcing players to completely rethink their strategies.  While many battles can be won simply by mashing buttons, some later levels require a fair bit of planning to complete.

Unfortunately the thrill of the tag team battles wears off before too long, leaving players with a repetitive mix of boring stories to complete.  Fans of this style of narrative (which hasn't changed in a decade of Dragon Ball Z products) may find these tales more engaging than I did, but the sad truth is that we've seen it all before.  And after the novelty of the combat wears off, players are left with a fighting engine that doesn't match up when put next to Street Fighter, Tekken and even Mortal Kombat.

On the other hand, the game does look fantastic on the PSP's screen.  The game warns you at the start that it's using the full power of Sony's portable, which leads to fast paced action and superb graphics.  The cel-shading looks like it was pulled straight out of the cartoon and animates smoothly.  Like so many PSP titles before it, Tenkaichi Tag Team runs even better when users install the game to a memory stick.  Running it straight from the disc will eat up your battery in a hurry, but at least it will look good doing it.

With its huge roster of famous faces, it's easy to understand the appeal of this product.  As a four-player fighting game, this is one of the best I've seen.  I wish the game was a little deeper and the combat was more varied, but fans of this series already know what they're getting themselves in to.  If you're the kind of person that wants every possible Dragon Ball Z character in one simple, compact fighting game, then Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Tournament was made for you.

Sadly I need something more.  The gameplay didn't hook me long enough to care about any of the characters.  Even though I was controlling dozens of different fighters, they all seemed to have the same moves and abilities.  With no distinction between the combatants, I found that I lost all interest in this as a competitive game.  Fans may fall in love with this comprehensive package, but some serious changes will need to be made to make this a palatable fighting game.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

If all you're looking for is a huge head count and exciting two-on-two action, then Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team is the game for you. Unfortunately I require more depth and substance to my fighting game, which is why I'm disappointed by this great looking (and comprehensive) PSP offering!

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