Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu

Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu

Written by Charlie Sinhaseni on 2/10/2004 for GBA  
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Atari and Dimps surprised the whole gaming world when it produced Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, an excellent 2D fighter for the PS2 and the Nintendo GameCube. Now Atari has teamed up with Webfoot Technologies in hopes of recreating some of that same magic on Nintendo’s portable handheld, the GameBoy Advance. You know that old saying about going back to the well one too many times? Well yea, Taiketsu should be rebadged as example number one of what NOT to do when producing a portable game.

I’m going to be honest here, I actually enjoyed the Legacy of Goku games that Webfoot developed for the GBA but this game is just downright awful. It’s hard to accurately describe just how horrible and incomplete this game feels. Most of the time you get the feeling that the game started off as a generic fighter early on in its development cycle, waiting for a license to come along and fill in the spots. As a result you get a game that’s just horribly disjointed and never quite comes together quite right.

Let’s start off with the good; Taiketsu features a robust cast of characters comprised of the series mainstays. This means you’ll be able to do combat with miniaturized versions of Goku, Friesa, Trunks and Vegeta. And then there’s… hmm… well I guess you can buy the game to inadvertently taunt your tormentors. Imagine that bully’s surprise when he turns on your GBA only to run into this crapfest.

Time for the bad, and it doesn’t take much to encounter it. For one the fighting system is completely broken. It’s virtually impossible to fight with any sort of precision or obedience, mainly because the controls are just so sloppy and sluggish. Your hit zones are woefully inconsistent as is the damage doled out for each of your moves. Sometimes your enemies will remain unfazed by a giant blast while a small jab will send them across the landscape. To make things worse there doesn’t seem to be any sort of cohesiveness to the combat. Moves don’t necessarily link together properly so you’re left with some very simplistic combat tactics that seem far out of place in this day and age. Imagine Double Dragon as a 2D fighter and you can begin to see how archaic the combat system really is. Essentially the game boils down to a button masher, and a bad one at that. Step aside Mortal Kombat Advance, make some room for Taiketsu.

If you really want to lose some friends you can pick up an extra cartridge and do battle with a buddy, link-mode style. It helps to alleviate the frustrations caused by the game’s inept AI but it’ll probably prove to be more frustrating than anything.

I wouldn’t exactly think of the GBA as a system that houses excellent fighting games but there are a number of other solutions out there that run circles around this one. Games like Sammy’s Guilty Gear Advance and Atlus’ King of Fighters EX 2 show that the GBA is indeed competent when it comes to handling 2D fighters. There are a lot of games out there that show what the GBA is capable of, Taiketsu isn’t one of them. Stay as far as hell away from this one as possible.
Stay away from this game, seriously. If you value your sanity stay the hell away. It's not fun, it plays like trash and it looks even worse.

Rating: 2.4 Bad

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

About Author

Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.

It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.

It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.

When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."

As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.

When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.

Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile

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