Game Review

Mania Grade: D-

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  • Platform: PSOne
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Fighting
  • Players: 1-2
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Bandai
  • Publisher: Atari
  • Suggested Retail: $19.99
  • Graphics: F
  • Sound: C-
  • Gameplay: F
  • Replay: D
  • Fun Factor: D-
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: D


Originally released in 1995, its DBZ on the PSOne

By Troy Roberts     May 12, 2003

Can you feel the nostalgia in the air? The Playstation, which has basically elapsed into oblivion, is still having games released on it. And Infogrames cares so much for the PSOne owners that they're going to release a new DRAGONBALL Z game on the system, just for them! Wait a minute. Are you telling me this is the exact same game that was released in 1995 and I already own? Hey, what kind of a scam is this!?

Capitalizing on the success of the DRAGONBALL franchises, Infogrames has decided to re-release DRAGONBALL Z: ULTIMATE BATTLE 22 here in the US for the first time ever. For those of you who don't know, DRAGONBALL was a popular series that ran from roughly the mid-80s to 1996 (the show didn't even become popular here until 2000 or so, 4 years after it ended in Japan). In 1995, Bandai released the first DRAGONBALL Z game, aptly titled ULTIMATE BATTLE 22, which met with some success but most gamers couldn't get over the fact that the game sucked. Honestly, LEGENDS was a game that was ten times better, so I don't really understand why Infogrames chose to port this one instead.

There is no point in denying it, but the graphics suck. And I mean, really suck - like sucking first-generation PSOne style. The characters are all 2D models, but all are rendered quite badly and the animations are possibly even worse. From what I understand, these are the same models that were in one of the earlier SNES games but were just carried over and put on new backgrounds. So, just think to yourself that you're playing an SNES game (although, HYPER DIMENSION for the SNES might actually look better than any of the PSOne games released). Oh yeah, the backgrounds reek of a really old 2D game which, of course, is what this is.

The computer AI is shoddy at best, and if you can back your opponent into a corner, there is no doubt you'll end up winning the match. I'm sure there will be a lot of gamers that complain that the sound quality is terrible, but I for one am glad to hear the Japanese voices for once - something most DRAGONBALL fans here have probably never heard. Quality may be bad, but I'm glad Infogrames decided to at least keep that intact (just like everything else in the game sadly).

If you want a good fighting game and still play your PSOne daily, I've got a copy of BATTLE ARENA TOSHINDEN I can loan you, or I can even get you a copy of DBZ LEGENDS which is so much better. The only reason I won't give this game an "F" is because of the original voice acting and that the game is only selling for 20 bucks. If not for that, this game should be burned.


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