reviews\ Apr 17, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai: Another Road - PSP - Review

Dragon Ball Z is the franchise that clearly refuses to fade away. Even though this franchise is not as popular as it was a couple of years ago there are still numerous games being developed and released for it. The main reason for this is that the game is easy to jump into and get your fighting action craving satisfied quickly.

There are several different game modes which you can partake in as you play Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road. First up is the story mode. Unlike many other games based off this franchise, the story for this game allows you to play through a new Dragon Ball Z adventure that is setup by a bunch of “what if” scenarios. You will take up the battle with Trunks in an alternate future where many surprises await you. Next mode you can play in is the arcade mode, which allows you to grab a figher and fight to your hearts content; the more battles you win, the more money you get to spend in the shop.

The Z Trail mode consists of battles with various conditions. First up is the survival mode, where you face off against myriads of opponents to see how far your skills can take you. Then there is the time attack where you must defeat enemies as fast as possible. Another is the challenge mode where you must complete a specific task in order to beat that boss. If you want to sharpen up your fighting skills the first place you need to visit is the training mode. This is a great place to get to know your moves in order to beat the computer in all of these other game modes. The very last thing mode that you can partake in is the multiplayer mode. If you and your friend have a copy of this game you can battle against each other over the wireless network.

The controls for this game are just as good as they were in the previous game, maybe even tightened up somewhat. The only problem is that the fighting engine is still pretty basic, especially if you compare it to other fighting games out there. Fans of the series will get the high number of charging up your power, power blasts, flying around, and various other super moves that help make up for the lack of variety in fighting moves, so in the end they balance each other out nicely.

The graphics for this game looks identical to the last game Dragon Ball Z game that was released for the PlayStation Portable. This is not really a bad thing, but it is a disappointment that the graphics were updated only slightly. That being said, the characters look really close to their anime counterparts from the detail on their clothing to the various character animations. The various environments that you will be forced to do battle in are also nicely done, but again do nothing to really stand out. One thing that I liked is that the camera held up and always kept the players in on the action instead of zooming way out or something else that would distract from the fighting.

The developers like to have a sense of continuity in the games to match with the TV shows and movies. With this being the case they got the voice actors to reprise their roles again for this game. If you like their portrayal of these characters then you will enjoy this portion a lot. There is very little changed with the music for this game, it fits well with the entire universe, but it does not pop out as new. The same can be said of the sound effects; they get the job done, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road is rated teen and contains violence.

Review Scoring Details for Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road

Gameplay: 7.1
This is a straightforward one-on-one action fighting game. The bad thing about this game is that each of the fighters handles the same, so other then the attacks and devastation that they cause, there is little need to fight as some of the “lesser power” characters.

Graphics: 7.5
The graphics are crisp and look nice on the PlayStation Portable screen. Although the graphics were not updated from the previous game, so it has a been there seen that feeling to them.

Sound: 7.5
Just like in all of the previous games, the voice actors from the English speaking version are back again. If you are a fan of them then you will enjoy this section. The music and the sound effects are decent and fit well within this franchise universe, but they are not spectacular.

Difficulty: Easy
This game is really easy to start playing with, especially if you have played any of the previous games because very little has changed.

Concept: 6.5
The various branching storylines is nice and helps with the reply factor, but overall there really isn’t anything added to this game that you haven’t done in previous games.

Multiplayer N/A
At the time of this review I was unable to test out the multiplayer portion of this game.

Overall: 7.1
Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road is more of the same game that you have already played numerous times in the past, but with more subtle improvements. Fans of the franchise will not care and eat this game up, but overall this game doesn’t offer much that you haven’t seen already.


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