extreme butoden review

Review: Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden.

Dragon Ball Z has always gotten fairly decent efforts in the video game industry. While most games aren’t masterpieces they were playable and relatively fun. Extreme Butoden tries to follow the safe but succesful routine. However, this time around it didn’t pan out as Bandai Namco probably would have wanted. 

Goku and friends prepare to set out on their quest to find the Ultimate Dragon Balls.

Extreme Butoden’s story can only be accessed after completing ten fights covering the complete story of Dragon ball Z. After that, the player unlocks a few “what if” scenarios that aren’t really what ifs but just the same story told over and over again while playing as a different character. Before and after every battle, text boxes explain what happened. While most games would use lightly animated cut scenes or even drawn stills, Extreme Butoden doesn’t even bother with that. Instead, the scenes are explained in text boxes that take away, not only any emotion but, even reaction the player would have. It’s an incredibly cheap and more importantly unimpressive way of conveying your story. It’s kind of baffling that the game shows no effort to tell the story even decently so that begs the question as to why it’s even in the game.

Once players go trough the ten battle they will unlock the main story mode. In this story mode the negative energy of the Dragon Balls has released Omega Shenron and his posse who in turn are somehow warping time and space to bring back every bad guy Goku defeated. So it’s up to Goku to find the ultimate Dragon Balls and seal the Shenrons in them forever. The story only serves as an excuse to make Goku go all over the world to fight and meet characters from his past again. When the player gains control they get dropped on a map that they must travel trough and fight the opponents with a specific side objective that’s only necessary to obtain an S-rank. One problem with this mode is that most of the dialogue involves a villain greeting Goku and recalls the last time he’s seen him and vowing that this time he will kill Goku. This isn’t the main problem though. the main problem is that most villains are assist characters so what happens is the bad guy smack talking followed by the player fighting a character that has almost nothing to do with said smack talk and the bad guy himself is then used as an assist. And on the easier difficulty most of the time the AI won’t use the assist so it basically boils down to a fight that has nothing to do with the conversation. Even the Omega Shenron the main villain and supposed final boss does the same thing.It’s literally one of the dumbest things ever and shows that Extreme Butoden shouldn’t be played for the story.

extreme butoden reviewWhat was a funny scene in the anime is now just reduced to a lackluster piece of text.

 

If he tries hard enough, any fighter can defeat an elite in battle.

Extreme Butoden looks like a 2-D fighter but it doesn’t play as such. Instead of light, heavy kicks and punches the game uses the everything but trademarked Namco Bandai fighting mechanics. So instead of doing inputs or having punches and kicks of varying strength, the game uses a light and heavy attack button, a special button and a power-up button. These mechanics aren’t the deepest of mechanics to begin with but in a 3-D arena, it isn’t as bad and allows for the combat to looks very cinematic utilizing many different camera angles. But in 2D this isn’t possible and what’s left over is a very dull and uninteresting fighting game. The combat has no depth at all and most importantly just isn’t much fun to play. The only real interesting thing about the game is that it allows players to play with up to three fighters or fill the spots of the fighters with two assist characters for each slot. So players can play with a team of three characters against one character with four assists. However it doesn’t seem balanced as it should be. Characters keep the same power and life-bar regardless of the amount of characters on their team. Aside from the “what if” and story mode there isn’t that much more to the game. Players can alway fight against CPU but that’s about it. Playing against other players is possible but only locally, the game does not support online multiplayer of any kind. Players can also equip characters with buffs in the story mode but most of these don’t influence the matches too much as to make difference in the matches.

extreme butoden review 2Extreme Butoden looks like fun but it’s just so incredibly boring.

 

Arcsys can do better than this.

Extreme Butoden uses sprites on a 3D plane backgrounds. Arc System Works is known for some amazing sprite work on some of their other games like BlazeBlue. Here however the sprites don’t look amazing. It’s not bad but considering ArcSys’s previous work Extreme Butoden looks lackluster and not as detailed as people are used to from them. One of the more baffling things is that when characters do super moves the game does a cinematic pan-shot which is the worst idea because it shows off a 2-d sprite model on a 3-d polygonal environment. It looks bad and makes the sprites actively look worse than they are. The sound department is also not without its problems. The music isn’t anything special but the main problem is that all the dialogue in the game sounds very muffled. Extreme Butoden doesn’t really impress on a visual level.

extreme butoden review 3While the sprite could look better the main problem is that the beams and stages are 3D polygons and it makes the sprites look way worse.

 

Closing note:

Extreme Butoden functions and plays but that’s just about everything good that can be said about the game. There’s no depth, no innovation and most importantly no fun. It plays it safe with its combat by using the Naruto Ninja Storm blueprint but in 2D, it’s not as exciting as it is in a 3D Arena Fighter. The story mode is an absolute joke. All scenes are skimmed trough with awful text crawls and many of the bad guys in the story talk huge smack about killing Goku only to end up as assists to other characters. Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden is a functioning but boring game and just not fun to play.

5/10

I'm a fun loving guy who like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain and long walks on the beach. I work hard, I play hard. Must like cats. Ugos need not apply. If you want to ask me anything you can contact me at yordi.verhoene@gmail.com