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PSP  header logo

Dragon Ball Evolution

For: PSP

An unnatural selection

Product: Dragon Ball Evolution | Developer: Dimps | Publisher: Namco Bandai Games | Format: PSP | Genre: Fighting | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: US
 
Dragon Ball Evolution PSP, thumbnail 1
There's the popcorn flick and then there's the choke-on-your popcorn flick. Dragon Ball Evolution squarely fits into the latter, its kernel of a fighting game making it all the less appetising.

As you might expect, Dragon Ball Evolution hashes out the plot of its live action tie-in movie, taking you through a series of loosely connected fighting stages. Through the course of the two hour adventure, you battle a slate of enemies featured in the film while skipping between text conversations that drive the story forward.

Goku naturally takes the spotlight opposite Piccolo, both of whom are joined by a small cast of characters pulled from the movie. Series stalwarts will notice many figures are missing. Such is the way of the Hollywood scriptwriter.

What few characters do appear fail to impress in sight and skill. The graphics are downright awful. An odd filter covers everything, giving the graphics a bizarre plastic look. Characters resemble cardboard cutouts as they move in front of ugly backdrops with a bare minimum amount of detail.

Although the characters and certain elements in each stage are 3D, the game often looks like an old arcade title from the '80s thanks to its budget styling.

It's more than just mutated presentation that makes Dragon Ball Evolution a freak of gaming, though. Plain fighting mechanics and pathetic opponents render the game a complete bore.

Light and heavy attacks comprise the bulk of your arsenal, leaving you to mash on the PSP's face buttons. Ultimate attacks unleashed using pent up Ki add some flavour to combat. However, dumb foes render these moves unnecessary. Even when fighting through the highest level of difficulty, you can blaze through by jamming on the Square button.

Combo challenges encourage you to try out special moves, such as exacting a thousand points of damage in a single combo or executing two consecutive charge attacks. Bonuses unlock whenever you complete any of these challenges, which you should have no problem doing given the abysmal fighting skills of your computer-controlled counterparts.

Survival mode - which isn't available when you begin playing and has to be unlocked - extends play beyond the ridiculously short Story mode. It, however, suffers from the same dreadfully boring gameplay that results from shallow fighting mechanics and opponents that are altogether too easily defeated.

The prospect of facing an unending line of computer-controlled fighters, each of which can be effortlessly dispatched by mashing your elbow into the face buttons, is far from appealing.

Indeed, Dragon Ball Evolution accomplishes so little in the way of palatable gameplay that even in May it's in line for worst game of the year. Without a compelling fighting system or flashy graphics, its short Story and Survival modes are no better than stale popcorn. There's little reason to bother with it and all effort should be made to avoid this franchise aberration.
 
Dragon Ball Evolution
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 7 May 2009
Devolving the long-running series in stunning fashion, Dragon Ball Evolution provides neither satisfying fighting nor appealing visuals
 
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Anonymous | 13:39 - 12 May 2009
so good
Joined:
Oct 2006
Post count:
447
splat | 19:04 - 11 May 2009
And then stamp on it
Anonymous | 18:54 - 11 May 2009
Burn it, burn it to the ground!
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