REVIEW: Dragon Ball Raging Blast
The Dragon Ball fighting games have been around since the PS2 days. In fact, here in the states the popularity of the games has outlived the popularity of the show. As with the previous DB games, Dragon Ball Raging Blast has players choose their favorite Dragon Ball character and slug it out.
The fighting engine of DBRB actually doesn't feel like a 1-on-1 fighter per say; even though it is a 1-on-1 fighter. But rather, it feels more like a 4 player brawler, just with only 2 players. The reason being is that in typical 1-on-1 fighters you take control of unique characters all with different moves and different ways of executing those moves. In DBRB all the moves for each character are executed the same but have different effects. That's not nessisarily a bad thing but it's something you need to know before going into this game. Getting used to and mastering the system in DBRB is a whole 'nother story. The fighting engine is very sophisticated and it takes some getting used to. Timing is critical in each fight, sometimes it's like playing a rhythm game on fast-forward. After you start mastering the combat in DBRB, you'll find yourself in some seriously heated, back-and-fourth matches online.
All of the original voice actors from the FUNimation show are featured in DBRB repreising their roles once again. All of the sound effects from the show are here as well such as the sounds of crashing buildings and mountains as well as the blasts that the fireballs make when they are executed. The background music that plays adds a good feel to the fights but is ultimately forgetable. Another gripe is that the intro is completely in Japanese and there is no option to see it in an American version with the American theme music.
Art & Animation
Everything looks gorgeous in DBRB. Characters are on-model (as they should be) and move smoothly. The fight animations are fluid and forceful and the ability to bash your opponent right through buildings, mountains and other structures looks as beautiful as it is chaotic. Lighting and particle effects are no joke in this game either; the fireballs look down right painful. The new high-tension attacks are extremely dramatic but look awesome. Also, the characters being attacked don't just have a generic look on their faces; they react pretty believably to the attacks that they are taking.
Content, content, content. That's the theme of Dragon Ball Raging Blast. In addition to the main story mode that you can play through, there are plenty of other modes. There is even a gallery and character bio section which has content that can be gradually unlocked as you play through the game. The story from the anime series is broken down through the perspecitve of each character in the character bios. Even the loading screen gives you the ability to collect credits to spend on unlocking new content. Right before fights, characters who are related somehow in the series will interact with eachother uniqely. For example, when Napa and Vegetta fight, Napa will say something like "I'm not your hired muscle anymore Vegetta."
The gameplay is not your normal fighter and you'll probably be lost if you've never watched the show. Will tradition fighting game fans like this game? Probably not, but Dragon Ball Raging Blast is a good game for Dragon Ball fans.