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Dragon Ball Z: Barcode Battler label

DBZ: Barcode Battler

System: Famicom
Release Date: December, 1992

Game Description:
The ultimate fighting tournament for your Famicom! Choose a card, swipe it across the scanner, and get ready to fight it out against your friends. There are hundreds of possible combinations, but only one person will come out the winner.

Game Review:

This game is quite unique for an 8-bit game! The idea is to choose the type of fighting (versus, tournament, etc.) and then scan a barcode into the special reader device. It can be one of the cards that came with the game, or any other barcode you have lying around that will fit through the scanner. These things never came to America, but they were pretty popular in Asia. From the barcode information the game generates a character from the DBZ series, his or her hitpoints, battle power, and defense power. Then you battle it out. The winner of the elimination tournament that then ensues gets a chance to battle Freeza. If you beat him, the victor of the next tournament you play gets to fight against Cell. Beat him and the closing credits are shown.

The fighting is simplistic, but fun. Pressing A or B punches or kicks. Pressing both fires a Ki blast. Each character has a different Ki attack. Tenshinhan can, if the move is done correctly, split into four versions of himself. Ginew can do his Body Change move as well. I've not figured out how to do any of these moves, however. I've just seen them done in the demo and by the computer against me.

There are a lot of characters: Goku, Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta, Kuririn, Trunks, Tenshinhan, Chaozu, Yamucha, Zarbon, Ginew, Cell, Freeza, Perfect Cell, Perfect Freeza, Saibaiman, and Androids No. 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20. There could very well be more, but these are the only ones I have seen. Some of the battle screens actually have parallax scrolling! Some stages are in the air, some on ground, some are scrolling, and some are single screen. All in all, this is a pretty fun diversion and a good laugh for you and your buddies.

Obviously this game is not spectacular by today's standards, and can't even be compared on the same level with them. There really isn't much to the game, and playing it by yourself gets old after about 10 minutes. Still, its probably the most unique Dragon Ball Z game out there. Besides, how many fighting games have you played on the NES?

Related Links:

The Plus Side:
  • A fighting game for the Famicom
  • Tons of characters
  • Unique experience
The Negative Side:
  • Simplistic controls
  • Not much single-player value
That's not my hand...I scanned that off the box Goku wins the tournament Freeza challenges you!
Kuririn vs. Freeza The Tenkaichi Budokai lineup
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