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Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butoden label

DBZ: Shin Butoden

System: Sega Saturn
Release Date: November, 1995

Game Description:

Dragon Ball Z comes to the Saturn with a vengeance! Play as any of 27 different characters! Never before have there been so many different modes of play in a Dragon Ball Z game. Choose from the story mode, versus mode, five man team elimination mode, Tenkaichi-Budokai championship mode, or the very unique Mr. Satan mode, in which you play as Mr. Satan betting on who will win each match (and trying to cheat at it).

Game Review:

This is, in my opinion, the best Dragon Ball Z fighting game. The best parts of all the other Dragon Ball Z fighting games have been put together to make this masterpiece. The split screen action has returned, with bigger and more dramatic super moves than ever before, and because it is on CD and is therefore not limited to a small amount of space like a cartridge, the characters take as much time to announce what move they are performing as they do on the show. For example, instead of a quick "kamehameha" from Goku that lasts 2 seconds it is a dramatic "KA- - -ME- - -HA- - -ME- - -HAAAAA!" as one would expect.

One interesting innovation is that you can knock your opponent into the background, and in doing so "rotate" the battle field, which changes the background image as well as the amount of room you have to maneuver.

The battle fields are of different shapes and sizes, and one battle field has actual obstacles that you can jump on or over that can be destroyed by a super energy blast (see the multimedia section of this page for an example).

You can play as all 27 characters from Ultimate Battle 22 on the PlayStation without entering a cheat code. The characters are lovingly hand drawn by actual animators, too.

The Mr. Satan mode is pretty unique and funny. As the match takes place you control Mr. Satan's movement back and forth behind the ring throwing in banana peels, shooting a gun, and using various other techniques to turn the tide of the battle in his favor. He is trying to raise enough money to pay Android No. 18 the money he owes her for letting him win the Tenkaichi Budokai.

Although the opening animation basically has the same content as Ultimate Battle 22 for PlayStation, it suffers from the video limitations of the Saturn. It doesn't fill the screen and is a little grainy, where the PlayStation version is clearer than the actual show. Not that this is a reason not to buy this game. It's still way better than Ultimate Battle 22.

The controls are a little different from other DBZ fighters, and buttons X, Y, and Z are not even used during battle. Blocking moves is a little confusing and more difficult than usual since it switches to a close up of your face looking shocked when a super energy attack is being fired at you.

Since I began singing the praises of this game, the value of it has gone up tremendously all over the web. Sorry about that. Still, I hope you agree with me when you actually sit down and play it.

Related Links:
FAQs and Codes from Gamefaqs.com

The Plus Side:
  • Great hand drawn graphics
  • Cool music
  • Tons of different modes of play
  • More characters than you can shake a Nyoi-bo at (ugh...sorry)
  • Mr. Satan Mode!
The Negative Side:
  • Grainy intro movie
  • Controls are a little stiff

All of the characters you can select SSJ3 SonGoku vs. Mirai Trunks
SSJ3 SonGoku prepares to block an attack by Mirai Trunks Mr. Satan fails to raise enough money for No. 18 in time.
Multimedia Files:
If you don't already have it, download the FREE RealMedia player by clicking this graphic.

shinbuto1.rm (683 KB file): A 27.7 second RealMedia clip of Super Saiyajin Level 3 SonGoku fighting Super Boo, and hitting him with a KameHameHa. Notice the lightning and thunder in the background.

shinbuto2.rm (1 MB file): A 41.1 second RealMedia clip of Vegita fighting Freeza and hitting him with a close range Big Bang Attack and a long range Final Flash. Notice that the Final Flash hits and destroys a rock and doesn't hit Freeza. Please note that in the game you can see what they are firing, but because the refresh rate of the flashing lights in the game don't sync up with my video capture card, you can't see them all the time in this clip.

shinbuto3.rm (496 KB file): A 20.1 second RealMedia clip of Android No.18 fighting Piccolo. Notice that Piccolo hits her and knocks her into the background, which causes the battle field to rotate. This changes the background graphic and the size of the play field.

shinbuto4.rm (736 KB file): A 29.6 second RealMedia clip of Mr. Satan trying to rig a fight between the Great Saiyaman and Kuririn by throwing bananas, health potions, and by firing a gun.

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