Title Dragon Ball Final Bout
Developer/Publisher Bandai
Type 3D Fighting
English Version Available
Reviews #1, #2, #3
Where to buy? Japanese import version - you can buy it directly at Express
North American English verison - Bandai has stopped making it, with luck, you may still able to find an used one at EBay, but it won't come cheap. Do not email me on where to buy it, I don't know either.
FAQ/Codes Available Here

Review #1 by Steve Moon

We'll let me start off by saying that this was probably the most hyped up Dragon Ball game I have seen in recent history. I purchased the game with enormous hope that it would be everything it appeared to be. I had seen the still pictures on Wuken's homepage and read his FAQ which made it sound even better. Then it happened, I actually played the game. Not to say the game is bad, it just wasn't what I expected. I still find this game very enjoyable though, which is probably due to the fact that I'm a huge DBZ fan. While the game isn't nowhere as good as Tekken or Tobal 2 (Bandai isn't exactly a leader in this field) it is fun to play now and then.

The intro was what I was expecting, decent animation done by the Dragon Ball GT people, but in my opinion their style has a lot to be desired compared to the people who did the early and mid DBZ animation. The opening song was very cool and stuck in my head, the music is probably the best part of the game. I first went right to options after doing the code to get all 17 characters inculding the SSJ4 Son Goku (triangle 5 time, x button 9 times at opening screen) to see what options I was left with. While there aren't too many I was glad to see a pratice mode and the ablity to turn off the meteos which stink in this game. I went into the practice mode to practice moves and get the hang of the game. It was in here it really hit me.

Play Control= Basically it is terrible to be up front. Before I go on though you need to know that this game is still fun to play, just not the same as the really well done 3D fighters, especially if you are a DB fan. You hit a button and it takes a while before your character actually responds. While this isn't too long, only about 1-2 seconds it really get frustrating and breaks your concentration. Regular punches and kicks are basically worthless because they knock your oppoent away so you can't link moves easily at all due to the delay from the time you do the move to when it is basically performed. Your best bet is to use your character's multi hit moves. Some have awesome ones that are extremely easy to link, while others it takes more skill to be able to fully utilize them to their full ability. As usual in the DBZ games Son Goku is easily the best character in the game, he has two moves which when used together can take out your whole energy bar without you being able to do anything about it. You can dash to and away from you opponet. The only problem that arises is that it takes about 2 seconds before you move so you had better have some time or you get whacked while trying to escape. The same if you are trying to escape up into the air.

Game Play: First while this game looks 3D you play it 2D. Where in Tobal 2 and other fighters where you can move into the foreground or back ground all you can do in DBFB is go forward, back, up, down. There is a move where you can hop into the back briefly though. It plays like the Budakai fighters (DBZ1, DBZ2, DBZ3) and DBZ Hyper Dimension Combined. You fight on either the ground or the air as in the Budakai fighters and fly by hitting up and L1 or R1. Flying is almost exactly like flying in Hyper Dimension for those of you who have played it. Once you leave the ground you can move left, right, up, down, and move diagonally. I don't like it very much and find it really hard to fight in because since you are flying you have to be on almost the same level as your opponet to hit them and if you are a little off you will totally miss them. I found this annoying, plus all of your moves that connect send you opponent floating backwards making it impossible to hit them constantly with normal or linked moves.

The meteos are extremly cheap, all you need to do is walk up to your opponet and hit towards them and R2 to send them flying. While they are flying simply hit two buttons together and your character will beat away at them with them not being able to do a thing except have a 1 in 3 chance to guess which one you did and try to cancel it. This isn't even the worst part, you can actually link meteo's together to really punish your foe. You can thankfully turn the meteos off though in the options menu same as the Super Ki attacks. Your Super Ki attacks remain basically unchanged from the previous Dragon Ball Budakai fighters. You lose alot of you Ki energy you have built up, but if successfully hit the enemy it causes real damage. The view however in this game is from behind you character and I find it less impressive than the old side view, it does still however show you the attack from the side if you are close to you opponent. On a Super Ki attack as you opponent is charging up to blow you away you have the chance to either, block, counter, gaurd, or knock it away but doing a certain movements based on which of the previous things you want to accomplish. Once you counter the Super Ki attack though you are thrust into a battle to see which one of you will win by hitting the triangle button as fast as you can.

Music and Sound effects: This game has some of the coolest music ever found in a DB game yet. It uses some of the old themes from earlier Dragon Ball games but enchances them as well as a bunch of new music. They hired the original singers from the DBZ anime to do the new opening song (vocal) which translates into The Battle of the Strongest, and plays during the opening animation. As well as two other songs (vocal) which are played during the credits if you beat the game on hard mode. They went out and got all of the original voice actors to do extensive talking for the game. Before every fight and during their win pose the characters will taunt each other in the usual DBZ fashion. The special attacks all have their names from the Kamehameha to the Final Flash, as well as some new one that they made up for the game like Vegetto's Final Kamehameha. The charge sound is close if not exactly from the anime as well as the usual yell of who ever is charging up.

Graphics: They look okay but the characters are no where near the standards of Tobal 2. All of the characters still look blocky and rough but move pretty good. During the win poses though the graphic really hurt, the polygons on the characters mess up a lot on certain characters giving it a crappy look. Some of the character are really cool looking in my opinon while other look nothing at all like the characters they are supposed to represent, especially in the victory poses. The graphics before each fight of the fighters are hand drawn and this time look really nice. For the most part the characters that are from the DBZ series look like the DBZ characters not cheap mock impressions of Akira Toriyama's characters, while the GT guys look like there from GT (If you follow Dragon Ball you know that DBZ and DBGT styles are different).

Lastly the game is extremely easy. I put it on hard and beat it with out a problem. The last boss (Vegeta-Bebi in Golden Monkey form) is incredibly cheap. He is so big that it is basically impossible to hurt him without using Super Ki attacks and is really easy to beat if you use Buu or Vegeta's Explosion techniques. The game has the same ending no matter what character you use. All the ending consists of is the credits with pictures in the back of every character while it plays the three vocal songs, if you beat it on hard. There is a build up mode where you can custimize your fighter if you want by makeing him stronger in certain areas and of course the tournament mode where 8 people can play through a tournament. Let me end by saying it is fun to play if you like Dragon Ball and know who each character is and all their special attacks but for the average gamer who is looking for a fighter pass this one up and get Tobal 2 or one of the other 3D fighters. This is a pretty basic game with not much skill as far as depth for each character. Also most of the characters are either forms of Son Goku, Chibi (kid) Son Goku, or Trunks all with the same moves, adding all the forms of those 3 people gives you 9 of the 17 characters.

Scores out of a perfect 10



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