Z Legends is considered by many to be the best Dragon Ball Z game on 32-bit
platforms. Unlike previous Dragon Ball Z fighting games, this game uses a
new battle engine, unlike the previous Super Butoden series on the SNES.
This new battle engine is capable of creating three-on-three battles within
a 3D atmosphere. It truely represents the huge battles that occur in the
Dragon Ball Z TV and manga series.
The FMV introduction to Dragon Ball Z Legends is amazing. You see the summoning
of the Namek Dragon with the portraits of Son Goku, Son Gohan, Krillin, Piccolo,
Vegeta, Trunks and Gotenks fading by into the background.
The story in this game is based on the entire Z series and is divided into
8 major battles:
Battle 1: Nappa and Vegeta
Battle 2: Ginyu Force
Battle 3: Frieza
Battle 4: Artificial Humans 19 and 20 and Artifical Humans 16, 17, and 18
Battle 5: Cell
Battle 6: Majin-Boo (1st Form)
Battle 7: Majin-Boo (1st and 2nd Form)
Battle 8: Majin-Boo (3rd Form)
Before each fight, some shots from Dragon Ball Z are shown, with the narrator
from the original TV series explaining the beginning of the battle in Japanese.
The new battle engine is very impressive. The characters are able to fight
exactly as they did in the anime. They can fly miles up into the sky, while
their opponent is standing on the ground. They can also unleash dozens of
kicks and punches with a single button press, which gives you the same feeling
of speed as in the anime. The special attacks that each character can perform
are recognizable from the anime and are reproduced impressively. The characters
you control can also escape from attacks by vanishing, and reappearing behind
your opponent with a powerful counter attack. Everything just looks and feels
like Dragon Ball Z.
In Dragon Ball
Z Legends, the player can play as three characters at once and can battle
against the CPU, who can also have three characters. For example, in the
first battle of the game, you have the choice of Son Goku, Son Gohan, Piccolo,
or Krillin. The player can choose three characters among your choices. After
the choice of characters have been made, the fight against Nappa only begins.
Once you defeat Nappa, Vegeta will show up and fight your team. You can only
control one of the characters at a time. The other two characters are controlled
by the CPU and automatically attacks the other team. You can switch characters
anytime you want. You can also swap between characters that you did not choose
initially. If you get tired of smashing on the buttons, you can let the CPU
fight for you while you watch, but this will result in a lower score at the
end of the battle. You can also listen to the comments made by people like
Kame and Kaioh-Shin (according to how far you progressed in the game) and
the characters you did not choose, when you are watching the CPU fight for
The point of this game is to diminish all of your opponents' health, but
this cannot be done directly by just attacking. At the bottom of the screen,
there is a meter that is showing the power balance between the two teams.
At the beginning of the battle, the meter is divided equally into blue and
red. Blue represents the player's power over the battle and red represents
the CPU's power over the battle. Each time a character hits any of the opponents,
the color representing its team will increase. When the meter is totally
blue or red, either the player or the character can perform a special attack,
like the Kamehameha or the Genki Dama. Many of these special attacks are
recognizable from the TV and manga series. After a special attack is performed,
the character that was hit with the special attack will have reduced health,
usually about 1/3 of his/her total health. This really makes the battles
in Dragon Ball Z Legends last very long, as you can only cause damage to
one character with the special attack. You can always save the game after
each battle, so if you ever get tired, you can always come back later.
There is a Vs. Mode in this game that will allow you and another player to
select any of the 35 characters you fought against in Story Mode and fight
each other. However, a major disappointment about this mode is that the
battlefield is extremely limited and it will not allow for some long and
major battles. There is also a hidden mode that you can access once you have
completed all 8 battles in Story Mode. This new mode is called SP Mode and
will allow you to fight imaginary battles that would not really happen in
the Dragon Ball Z storyline, such as Vegeta, Nappa, and Goku fighting against
the Ginyu Force. It really adds the playability to this game.
The music in the game really fits the action quite well, unlike some of the
repetitive music that Bandai has used in most of its Dragon Ball video games.
The ending music is also well done. All the speeches are taken from the
actors/actress from the Japanese TV series. Anyone who has seen the Japanese
Dragon Ball TV series should be able to recognize some of the voices heard
during the game.
The graphics within this game are okay, but most of the characters look a
bit pixelated, especially during close-up views. Otherwise, you can recognize
every single character at once. Each of the characters moves within the game
are taken straight from the TV and manga series, which gives you a feeling
of seeing and controlling the actual Dragon Ball Z characters. The main
attractions (in my opinion) are the number of characters (35 in total) from
the Dragon Ball Z series and the spectacular attacks that each character
can perform. This game is a definite buy for Dragon Ball fans.
- New fighting engine reproduces the action in the TV/Manga series flawlessly.
- 35 recognizable Dragon Ball Z characters are playable.
- Special attacks performed by all characters look amazing in 3D.
- Battles can often be long and tedious.
- Some of the battles can be too easy to beat.
- The charatcers can sometimes look pixelated, especially during close-ups.