Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Most Underrated Fighter from the Last Generation is...Super Dragon Ball Z??!!!

Been a while since you've seen this expose, huh? However, I'll be starting that slow move of bringing my Facebook Articles to the blog slowly but surely when it's time for that article to get some new shine.

Today happens to be that day for Super DBZ because for the first time in about 3 years there's actually new high level play footage out and this is to mark that occasion.

So enjoy the footage like I am and be reminded of why you should take another looked at an overlooked future classic fighter.

This all started when I posted on GAF and stated that Super Dragon Ball Z is the most underrated fighter from the last generation. It started my mind working as to why I would state that when even I'd expect me to say Arcana Heart, Melty Blood or even The Rumble Fish. But here's the thing though.

Arcana Heart is on its 3rd game and Examu is constantly working to keep it one of the best fighters in the business and there's a wonderful community all over the world that keeps that shit going.

The same applies to Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code as well with Ecole keeping the game constantly updated and the community that stands behind it as well.

The Rumble Fish 2 is still played a bit in Japan and nobody on the face of the planet knows this better than I do.

Super Dragon Ball Z however has none of these things going for it. The scene in Japan for the game died a long time ago. It didn't help that it came out before the Renaissance and the worst part about it is that the 2 groups that this was aimed at didn't really give a fuck about the game.

The hardcore fighting game fan dismissed it as a Sparking/Budokai Tenkaichi game and paid it no mind and the Dragon Ball fans need their damn hands held through everything. "If it takes more than 2 buttons to make flashy shit happen then please count me the fuck out."

Here's the problem with all of that though. Super is deep as fuck. There aren't any comeback mechanics or shortcut motions. This is a pure fighting game through and through. Having a pure fighting game is easy when you have Noritaka Funamizu behind the wheel, the wonderful folks of Crafts & Meister and the group of people who brought you the most shitted on fighting game series in history, Arika.

That same series in turn could be the most underrated fighting game series of all time in Street Fighter EX. I could go on forever about EX and how its leagues better than SF4 could ever be but that's another conversation for another day and a conversation we'll be having really soon.

Back on the subject though. Super Dragon Ball Z at the base doesn't really look like much more than just another DBZ fighter but underneath all of that beats the heart of a game that is deep, complex and engrossing.

Super is one of the few games in history to really keep DBZ honest without resorting to all the flash that the games are very known for and the best part it's done by one gauge, the Action Gauge.

The Action Gauge controls everything that is movement based from sidesteps, dashes and most importantly flight. You can't just fly around forever while waiting for a chance to strike. The Action Gauge also lends itself to some advanced gameplay functions like fireball nullification & parries and some other functions as well. Who knew that one gauge could do so much good.

 Now this game is very rushdown oriented but it doesn't mean that there isn't a zoning game here and that game is just as if not more dangerous than the rushdown itself. Wondering why this could be the case?

It's all because of the wonders of Super DBZ's most important feature, the Skill System. Now skill systems in fighters have been done and even DBZ did it and still does it. However, the Skill System in this game can make the difference in whether you win or lose and here's why.

The Skill System in Super is designed to do two things. Either compensate for your weaknesses or enhance your strengths. Now you may say that's what Skill Systems do but in Super how you build your character goes a long way in what your options are in battle.

All the characters at their base can compete and win; Even Android 16 who at his base is the worst character in the game. However, an investment in skills to compensate for what he lacks which in this case are his speed and the fact that he only has 2 Action Bars and now your chances of winning have drastically improved because your investment in your character via the Skill System.

This does also work in reverse as well. Let's take Chi Chi for example who's zoning in this game in my view is second to none at base. Now to her credit she does have some nice basic combos and a decent rekka chain but her strength is that she can lock the opponent down with her zoning game because her different fireballs control all the game's possible space. Now by investing in her skills that way you gain additional abilities from her Skill Tree to compliment her zoning game. In this case you'd gain an additional way to keep up zoning pressure and get to use the coolest part about the Skill System which is the Skill Inherit.

With Skill Inherit you're able to steal another character's move or special trait they possess. For example, Vegeta's special trait within Skill Inherit is the must have skill for most builds, the Super Cancel and the Super Cancel in this game opens up a myriad of possibilities of not only being able to do more damage but also by covering a super move that misses. A great use for it is for Saiyans after a missed super can cancel into a Super Saiyan transformation to cover that mistake if need be.

These are just a couple of examples of how you can make a character in this game fit how you play and not playing a character the way they were created to be and it's all thanks to the wonders of the Skill System.

There is so much to this game I didn't get into but in time I'll be showing what this game can really do and I hope that it opens up people to be more open minded in their gaming choices by just giving a game a chance.

I could only imagine if this game really took off. Life in itself is so unpredictable so who knows if this is the start for that catalyst for that change. So do yourself a favor and go pick up Super Dragon Ball Z if you haven't already. You'll thank me later.


For the record do you wanna know the Most Underrated Fighter of this generation is? That would be a draw between Tatsunoko vs Capcom and Castlevania Judgment. Yeah I said it, Castlevania Judgment.

That game has some hidden depth to it as well and in 2012 I'll be shedding light on that on that subject too and Tatsunoko vs Capcom is just better than Marvel 3. Point blank period! There is one other game that even eclipses those two in this generation and takes underrated fighter to a whole new extreme. But I'll be holding that one to the chest until the time is right to blow that game up. Be watching for that one.

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