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Updated November 20, 2004

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QB Dragon Ball Z Demo
(Ryan Mallon)

"The Battleground for the Strongest Beings in the Universe!"

The Saiyan prince Vegeta is in for the battle of his life, when he must face his ultimate adversary: himself! In this one-on-one battle for two players only, it's up to pure skill to determine who truly is the better fighter! 

All of Vegeta's mightiest attacks are in your mercy. Uppercut your flesh-and-blood counterpart into the air, break him down with a rocket kick, then finish with Vegeta's power move, the Final Flash!

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
No QB fighting game has ever aimed for the level of detail delivered in the QBDBZ demo before, and Ryan Mallon does QB gamers a huge favor by finally raising the standard to the 256-color, screen 13 mode. The two game levels featured in this game are articulate and well-chosen, and from a technical standpoint the transparent projectiles and use of the DQB library is well-executed.

As it's a demo, the biggest tribulation QBDBZ has in the graphics department is a lack of polish. The character sprites do look a little faded, and the character select screen is missing characters inside many of the boxes.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Without the sound effects offered in the QBDBZ demo, the game wouldn't have been much. Although Ryan Mallon admits that the game's sound effects (and probably game music when it's added) have been borrowed from various sources, it's all in an effort to flatter the creators of the Dragon Ball series. And for what it's worth, the sound effects are closely synchronized with the game action.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
(Very Good)
Now for the most perverse of Dragon Ball junkies, you'll probably be well aware that although the graphics from the QB Dragon Ball Z Demo originated from Dragon Ball Super Butoden 3, the gameplay bears little resemblance to it's inspiration. This is a good thing-- while Super Butoden 3 for the Super Famicom is fun to watch, it's really boring to play because of it's slow pace.

QBDBZ is a two-players simultaneous only fighting game. The fighter utilizes a four-button system, with three buttons for punches and kicks and one button for blocking attacks. In addition, QBDBZ provides a nice, long list of special moves, which are activated by tapping familiar fighting game motions (down, toward, attack button 1, etc.)

One thing that might put fans of fighting games down when they pick up QBDBZ is the lack of comboing, or the ability to add damage to a landed attack by landing an additional sequence of attacks. Instead, offense relies on a power bar that is raised by pressing the top two attack buttons. When fully charged, every attack is more damaging and abusable. Hitting a foe also saps their power bar, which is key to victory in this game.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) The Dragon Ball Z Japanimation didn't really have much of a plot anyway, but some story demos similar to those seen in the end of commercial fighting games (perhaps included with QBDBZ's upcoming story mode) would enhance the score here.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Again, a good one-player mode would probably benefit QBDBZ in this category more than anything else. This fighting game is a lot of fun if there's somebody around, but with the lack of characters there's not enough to discover yet to warrant a high replay value score.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
Since QB Dragon Ball Z is a straight-up two-player game, the challenge level of QBDBZ is greatly dependent on the game's learning curve. After trying to see what moves connect with each other and what don't, it would have been nice to see some air juggles connect in this game, since knocking an opponent down often pushes them into the air.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
Don't let some of the lower marks fool you. This is a Dragon Ball fighting game the way a Dragon Ball fighting game should have been made. From a gameplay point of view, the year's worth of effort and development time that went into this game really shows. Punches, kicks, rocket punches, projectiles, and all the goodies you see in fighting games (except throws) are at your disposal.

What you won't get in the current demo of QBDBZ is the variation that comes naturally from having a larger character roster and a one-player mode. Vegeta vs. Vegeta battles are entertaining, but they can only go so far. Ryan Mallon promises to have all these things (and then some) corrected when the final version of QBDBZ is released. 

QB Dragon Ball Z Demo Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 2 players
Genre: Arcade/Fighting Game
Rating To solve: N/A Final Rating: 16/35

To download QB Dragon Ball Z Demo (736KB), click here.
wThis game requires that you have a Sound-Blaster compatible sound card.
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
wTo play QB Dragon Ball Z Demo, unzip the file and run "QBDBZ.EXE".
wAfter setting the game up the first time around, you may skip the options by running "GAME.EXE".

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Ryan Mallon
Homepage URL
Final Rating
16 out of 35 points

The Highs: A good two player fighting game with plenty of special moves to use.
The Lows: Options and other control menus are a real pain to navigate through.

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