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Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout
Platform:  Playstation
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  Ban Dai
Publisher:  Ban Dai
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  
Though all 3 of the DBZ games have been out for quite some time now, they continue to sell as more and more people are becoming obsessed with the ongoing action soap opera that is Dragon Ball Z. The third and possibly the last installment of DBZ games on the Playstation is Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout. This is the only game to be released and distributed on the American market. However, there were only a couple of prints done on it and as a result, it is extremely hard to find. DBGT takes a turn from the previous games since it uses polygonal characters and a whole new fighting engine. Whereas the graphics are much nicer, the gameplay is very slow and extremely difficult to the point where it almost seems unfair.

If you watch DBZ every day on the Cartoon Network like most fans then seeing your favorite characters in 3-D polygons will appear strange at first. Though they look very nice, they do not really look like they do in the cartoon. They almost look too good in this version. Still, this is not the main drawback to the game. Out of all of the aspects of the game, I would have to say that graphics are its best feature.

Play on the other hand is a different story. The response time is very slow, and each move that the characters do is executed at a snail's pace. You'll hit the punch button and watch the character go through a huge animation of punching. It is almost impossible to perform any combos and so the action is very slow back and forth. The control contributes to this problem. In addition to punch, kick, and block there are special moves that each character can perform. Since there is a focus on watching much of the animation the special moves are difficult to do. In addition to that, the game pauses while the animation happens. This is supposed to make it feel like the show, but it just slows the game down.

The major problem with the game is the fact that the computer controlled characters have no trouble with the sluggish control and can execute all of their moves with perfect timing. They can also anticipate moves and block unlike human controlled characters that have the burden of slow response to the block command. The same problem is true to all of the counter moves, which are difficult to execute as well. The one thing that the game boasts is the "Meteor Smash" finishing move. When executed the animation looks very smooth and cool. However, like everything else it is very difficult for you to execute whereas the computer can and will do it every time.

The main addition to Final Bout is the Build-Up mode. In it you choose a character and put it through training fights against all of the other characters. The moves that you perform in these modes will give you experience points and make you stronger in the regular fighting. It is something like an RPG without a story line. Although this is a nice attempt at add in some depth to the game, it gets old very quickly. Be warned-when you start out in this mode you will get whipped very quickly. This is due to the fact that all of the characters start out with much more health than you do. Fair? Not really.

As far as the fun factor goes, this game is fairly lacking. I would have preferred less spectacular graphics and more speed. As it is, I think that only the die-hard Dragon Ball fans will really enjoy the game. If you are not a fan of the series then this game will definitely not convert you into one. It is nothing special in the gaming world, but in the Dragon Ball world, it is very popular. Without the license though, it is a frustrating mediocre fighting game.

Chris Shade

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