Dragonball Z: Battle of the Z review

Thanks to the enduring popularity of Akira Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga strip and ensuing animated adaptations (the 153-episode Dragon Ball and 291-episode Dragon Ball Z), the past three decades have seen the release of more than 50 licensed videogames. So you'd expect the development teams to have ironed out all of the kinks by now and perfected the formula, right?

Well, the one thing that this latest game definitely gets spot on is its visuals. Utilising a gorgeous cel-shaded style, …Battle of the Z captures the look of Toriyama's artwork perfectly and makes the game look like an interactive episode of the 'toon. It's just a pity that the camera can sometimes get a little wayward when the action really heats up.

Unfortunately, the gameplay isn't up to the same level. Built to encourage teamwork and strategy amongst players (or A.I. companions if you can't round up any chums for a spot of multiplayer action), …Battle of the Z is based around battling multiple opponents in moderately-sized arenas. Which would be fine if the actual fight mechanics weren't quite so simple. The addition of collectible cards that boost powers and a huge roster of characters add some much-needed variety to the action – but aside from its visuals, this brawler never really comes close to delivering a real knock-out blow.

Dragonball Z: Battle of the Z, Namco Bandai, Xbox 360/PS3, £45 Approx