It's all a blurThere are 21 playable characters, all of which sit either side of the good or evil fence and all are immaculately designed, cel-shaded and sport their own unique look and range of out-of-this-world special moves.
There’s a simple, yet well-designed interface, similar to what you see in most fighting games, with a health bar for each fighter that runs across the top of the screen, a fatigue gauge, which when empty slows down your fighter, and a Ki Gauge, which fills slowly throughout a battle and when full indicates when you can unleash a projectile, such as fireball, at your opponent.
Each fight is a flurry of movements and a swift clash of arms and legs, which is bolstered by plenty of over the top B-movie Karate style sounds as you dash around the bright 2D environments. The contrast of the vivid 3D characters on this 2D plane makes them really stand out and gives each fight a unique style reminiscent of the best in Japanese anime.
The fighting is blisteringly fast, so much so that it’s initially difficult to work out exactly what’s going on and who’s hitting who, never mind being able to form a plan of attack or defence. There’s a fair amount of button bashing involved and on some levels the game doesn’t require that much skill to progress, just the ability to back off when being attacked and move forward when you spot an opening. In one respect this makes the game accessible to those seeking a quick and enjoyable blast of fighting action, but the depth of the combat system may not appeal to those fight-fans who take joy out of much deeper fighting games, such as Virtua Fighter.
Nevertheless, Burst Limit does still have enough depth to make it enjoyable and once you get into a rhythm and take time to master counter-attacks, blocks, dodges, combos and special moves, you’re rewarded with a slick and very entertaining fight experience.
Amongst the moves on offer, there are dash attacks, charge attacks, where you can knock your opponent flying with one punch or kick, smash attacks and multiple combos. The AI is no push over either and does a good job at recognizing patterns in your attacks and then adapting its style to counteract it. As a result the game is extremely challenging. especially when you crank up the difficulty settings.
One thing that is implement poorly, although the idea is good, is the new drama piece system that triggers automatically, giving you a brief edge over an opponent. Before each fight, you can choose three drama pieces to bring with you, choosing from the likes of a health or power boost to having a friend jump in on the action to counteract an attack from your foe. Annoyingly though, you have no control over the drama pieces. Instead they activate whenever the game thinks you need them rather than when you want them. It can be quite frustrating, especially when you’ve spotted your opponent with his guard down and you’re just about to unleash an attack. Admittedly, the short cut-scenes look great, but at times it does ruin the flow of a fight.
Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit is an instantly accessible and very entertaining fighter that I've enjoyed far more in short burst then long stints. In part, this is due to the lack of variety in the stages and the lack of differentiation between the characters fighting skills. Despite there being 21 characters to choose from, you never seem to have to adopt your fighting style to accommodate their specific moves. Instead, you can take on each fight in the same way as you did the last.
Still, fighting is fun, fast-paced and visually impressive and the online component adds good replay value.
Looks fab, animations are superb.
Fast and action-packed
Lack of differentiation in character fighting styles. Drama pieces look great, but implemented poorly.
The pick-up-and-play gameplay and unique visual style are Burst Limits biggest assets.