Best Animated Film of Each Year

It’s time to look at the best animated film of each year! This post is going to have a lot of gaps during the early parts as there are many years where I didn’t see a film, but I wanted to keep it separate from live action so both sides got their time to shine. Naturally if the only film that I’ve seen in a year got under a 5 then I won’t be counting it. I mainly used Wikipedia for researching this list, but you never know if I missed one or not so if I find a better movie for a year then naturally I’ll update it. 2018 is pretty early so far and I’m sure it’ll change, but I’ve still added it. Without further adieu, lets do this.

1937 Snow White
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Certainly a classic film and it has the honor of being the very earliest animated film that I’ve ever seen. Considering that this was back in the 1930s the animation is actually quite good. It’s really impressive and just makes me even sadder for some of the current animated stuff that comes out.

1940 Pinocchio
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Pinocchio is definitely a fun film and one that is certainly more intense than you may remember. The whole scene of the kid getting drunk and then everyone turning into Donkeys was quite unexpected. Definitely a film that you will take a second glance at while watching to make sure that it’s the right film.

1941 Dumbo
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How can you not like the concept of Dumbo? It’s about a big elephant who always knew that he had what it takes to be the best. We had some solid supporting characters here and while it would never hit it off the same way that many of the other Disney films did, the important thing is that the film had heart and never gave up without a fight. Yeah, I was having a hard time filling out this paragraph, but I did a good job I’d say.

1950 Cinderella
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Cinderella is definitely an intense story and one that has really aged well with the animation. 1950 was a very long time ago, but the story is remembered just as much now as it ever was. Maybe even more so with the recent remake.

1959 Sleeping Beauty
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Just from this picture you can see how far Disney has come in 9 years. The animation was solid and we actually got a fight scene here which was really epic. You can’t go wrong with big dragon battles and this movie did a really good job of handling it.

1964 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
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Rudolph is definitely a classic film. Santa may have been rather mean the whole time, but Rudolph never let it get to him. He’s just a very nice reindeer who always tries to do the right thing. That’s just the kind of guy he is and it’s why this special is always so emotional. The Island of Misfits was always a fun scene as well.

1969 A Boy Named Charlie Brown
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The Charlie Brown series is certainly a very large franchise. This was one of the really early ones and it was a good way to get used to the cast. It’s not as if there is a huge plot or anything, but it’s a fun slice of life adventure that will claim your attention.

1970 Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
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You may think that Santa was already in town, but it turns out that he had to travel. This wasn’t a great movie or anything, but it was in a relatively weak year. It’s fun enough though and will certainly put you in a Christmas mood.

1973 Charlotte’s Web
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I saw Charlotte’s Web when I was really little and it was only recently that I rewatched it. It’s definitely an emotional story with Charlotte. While the parents weren’t very likable, at least the main character was ready to protect the pig. It’s a film about hard decisions for sure.

1976 Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
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Who ever thought we would get a Rudolph film with a convoluted plot? Well, that’s exactly what happened with this film and it definitely turned out pretty well. It has good replay value since you’ll likely want to watch it a second time to truly appreciate how meta the plot is. It’s a film that has been forgotten by many though.

1977 Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
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It was finally time for Charlie to get a long sports film. The bullies may have been a little too intense here, but I can always appreciate a good competition. It’s not like you’d expect Charlie to do too well in such circumstances anyway, but I was still hoping that he would come out on top and finally show the world that he was a champ. Maybe next time.

1979 Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
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Who wasn’t excited when this crossover was announced? It makes so much sense and yet this film never got too popular. The plot may not have been amazing or anything, but Rudolph looked really good in the action scenes and the story just writes itself. This is hype confirmed.

1983 Mickey’s Christmas Carol
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A classic take on the Christmas Carol and one that really works well. Mickey and Scrooge are perfect for the roles. Scrooge was practically born into it with such a name. It definitely has a happy ending and Scrooge does a good job of resisting the Christmas spirit before getting sucked into it.

1986 Transformers The Movie
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Take a look at the picture and can you tell me that this film came out in the 80s? It’s another film where the animation was utterly spectacular and the movie gets better every time you see it. I couldn’t really appreciate it the first 3-4 times, but the final time I saw it the whole thing finally clicked. This is the ultimate Transformers experience and a big reason as to why the franchise is so good.

1987 Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers
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I can’t really get behind Shaggy’s red shirt, but this was a fun special. I never really knew the Boo Brothers too well, but who wasn’t familiar with Scooby Doo? I wouldn’t mind if they brought these movies back as the Shaggy and Scooby dynamic works pretty well. Of course, having the whole gang around is probably the better dynamic, but it’s close.

1988 Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf
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I saw this film so many times back in the day. It may not be the greatest Scooby Doo Adventure, but the race is solid and it’s certainly nostalgic. With everyone cheating and the actual terrain being pretty suspect, the heroes had to use all of their skills to drive through that mess.

1989 Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone
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Dead Zone started DBZ’s long reign of destruction as it kept getting best film of the year awards. Dead Zone had some really good action scenes and while they may not be as high tier as the later films, that didn’t take away from the actual fights. These fights had a lot of heart and you could feel the effort that was put into them. It was a solid start to the movie series.

1990 Dragon Ball Z The Tree of Might
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The Tree of Might had the first Goku Black since before Super was even thought up. The film surprisingly didn’t really go into that, but it’s still a really solid DBZ film with a lot of fight scenes. Goku may have been a little outmatched, but it was good for hype. I’m not a big fan of throwing in the apes at the end, but people like them so I guess the film had to do it.

1991 Dragon Ball Z Cooler’s Revenge
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Definitely one of the best DBZ films. It was a great way for Super Saiyan to debut and the movie was basically nonstop action. It’s easily the best early DBZ film and was a great transition to the Super Saiyan adventures. Even the soundtrack was 5 star material and this is just a very complete movie.

1992 Dragon Ball Z Super Android 13
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Super Android 13 may have been extremely short like a lot of the early DBZ films, but the action starts almost within the 5 minutes and continues to the end. It’s awesome if you came for the fights and naturally I did so this worked quite well. It’s easily one of the best DBZ films and is just incredible in general.

1993 Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan
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While Resurrection F may have finally passed this film as the best DBZ title, Broly is still absolutely amazing. The animation was certainly ahead of its time and Broly makes for an incredibly imposing villain. The fights here are some of the best choreographed in all of anime and I really hope Broly returns someday.

1994 Broly-Second Coming
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Broly Second Coming may not have been as good as the original since Goku and Adult Trunks weren’t around, but his fight with Gohan was still pretty solid. I was glad he got to appear again at any rate and it’s still a lot better than the third film in the trilogy would be. This one still had a solid plot and a good portrayal for Broly.

1995 Dragon Ball Z Fusion Reborn
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Fusion Reborn is a pretty hype DBZ film even if it wasn’t as great as it could have been. Focusing on the Goku and Vegeta plot would have made this film much better. It’s rare to see SSJ3 Goku so overwhelmingly outmatched, but he still tried his best. Janemba has a great design and this film is a must watch for DBZ fans as it effectively ended the initial DBZ adventures. I mean there was one other film, but it didn’t really have any big fights…

1996 Sonic The Hedgehog
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I’ve seen this Sonic movie many times. Technically it’s an OVA, but I’ve seen it in movie format each time and it’s the definitive Sonic experience. The fight with Metal Sonic is incredible and it’s what I expect when watching something Sonic related. I doubt the film will ever be surpassed and that’s fine since it sets such a high bar. Still, if you have not seen this movie then you need to change that as soon as possible!

1997 Slayers Great
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Slayers has made it into the fray! The movies and OVAs for typically prequels while the TV show focused on the current events. That was actually a pretty smart move and a good way to keep both sets of adventures going. It was a fun movie that had solid animation which were good for the fights. Otherwise, Lina was pestering Naga as much as you can expect and that dynamic is always fun.

1998 Pokemon The First Movie
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The first Pokemon movie was incredible and to this day it makes a strong case for being the absolute best one in the series. Mewtwo is really powerful and is probably still the most powerful Pokemon. Ash got to throw a good punch and all of the characters were at their best here. It’s a film that I’ve seen many times and is always as fun as the last.

1999 Pokemon 2000
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Pokemon 2000 may have been a lot more low key than the first film, but it’s still a nice adventure. Adventure is the right word to use for this film because the whole film is essentially Ash trekking through the snowy island that he is on. There isn’t a whole lot of action, but it’s an enjoyable film and it’s always nice to see the original cast.

2000 Batman Beyond Return of the Joker
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Return of the Joker was definitely a very intense film and a good way to cap off the Batman Beyond series. The animation was definitely really solid and the soundtrack was great as you always expect from the series. Joker and Bruce Wayne finally got some closure and this film is the main reason why we want the Beyond series to return someday.

2001 Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase
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Scooby Doo Cyber Chase is probably the best of the Scooby Doo films as I think it even has the slight edge over Zombie Island. It was a really fun video game inspired film with even some crossover elements like meeting the other Scooby Doo gang. It’s a really fun film and for Scooby Doo to take a win in the post 2000 era you know that the film had to be solid.

2002 Pokemon Heroes
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Pokemon Heroes was a pretty fun film. It was good to see a more experienced Ash take charge here. The film was rather light on action and Latios looked fairly weak, but I guess not all of the legendaries can be fighters. It was definitely fun watching this film in theaters and the visuals still hold up well.

2003 Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
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While the mystery may be the biggest incentive to watching this film, I was mainly interested in the fight scenes. The film had a lot of them and they were all quite solid. Even Penguin’s two bodyguards were actually able to fight this one as the ladies were even defeating Batwoman quite handily. It’s definitely a very solid Batman film to watch and one that I’ve seen many times.

2004 Yugioh and the Pyramid of Light
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You may wonder why Yugi has 2 copies of Ra, but that’s not important right now. This was a very fun Yugioh film with some solid card duels. It may not have gotten the same acclaim as the other 2 newer Yugioh films, but it was a good way to get the ball rolling. Kaiba gets the hype you’d expect from him and the new villain is solid as well. Just a very good all around movie.

2005 Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
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This film had a long history of being my all time favorite. It has since been surpassed a few times, but it’s still an incredible film that shows off the potential of CGI. It can look good if applied properly and this film proves it. The soundtrack and plot are also awesome making this a great film that could win almost any year with ease.

2006 Bleach: Memories of Nobody
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The first Bleach film was a lot of fun. Ichigo was relentless against the villains here and we got to see all of the Captains get to do something by the end. The villain was a credible threat and the animation was movie level as well. When I think of Bleach, this film captures the essence of the series the best even if Hell Verse is still the best movie. This film got Bleach off to a great start.

2007 Bleach: Diamond Dust Rebellion
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A film about Hitsugaya may have been a rather intriguing call, but it’s one that worked reasonably well. You can’t help but think that the movie would have been better with Ichigo as the lead, but we got a good amount of action either way. It also helped prove my theory that Soul Society is actually evil and must be defeated someday.

2008 Bleach: Fade To Black
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Dark Rukia was a cool concept even if the film didn’t really go all out with it. The third Bleach film may be the weakest of the Bleach films, but it’s still a very solid movie in its own respect. It was just lacking in action when you expect a lot more from the series. Throw in just one more action scene and this film would probably have a far better rep.

2009 Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire
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The Will of Fire is the best Naruto film for the simple reason that it had the best fights. All of Naruto’s friends may have betrayed him and I lost respect for all of those guys, but Naruto always held true to his beliefs of making sure to save everyone. This film really shows why Naruto is a very likable main character and I’d highly recommend checking it out to see for yourself.

2010 Yugioh Bonds Beyond Time
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The greatest film of all time! I don’t see anything ever possibly topping this movie. I don’t care if it’s the big Goku Ultra Super Saiyan 6 vs Whis Level 5 or if it’s a big budget RWBY series finale movie. This film cannot be stopped as it was the ultimate crossover and still had the best audience I’ve ever seen at a theater. With a super cast and nonstop action, Bonds Beyond Time is the champ for good reason.

2011 Tekken Blood Vengeance
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Tekken is definitely a very fun film. The action doesn’t really heat up until the heroes make it to the tower, but we get a few fights before that. Tekken has always been well known because its a fighting game series that also has a good story so it makes sense that the film would be an example of this. It’s also one of the few CGI films that still looks really great. It makes sense since the games use a similar visual style.

2012 Justice League Doom
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Justice League Doom is a pretty fun film. It’s certainly a little more low key than Crisis on Two Earths, but still gives us a lot of action scenes and more quality time with the Justice League. It shows why Batman is so feared since he can easily come up with plans to stop anyone. The guy cannot be underestimated.

2013 Dragon Ball Z Battle of Gods
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Battle of Gods was huge when it first came out since it meant that we finally got to see the old characters again. Nostalgia initially helped me give it such a generous score, but either way it is still a very solid film. The ending may not be satisfying, but Goku finally getting a new super form was a long time coming. There were some solid action scenes so how could you not like this film?
2014 Naruto The last
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Romance aside, it was great to finally see a grown up Naruto who could really cut loose. He wasn’t holding back at all in this movie and the fight scene on the Moon was incredible. The movie is definitely very action packed and feels a lot like DBZ in a good way. It was a very nice way to wrap up Naruto’s story before his son would take over.

2015 Dragon Ball Z Resurrection F
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Finally, a new Super Saiyan form! This film got a lot of hype and lived up to all of it. It has the best soundtrack in a DBZ film and while the power levels were wonky it didn’t make the viewing experience any worse. Just sit tight and enjoy the hype combat!

2016 Yugioh Dark Side of Dimensions
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Dark Side of Dimensions is definitely a great film. The duels are absolutely top notch and Kaiba really looked great. The writers seemed to look at why people like Yugioh and then incorporate all of the best elements into the film. They did a flawless job and I don’t see how they can possibly top this with another classic film. If this is how the original part of the franchise ends, I would be satisfied.

2017 Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale
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I was a little worried when walking into the theater for this film since SAO is a series full of highs and lows, but the movie was firing on all cylinders. The action is intense and the animation is amazing. With tight pacing and a great plot, you couldn’t go wrong with this title.

2018 Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold
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Scooby Doo has returned to claim the 2018 spot! This was a fun crossover with Batman and definitely was a good way to bring this Batman series back. I doubt it will keep this spot for very long, but we have to give credit where it’s due. The gang really outdid themselves this time.

Congrats on getting to the end! This post was definitely a lot of fun to make so be on the lookout for other sections like Live Action Movies and TV shows at some point. In the meantime I will be sure to keep this list updated.

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The Best Video Games of Each Year

It’s time to take a look at the best video game of each year! This was definitely a tough project since some years have a ton of great games. Naturally I am only counting games that I have played in some capacity. Collections aren’t counted and I just count myself as playing each game individually. I’m going with the original release date so if it came out in Japan a year sooner than America then I go with that date. Remakes get iffy, but if it’s from the ground up or there is something to make it significantly different then it is counted. Without further ado, lets look at the best games of all time!

2018 Dragon Ball FighterZ
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2018 is still going, but it already looks like FighterZ is here to stay as the champ. The game is just spectacular in terms of gameplay and visuals. It’s the complete package and everything you could ask for from a DBZ title.

2017 Super Mario Odyssey
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This was a tough one, but Odyssey manages to barely edge out Sonic Forces and Fire Emblem Warriors for the title. It’s definitely a great Mario game and it feels like the next big installment to the series. Nintendo will have to work hard to possibly top this one and I don’t expect the next big Mario game to come out for several years as they work to make it a masterpiece.

2016 Pokken
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When they first announced this game I knew that it was going to be awesome. How do you possibly top a Pokemon Fighting game? The answer is that you don’t. The Rock Paper Scissors form of combat is used well and you really have to play it a lot to get the mechanics down.

2015 J Stars Victory Vs
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Finally, the Shonen Jump fighting crossover that I always wanted. It’s a great blend of DBZ and Naruto 3D gameplay as you get to pit fan favorite characters against each other. It’s a really fun game that has largely gone overlooked, but is definitely a top fighter.

2014 Super Smash Bros Wii U
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The greatest game of all time! Super Smash is a game that I’ve put in well over 1000 hours and counting. It’s just the perfect game that has unlimited replay value. While you do get an edge over other players if you pay the 5.99, it just helps you reevaluate if you want to get a sandwich outside or skip lunch to start winning.

2013 Sonic Lost World
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Lost World was a fun Sonic game that may not have gone down as one of the all time greats, but I guess 2013 couldn’t offer us anything better. It just goes to show that Sonic games are underappreciated and Lost World helped to brighten the year up. It was a different take on the Sonic series, but one that worked well.

2012 Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
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Definitely the best of the Ninja Storm games that I’ve played. It was cool to see Naruto characters from Part 1 and 2 go at it with the solid 3D gameplay that I’ve come to expect from the series. It’s definitely a game that you can play at any time.

2011 Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
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While it may not be the best Marvel vs Capcom game in the series, it is definitely iconic and a game that will bring you endless amounts of fun. The combos are flashy and the character roster is pretty solid. You will get sucked into the game as you find more and more team combos to pull off.

2010 Tenkaichi Tag Team
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The best portable DBZ game and one that does a good job of emulating Tenkaichi 3. The Tag Team mechanic is pretty fun and the 3D combat is as good as ever. We definitely need to bring the Tenkaichi gameplay back since it’s so fun. Playing as Goku and Vegeta makes for an excellent team.

2009 Final Fantasy XIII
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Final Fantasy XIII is still my favorite part of the Final Fantasy franchise with the second game upping the intensity even further. The graphics are excellent and the game set the tone right from the start by having one of the best intro cinematics out there. With an awesome protagonist like Lightning and a solid gameplay system in place, this was the game to beat in 2009.

2008 Super Smash Bros Brawl
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Brawl was the first Super Smash Bros game to have a story and boy did it deliver. I’ve seen the cutscenes numerous times and it’s so surreal to see the characters all in one place interacting. Sonic really stole the show here and the gameplay was as great as ever. While it may be a little hard to get into after playing the Wii U version, its legacy will not be forgotten. There’s always a lot to do here so the fun never stops.

2007 Dragon Ball Budokai Tenkaichi 3
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For a while I had this listed as my favorite game of all time. It may have been surpassed but it’s still up there as one of the best games of all time and is still my favorite DBZ title. The huge 150+ character roster is amazing and the story mode was excellent as well. You just can’t get tired of playing this game and the controls are easy to learn, but hard to master. The perfect blend for a game like this.

2006 Sonic The Hedgehog
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Sonic 2006 may have been mocked by fans and critics, but it still has one of the best stories in a Sonic game and was hype all the way through. You’re unlikely to actually run into the infamous glitches and will instead have a blast powering through the game. Silver was a great new character to the franchise and his boss battles are a lot of fun. Psychic abilities are tough to get around and Silver does a good job of demonstrating that.

2005 Kingdom Hearts II
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Kingdom Hearts has had a lot of great installments, but Kingdom Hearts II is still the best one. It finally ended the main plot of the arc with a lot of intense battles and the final boss was intense. I barely survived with one health left and so this really felt like a bout of skill. Seeing Cloud go up against Sephiroth was naturally an awesome payoff as well.

2004 Custom Robo
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This game actually came out on my birthday which is pretty awesome. It’s the ultimate 3D robot experience. The story was really epic and the gameplay is amazing. You feel like you are in control the whole time as you are able to customize your robot to your liking and then fight for all the marbles. There are a lot of customization options here which are really what makes the game feel authentic. It just doesn’t get better than this.

2003 F-Zero GX
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The graphics for this game were amazing for its time and still look awesome to this day. F-Zero is easily the best racing game of all time and even the story mode was awesome. It’s a shame that we haven’t gotten a new game so long because clearly the series still has a ton of potential. It’s just an awesome game through and through and revolutionized the genre.

2002 Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
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The best Sonic game and one of the best games of all time, Adventure 2 Battle introduced us to Shadow while also perfecting the Sonic formula. The gameplay is amazing and the multiplayer modes are excellent as well. Seeing Sonic and Shadow team up like this has never been topped by another moment in the franchise and the cutscenes will still give you the chills. This is definitely an all star title.

2001 Super Smash Bros Melee
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While Smash Wii U is the best game, Melee is still the most intense fighting game. You move at incredible speeds and the sheer amount of effort it takes to pull off combos is incredible. People even damage their hands from playing this game at a competitive level and it’s where I first realized that Fox would be my main for life. He’s just such a great character here while also being completely fair and balanced. Aside from Smash Wii U I feel like I was the most dedicated to this game for the longest period of time.

2000 Marvel vs Capcom 2
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Marvel vs Capcom 2 still has the best fighting game cast of all time aside form Super Smash Bros Wii U. It was huge for its time and basically all of the big Marvel and Capcom characters got to make an appearance. Playing as the beam spammers is a ton of fun but getting in close is satisfying as well. This is definitely what you think of when you think of the MVC series.

1999 Super Smash Bros
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The start of the greatest franchise of all. The game may not have had a whole lot of fighters, but the gameplay was way ahead of its time. Super Smash Bros is as addicting as it ever was and being able to have iconic characters like Mario and Link fighting it out was a dream come true. This game is absolutely amazing!

1998 Marvel Vs Capcom
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Marvel vs Capcom is one of the few fighting titles that can even compete with big shots like Super Smash. The concept behind the game is genius and the fighting style has become a whole sub genre. It’s a fantastic game that holds up very well and just about every character feels viable. They can all pull off crazy combos so you can play this for hours.

1997 Mega Man X4
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Mega Man X4 is the first X game that I’ve ever played and it also happens to be the first one with a real solid story and animated cutscenes. It’s a blast to play through and it was a fun title for the PS2. Playing as Zero was a lot of fun and while the difficulty was high, I’d consider it to be one of the easier X games. Definitely a title that is worth checking out.

1996 Mario 64
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The greatest Mario game of all time. This one is legendary and it’s easy to see why. Being able to actually punch and kick your enemies is awesome and the levels are amazing. The final boss is also the tensest one in all of Nintendo. You will walk away from this game a very changed person.

1995 Street Fighter Alpha
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Street Fighter Alpha is really the iconic retro Street Fighter game. It had an ongoing plot during the trilogy along with a sizable cast. It was really quick so playing the matches was fun as you had to keep up with your opponent. It’s easy to see why the game series became so legendary.

1994 Mega Man X2
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Mega Man X2 was a solid game with that nice motorcycle game. I may not have as much experience with it compared to the classic series, but the X games always look really nice with the graphics and their difficulty is brutal without feeling unfair. It’s a great sidescroller that will take a lot of time to complete.

1993 Kirby’s Adventure
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The definitive Kirby game, Kirby’s Adventure really brought an intense final boss to the series with the fight even taking place in space. The whole game is a blast and Kirby does a good job of keeping its gameplay creative with the flying ability while also not letting you cheese the whole game by just flying over everything. It was certainly an excellent game to keep 1993 exciting.

1992 Fatal Fury 2
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Fatal Fury may not be as popular as some of the other fighting game titles around, but don’t doubt its quality. This fighting game can absolutely hold its own against any of the other big titles. The controls are on point and any game where one of the fighters is called Terry is destined for greatness. Not a game that you want to take a pass on.

1991 Sonic The Hedgehog
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Sonic has finally entered the fray. The instant that he came in it was time for Mario and the other titles to move aside. While his games aren’t generally as fun as Mario’s, they are a nice change of pace and are solid in their own right. Being able to move so fast through the levels was probably a very fresh experience at the time.

1990 Mario World
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Widely considered to be one of the best Mario titles of all time, I would easily say that this is the best 2D one. It’s between this game and Mario 64 for the absolute best and I’m inclined to give the 3D one the edge here. Mario World has a ton of replay value and you could play it over and over again because of how much fun it is. I’m super nostalgic for the game as well and have completed it 3 times over the years.

I didn’t play any 1989 games which is sad. In my defense, Mega Man skipped that year, Sonic wasn’t out yet, and Mario released Super Mario Land which is one of the few 2D adventures that I have not played. It’s how it goes I guess. (-____-;)

1988 Super Mario Bros 3
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With Luigi finally getting his due credit, how could Super Mario Bros 3 not make it? This is definitely a game to remember and it was a fun way to start closing out the 80s. The levels are well made and you’ll have a blast playing this game.

1987 Final Fantasy
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This may not have been the final Fantasy, but it was a great way to start things off. Between this and Pokemon, the turn based style of combat really got big and Final Fantasy did it justice. There may not have been a huge plot back in the day, but exploring and leveling up made this game a real hit.
1986 Legend of Zelda
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I remember playing this at the arcade before watching Wallace and Gromit back in the day. It’s definitely a fun classic and the overhead actually worked well for the game. The series has come a long way, but the classic will always be remembered.

1985 Super Mario Bros
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Now this game’s a classic. Who hasn’t died to the first goomba at least 10 times by now? He comes to suddenly and the game never relents as it pushes you into trial after trial. You can’t take the game lightly and its difficulty and fun graphics are what makes it such a classic.

I didn’t play any games from 1984. Yes, I know that I’m a casual (-_-)

1983 Mario bros
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This stage is iconic since Mario Bros had you dodging the fireballs and creatures as you racked up a high score. It’s a fun game with a high amount of replay value even if the gameplay is a little different from most of the other Mario games.

1982 Ms. Pac Man
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With more levels and colors than the original, Ms. Pac Man is a strict upgrade over its predecessor. It’s a really fun game and one that tests your skills of memorization and reaction times as you dodge the ghosts. It’s hard to beat this classic.
1981 Galaga
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I’ve definitely put many hours into this classic game. Galaga revolutionized space combat back in the day and it’s a lot of fun to try and beat your high score. Play it safe and play it smart, that’s how you’ll get the record.

1980 Pac Man
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Now this game is a living legend. Who would have thought that Pac-Man would end up being one of the greatest games of all time? There is basically nobody alive who hasn’t heard of the famous icon and the game holds up just as well now as it did back in 1980.

1979 Galaxian
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Potentially the best video game of the first year’s batch that I ever got to play, Galaxian is one to remember. It’s a rough version of the classic Galaga and is definitely one that you can have fun playing for a long while. It’ll remind you of the good ole days.

Congrats on making it all the way to the end! I’ll be sure to update the main page when new years pass by so be sure to check it out in the future. Who knows, perhaps some of these entries will be surpassed by other old games at some point as well. Gaming has certainly come a long way, but one thing’s for sure, surpassing Super Smash Bros for Wii U will be nearly impossible!

Dragon Ball FighterZ Review

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This game certainly got quite a lot of hype back in the day and I put in the pre-order for it right away. Fighting games are typically excellent and this one was going to be by ArcSys so it already had the seal of quality on it. While we had the Dragon Ball Budokai games back in the day, we never had a really fast paced 2D fighter for the series until now. It lives up to the hype and I’d definitely say that the company put a lot of effort into this title. There are many easter eggs and the dialogue between the fighters for each match is perfect. There’s a lot to praise here so lets start the review.

The game has 3 Story Modes, which are all slight variations of each other. What differs is who Terry, the spirit of unimaginable power, inhabits to start the game. The main story has him go with Goku so I’ll mostly talk about that plot. The world has been overrun by dark copies of all Earth’s greatest fighters and unfortunately the heroes are unable to access their power. This is because someone has activated a machine which is disrupting their Ki. Until they can find a way to fix this problem, the heroes need Terry to possess them and fight on their behalf. Terry is glad to do it, but will he be strong enough to save the world? The mysterious Android 21 is on the loose and she won’t make it easy. Her abilities put her on a whole other level of power.

I enjoyed the story and it definitely had a lot of potential. I do think that adding Terry was unnecessary. I like having an original character that you play as when they actually appear like in Sonic Forces. When you never actually see them like in this game then it just feels a little tacked on. It’s not as if taking him out of the game would have actually changed anything. I also do have to criticize the fact that we effectively end up playing the same story 3 times. Each story has around 40 battles so they’re decently long and that could have given the title more time for What Ifs or maybe an adaption of the show. While each story has different details and the last one is implied to be the true story, they all contradict each other so I guess you can decide which story you want to be canon.

Whether there was potential lost there or not, it was a fun story to get through. I only have 2 other gripes with it and they’re relatively minor. One is that the cutscenes are constructed in an odd way where some will auto play and others you have to press X to move on. There’s no way to distinguish between most of them so you either have to wait a second to see if it keeps on going or just hit X and risk missing a line. It’s just a rather odd design choice. Especially since some cutscenes take away the X symbol so you know they’ll auto play. Others just keep it in. Finally, they get rid of the cool fighter quotes before each battle in Story Mode which is unfortunate since they’re so fun. I spent most of my time in Story Mode so I didn’t get to see the quotes until later.

The gameplay is naturally excellent as it pulls off the 3 on 3 team mechanics rather well. Like most team games, they make sure to scale the damage so you don’t have to worry about getting hit with an endless combo that takes away all your health. You can land combos that last for around 10-15 seconds, but the more hits you do in a row, the less damage they’ll do. An 80 hit combo can potentially deal less damage than a 10 hit one so you want to choose your moves carefully. It’s typically better to mix in a level 1 special attack after a combo than a level 3 as it will actually deal more damage. Of course, it’s always good to keep a Level 3 in the pocket since it grants you temporary invincibility and can be used to block an attack.

It’ll be tough for newcomers since there are a lot of cheesy tactics you can pull off like spamming the Kamehameha. It can be difficult to get around that, especially if the opponent knows what he’s doing. Still, there are numerous options and combos at your disposal so as long as you really practice and learn your character you will be fine. Unfortunately the online has been having significant problems so you’ll have too practice as lot against computers as they fix that up. The characters all feel rather unique in their playstyles. Due to the nature of the game a lot of the standard combos may feel the same, but the diversification happens once you start using the specials or learning advanced combos.

There is a training mode in the game which is pretty helpful. You can learn a lot of basic combos as well as advanced ones that will help you quite a lot. There is also the classic Arcade Mode which is useful for earning trophies and money. The replay value here is essentially infinite which goes without saying. Unfortunately the developers may have taken that literally as one trophy requires you to earn 20 million zenny. To put that in perspective, I haven’t even earned 1 million yet and I’m only close because of a lot of one time bonuses for beating the stories. Getting to 20 million can end up taking you around 180 hours. You’ll probably play that long in no time without getting bored, but you’ll probably want to be playing online, not grinding a specific story battle for that many times. I likely won’t be getting the Platinum here, but it’s not too crazy. It’s just more of a grind than anything else.

The graphics here are top notch. It really does look like an anime as you play through the game. You even adjust the graphics to make the game look like the retro Super Dragon Ball Z. I don’t think I could ever sacrifice the nice HD images though. The final smashes are especially satisfying and likewise with the intros. Goku Black’s is a nice homage to his original appearance in the anime and seeing Goku and Vegeta’s are always classic. This is certainly a game that the developers took a lot of time and patience with to get everything right. I can’t stress enough how every part of the game feels extremely polished. This takes the PS4’s graphics to the limits and will likely hold up well against PS5 games when that console ends up coming out.

I also enjoyed the soundtrack although I can’t offer it the same 10 star praise as the graphics. There are some catchy tunes here and they are memorable but overall the music selection isn’t all that large. I may be spoiled from how many themes are in Super Smash though and since the themes are good it’s not like I’ll mind listening to them too often. I’ll barely even hear the music when I’m in the middle of a really intense fight. I just won’t have time to think about it.

If I had to mention a small negative, it’s that the character roster is rather small. The size may have been necessary in order to have time to make the game without rushing it, but then I have to question some of the choices. Why is Nappa playable? There are many other villains that I would have gone with instead like Broly, Cooler, or even some of the newer characters like Jiren or Toppo? I’m assuming they added Nappa because they wanted more villains so that’s why I only listed villains here. For heroes I could make the same argument. I understand Krillin making it in and I suppose even Tien, but Yamcha absolutely could have been substituted for someone like Android 17. Android 17 is probably the biggest oversight from the heroes and he definitely deserves to be in the game considering his big role in the story. I may not be thrilled with the roster, but at the same time they have enough good characters to keep me happy. I was pleasantly surprised to have Hit and Goku Black in the game so that was really cool. There are some rumors about which characters will be DLC. Broly will definitely be super hype. I can’t be as hyped for base Goku and Vegeta, but then at least I can make a triple Vegeta team as well so that’ll be cool I suppose.

As for the new Android 21, she’s a pretty cool character. While I’m not crazy about her as a hero, her villain side is easily one of the cooler DBZ villains. She has a great design and her abilities are quite intense as well. The villain theme in the game works perfectly with all of her scenes. She’s deranged enough to make for some intense scenes while not going overboard and losing sight of her goals either. Based on how the game stories end you could make the case that she ends up being Hit or Goku Black level by the end but it depends on just how much you believe the heroes got their full power back. Since this arc likely takes place a little before the final arc of Super, everyone should be crazy strong here. If this game gets a sequel, I’d definitely want the evil 21 to show up again.

Overall, Dragon Ball FighterZ lives up to the hype and then some. The gameplay is absolutely phenomenal and this is one of the most polished games I have ever seen. I don’t know how long it was in development but it must have been quite a while to get it to play, sound, and look so good. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is definitely the best fighting game on the PS4 and now I’m even more hyped for the upcoming Cross Tag Battle game. FighterZ is one of those titles that will stay relevant for quite a long time and I look forward to taking on some online opponents at some point in the future. Time to bring out my Triple Goku team!

Overall 9/10

Dragon Ball Z: Buu’s Fury Review

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Stop the madness! Is this one of the rare DBZ games that I didn’t own before now? Yes, I finally took the plunge and got the game at long last. It’s a very solid sequel to the last one and the gameplay continues to be quite excellent. Leveling up never feels like a grind here and the game seamlessly throws some of the movies into the plot. It’s all handled very well and while the game is not particularly long, it makes for an enjoyable experience.

The game’s plot adapts the Buu arc from DBZ as you’ve probably guessed. If you’ve never watched DBZ before, it involves the world’s strongest heroes coming together to defeat an evil genie. They’ll need team work and a lot of heart in order to win this round. The text boxes do a good job of adapting the whole arc and keeping in enough details to ensure that you still know what is going on the whole time. It’s a good way of blasting through the arc while still knowing enough to bluff your way through a quiz.

The gameplay is the same as the two predecessors. It uses an overhead view as you can punch or shoot energy blasts. If you can block, then I’m not sure how as I never bothered. Punching is the way to go here and with each level up you can power up a stat. Go for Strength and ignore everything else. The rest are borderline useless by the end while strength will allow you to one shot all minions. This allows for easy level ups and then you can build up your defense. You can also turn Super Saiyan which gives you extra energy and increases your speed. I didn’t notice it actually amping up the strength of my attacks, but it must have had some kind of effect. The gameplay is easy to pick up and you’ll likely have it mastered in no time.

One thing that I’ve always really liked about this series is how easy it is to level up. You can gain 50 levels in a quick 30 minute run and even faster if you’re in the right place. At times, you’ll get a whole level up for each individual minion that you defeat. Considering that they go down like flies, this results in a huge rank up to your characters. It’s quite impressive to be honest and is the single best RPG at the leveling system. It puts titles like FF VII to shame where you’ll have to fight for a very long time to make any kind of head way. I’m still rather sore at that game for making the climax so much work. It’s not so much the difficulty but the fact that if you save in the wrong place…you’re doomed. It’s just going to be game over for you from then on. More on that in another review though.

The game holds up really well when it comes to the graphics and the soundtrack. The sprites are all pretty fun and the images that the game uses for the text are unintentionally funny as well. The characters are constantly yelling and panicking throughout which doesn’t always fit the lines, but that’s part of what makes it enjoyable. As for the soundtrack, there are a number of good themes here. One of them is a remix of a rock theme from the anime, but sadly it cut out all of the rock elements which was a little disappointing. DBZ 2 is still the best when it comes to the soundtrack because of the great Cell theme, but the music here will still get you into a nice groove.

There isn’t a whole lot for replay value after you beat the game. You can max everyone out and grab a bunch of items, but that won’t buy you all that much time. The fact that there is any post game content is still a plus though. The actual game’s story is roughly 6 hours so maybe you could take it to 10 or so by the time you’re done with everything. You’ll likely be buying this game for a very low price so the time is not bad. Especially when you consider how good the game is. Quality over quantity and all that right?

One thing I’d highly recommend is stocking up on food while you can. Save your money for most of the game and then just buy as many Onigiri’s as you can for the final part of the game. I’d also recommend leveling up Vegeta a little since you’ll need him at the end and otherwise it’ll be a little tough to beat Buu. Ideally you want to be at around level 130 or so because then you can finish him quickly. Never use any money to buy equipment since the enemies will all drop a lot of it towards the end of the game. Also, put on the heavy boots and gear to get level ups faster. It makes quite the difference and considering that the game was already easy to level up in…this almost feels criminal.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Buu’s Fury is a solid way to end the DBZ adaptions for the GBA. It was a really good trilogy and a very underrated one for DBZ. Granted, I’ll still take Budokai and Tenkaichi any day, but this was a great way to play on the portable. The series did everything that it could with the RPG format and I can’t imagine another title taking it out. Maybe if they ever made a big budget DBZ RPG with anime cutscenes and an awesome plot I suppose. For the GBA though, they maxed it out. I highly recommend checking this game out and seeing what you think of it. Now I just need to get the GT GBA game and I’ll have completed that saga of Dragon Ball adaptions. The gameplay shift is a little unfortunate, but I like beat em ups as well so it should be fun. Until then!

Overall 8/10

Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2 Review

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This is one of those games where you have to ask yourself…is more content always a good thing? I’m going to be honest, I’d like the game a lot more if it didn’t have the story mode that’s present in the game. It’s a shame that more modes can actually be bad for once and it’s a lose-lose situation since I’d be sad if there was none included as well. So I ask…does a bad story mode hurt the game enough for me to deduct a star or should it stay high?

The Budokai series is quite different from Tenkaichi in the sense that it is a 2D brawler. I always enjoy those although it’s safe to say that I still prefer Tenkaichi even though I’m going through a 2D fighting crisis right now. Tenkaichi just revolutionizes 3D gameplay and I never get tired or playing it. Budokai, on the other hand, feels a little limited at times. There’s only so much that you can do as your options are a little limited. It’s not as polished as something like Street Fighter, but the fundamentals are there and the controls are easy to grasp. The problem is that a lot of the game is locked out unless you complete tedious grinds.

For example…you start the game without signature characters like Vegeta and Frieza. I’m really curious to see how the character select screen looked at the beginning and I really should have checked when I had the chance. If you do not defeat them the right way in story mode, then you’ll continue to have to play the game without them and that can be a shame since there’s no way you’ll want to play Story Mode again. Just about everyone is unlocked through Story Mode or with the Dragon Balls, but the unlocks are not easy or quick. They take time.

Let’s go back to why Story Mode is no fun. You start on a Mario Party map and your goal will either be to make it to a location or defeat enemies multiple times. For a fighter like Frieza or Cell, you may have to win 3-4 times and then do that against some of the minions as well. Each turn feels like it takes a long time and you can imagine how sad it is to lose a level after going so far. It shouldn’t sound that bad in theory, but the fights really add up. Even the fact that the story takes a lot of new twists and turns cannot save the final product. You’ll end up just wishing that it was all over after a while. Without the unlockables at every corner I may not be as harsh on the Story Mode. As it is, it’s definitely one of the worst fighting game ones out there.

Aside from that you have other modes like Good ole multiplayer and Tournament Mode. Multiplayer is where you will spend the bulk of your time of course since fighting games like this one are best enjoyed with friends. That’s how it’s always been for the genre and it’s why nothing can beat a truly good fighting game. Tournament Mode should also be decently fun and you’ll earn some money out of it so you can buy some skills. Speaking of which…that’s another unlockable that is rather unnecessary.

Your characters actually don’t have their iconic attacks at first. Mind Blown right? It puts you at quite the disadvantage in Story Mode at times. Imagine playing Goku and being unable to use the Kamehameha. You can find the skills throughout the stages and get them at the shop, but locking a character’s moveset is unprecedented and certainly not in a good way. I really don’t know what they were thinking with this one and it’s a prime example of what I like to call “artificial replay value.”

The graphics are fairly solid. Goku’s voice acting is certainly great as he sounds a lot like Sonic. I feel like this started to change as the games got newer, but the retro ones still have this effect. The blasts are fun to watch and while more effort could have been put into the stages, they look good. The opening cinematic is also a blast and those always added an extra touch to the DBZ series. The soundtrack is a little more forgettable and I can’t actually recall any tunes at the moment, but I remember them being fairly good. Not every game can be the next Sonic right?

Budokai is a little on the old side and it shows, but this still did start the legendary franchise off right. If you like the gameplay here, then you should check out Shin Budokai. It’s a modernized version of this one and naturally it’s been greatly refined. Tenkaichi also came out due to this game so we owe it a lot. I also feel bad for the title since it didn’t ask to have such a terrible Story Mode. It just happened and the game ended up paying the price. We’ve asked the tough questions, but this DBZ title still beats some of the newer ones…sorta. It’s a closer fight than I’d like to admit.

Overall, This review may have been a little on the negative side, but this game is still a good one. When you take away all of the fluff, gameplay is still the most important feature in any game and that part is still done well here. Learning how to block and fight effectively is what will make you a true DBZ warrior. Part of why Story Mode was so difficult was because I didn’t know how to charge my Ki. I still have no idea how to do that even though it’s usually very easy to figure out. Still, the extra difficulty made everything a little more intense so that’s good. I definitely recommend getting this game, but don’t play the Story Mode as it will sour your experience. Despite this game being on the legendary Gamecube console, I actually prefer Budokai 3. The amount of in game lockable content is just too much. It would be good if you could unlock them naturally, but otherwise….I don’t think so. In closing, ignore everything about the game and just head straight to Vs. Mode. That’s the best way to have fun, but good luck with that since you won’t have Vegeta or a number of other cool characters. Maybe they could animate Story Mode and then take out the gameplay when they do a remake someday. That would be the best of both worlds.

Overall 7/10

Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden Review

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It’s been a while since I got to play a new DBZ game so now I’ve finally gotten to end that draught. It’s great that the Butoden series has finally reached America. DBZ has had many great series like Budokai and Tenkaichi so this just adds onto that list. The fact of the matter is, DBZ has a great track record with the video games. Battle of Z was a little disappointing and likewise with Ultimate Tenkaichi, but most of the games are all stars that didn’t just start out as amazing titles, but have withstood the test of time. This one is a portable incarnation so it may not have the same amount of depth as some of the other DBZ fighters, but certainly enough to keep you going for quite a while and the gameplay is solid.

There is a story mode in the game, which briefly covers the manga series. They cover it all in 10 battles so you can imagine that this is a heavily abridged version. It can be quite funny to go through if you pretend that you’ve never seen the show since you would be seeing a very different version of the events. There are also “What If” stories for many of the main characters like Goku and Vegeta. I use the quotation marks since they can barely considered What Ifs as you are mostly just going through the story mode from their points of view. A pretty big missed opportunity if you ask me. A fun What If was the final story that you unlocked after beating the others though, which shows it all from the villains point of view. We get to see Broly and Bardock with new origin stories to fit them into the canon universe and it’s pretty fun. The story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense though and most of the events have no real logic or rhythm to it, but these things happen.

The soundtrack is solid and there are quite a few good tunes to be found in the game. The action themes are memorable and there are a few good villain themes as well. It’s a very small soundtrack, but one that works quite well. The graphics are good as well and should remind you of the classic DBZ arcade games. It’s fun to see the characters standing tall, which makes the fighting gameplay more fun. It’s part of the appeal for the Street Fighter games. You like to have tall 2D fighters who aren’t minified so that you can really feel the combos. The opening cutscene that plays when you turn the game on is also really good and it’s always great when the DBZ games add this in for that extra impact. You can see some cool hypothetical battles this way.

As far as the character roster goes, there are 25 playable characters. You’ll be able to play as just about all of them in the story modes, but not all of them so that gives you an incentive to play some regular battles or enter the Adventure Mode. Adventure Mode greatly helps the replay value of the title since it’s quite long and should provide you with a bit of a challenge. There are around 75 support characters who will jump in to help you if things get rough. Naturally, these allies are extremely useful if you decide to increase the difficulty or if you want to play the game competitively. I never really used them and just focused on my standard combos, but that’s not technically the right way to go about this.

As for the core gameplay, think of it as your average 2D fighter. You have your normal combos and projectiles to mix things up. Each combo can be extended and you can also knock an opponent into the sky to start following up with some aerial attacks. The two dimensions are fun and having support characters naturally deepens the actual combat system. On easier difficulties, you can get by with just spamming the Y button over and over again (Which is what I did) but naturally that won’t work against stronger opponents. The gameplay is definitely solid and that’s certainly the most important part of the game.

As referenced earlier, there is definitely a lot of replay value to be found here. You can play through all of the stories and complete Adventure Mode. Doing all of the stories should take around 4 hours and I’m not sure how long Adventure Mode is. There are a variety of other modes to delve into and the fact that this is a fighting game also strengthens the replay value since it can be fun to just pop it in and start winning once in a while. If you have a friend who owns the game, then all the better!

I looked around and it seems like Japan has online play for this game. At the time, the U.S. version did not and I can’t tell if we ever got the mode. If we didn’t, that’s a little unfortunate, but certainly not a dealbreaker as I wasn’t really planning on doing online all that much anyway. If it does/did get patched in, that’ll still be a fun bonus though. Online play is the future and as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of local play, then it’s always worth it.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden is a solid fighting game and a nice way to continue the DBZ saga. It’s good to see the series alive and well as the franchise is getting its second wind with the new Dragon Ball Super anime and other merchandise that is now readily available. I look forward to getting some more Dragon Ball Z games eventually. I definitely recommend this title and any fighting game fan should definitely enjoy it.

Overall 8/10