Hyper Dragon Ball Z | The best Dragon Ball Z game isn’t even an official one…
“Hyper Dragonball Z was a hit on arcades in the summer of 1999, with its timed unlocks and classical art direction, it was a hit and soon became a cult sensation. The game had several CPU only fights, including the very infamous Kid Buu, who was faced as the final boss and was able to counter just about anything you threw at him!
Actually no, that’s a lie. This game never had a release, because it doesn’t exist.What you’ve had the pleasure of witnessing is the culmination of several years of work by true Dragonball Z fans, a small group of fighting games aficionados and the moving pieces and parts were coded in freeware indie fighting game engine, Mugen.“–Balthazar, Head gameplay design for Hyper Dragon Ball Z.
Now keep what you just read in mind, get your PC ready, then watch the follow video:
It’s no secret that, with a couple of exceptions, Dragon Ball games suck. From the terrible Dragon Ball GT Final Bout, to the overrated Budokai series, it seems year after year we’re presented with yet another DBZ title that wastes the immense gaming potential of the franchise. It borders on criminal that one of the most iconic anime/manga series of all-time has had such poor representation in the world of gaming to date. Logic would lead you to believe that out of the long list of releases, eventually SOMEONE would get it right and put out a high-quality product. Well, finally someone did… kinda. A group of fighting game fans, who just so happened to be talented programmers and artists going by the name of Team Z2, have put together an unofficial offering titled Hyper Dragon Ball Z.
Hyper Dragon Ball Z is the Dragon Ball Z game I’ve been waiting my entire life to play: an EPIC 2-D sprite-based fighting game. While it draws on more than a couple of influences from the Street Fighter series (which pretty much every 2-D fighting game worth its salt does), amongst other games, Hyper DBZ adds in enough of its own unique mechanics to feel like something truly fresh. You’ve got focus attacks, air combos, characters with diverse movesets and play styles, to beautiful art and animation. And running on the MUGEN framework, it’s very light on system resources, so even AfroPower with his 1993 486 IBM running Windows 3.11 can run this with no system hiccups. It’s pretty remarkable the level of quality such a small team has been able to reach. But with such a small team working on this, there are the inevitable drawbacks.
As of right now, while definitely playable, the game is only in a pre-alpha/highly incomplete/glorified demo state. Only a handful of the expected final roster are available to play as, and even then not all of them have had their AIs programmed. Updates to the current build of the game are slow and infrequent (which is to be expected given the scope of the project these guys are undertaking, but still, I NEED MY FIX), and due to the very nature of the game, the chances of an actual official release outside of the MUGEN scene are next to nil. So sadly, that means no online play… unless there has been some recent development in the MUGEN community that I was unaware of.
It’s equal parts shameful and amazing that the best Dragon Ball Z game ever made is a currently unfinished labor of love, doomed to never see the proper commercial release it deserves. The silver lining to that is we get to follow the project every step of the way and watch the game evolve before our very eyes with each update the team puts forth. For status updates on the project, and more importantly, for an actual link to the game itself, visit the official Hyper Dragon Ball Z Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HyperDBZ