The confirmations are just coming one after another! After hearing about two new trademarks filed in Japan last week, more solid bits of information on Namco-Bandai’s latest Dragon Ball video games are coming in quick succession.
In addition to Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden coming on the Nintendo DS in February, we have Dragon Ball: ZENKAI Battle Royale, interestingly enough coming as an arcade game. Namco-Bandai has recently launched its official website, which includes a trailer and first-look at the game:
It appears to be a four-player fighting game played via networked arcade cabinets. The playable characters shown so far are Goku, Vegeta, Kuririn, Piccolo, Freeza (final form), and #16.
The graphics, more “realistic” in nature, look very different from anything we have seen before with the franchise. Players can fly and bounce around the map behind rocks, under water, and can seemingly team up with other players to take out one of the other opponents.
After a brief run of traditional 2D fighting games in 1993 and 1994, as well as Sega’s first-person V.R.V.S. (which spawned the original character “Ozotto”, discussed in the most recent podcast episode), the franchise stuck with console games for several years.
Game developer Dimps, responsible for the Dragon Ball Z / Budokai series on the PS2 and Gamecube, expanded into the arcade realm with Data Carddass-based games such as Bakuretsu Impact and Dragon Battlers this past decade. In the meantime, the only other traditional fighting game to hit arcades was Craft and Meister’s 2005 release of Super Dragon Ball Z, which was ported to the PS2 (in all territories) the following year.
It remains to be seen if ZENKAI Battle Royale will ultimately hit home consoles, but if it is not card-based in any way (the new website does not have any Carddass branding), it may very well be likely. This is another one we will certainly keep our eye on, and hopefully get some local reports about upon its release!