Butōden (video game series)
From Dragon Ball Encyclopedia, the ''Dragon Ball'' wiki
The Butōden video game series consists of 2D, one-on-one fighting games created by Bandai (now "Namco Bandai Holdings") from 1993 to 1997 with a 2011 video game for the Nintendo DS. Seven games have been created for the series, though only five of them have the Butōden name.
Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Butōden
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Butōden
Released for the Super Famicom (SNES) on March 20th in 1993 as the first game in the series, it played host to a number of features not seen in fighting games before.
- Main features
- Storyline covers Piccolo Jr. Saga to Perfect Cell Saga.
- 8 (13 with a code) playable characters.
- Massive stages divided by a color-coded split-screen border which tells you how close you are to your opponent.*
- Combat on the ground or in the air.*
- Radar below the health and power bars telling you where you and your opponent are in the stage.*
- Unique special moves and "super moves" for each character. (Goku's Kamehameha, Vegeta's Final Flash, etc.)*
- Players can counter super moves by dodging, blocking, or engaging in a beam struggle.*
- * = All games, unless otherwises stated, have these features in common.
- Charging Ki manually works much different than later games which often leads to people mistaking that it's not possible. Holding down while in flight causes your character's Ki meter to recharge a little bit faster.
- Knock-down recovery takes a fairly long time and leaves you open to further attack.
- Action seems altogether sluggish.
- Goku and Vegeta have their base forms playable in addition to their Super Saiyan forms.
- Though the first fighting game to have Mr. Satan, he himself is not playable under any circumstance.
Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Butōden 2
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Butōden 2
Decmber 17, 1993 marked the date the second game in the Butōden video game series was released. As with the last game, it was released on the Super Famicom. This game vastly improved on the original game in many ways.
- Main features
- Improvements over Sūpā Butōden
- Manually building Ki goes faster.
- Action seems less sluggish.
- Positional radar now uses little men mimicking the fighters' actions instead of colored dots.
- Story Mode allows you to take control of different characters at different times as well as having multiple branches and endings.
- Removed the color-coded split-screen border. (See Sūpā Butōden Main features.)
- First (and so far, only) game where Goku isn't readily available for play.
- First fighting game to include movie characters as well as Cell Junior.
- The game houses a debug mode, though as with Mister Satan, this seems impossible to access normally.
Dragon Ball Z: Buyū Retsuden
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Buyū Retsuden
Despite its April 1st release date in 1994, this game was no joke. It bought all the action and power of the Butōden video game series to Sega's MegaDrive (Genesis) without losing anything in the process.
- Main features
- Storyline combines original and "what if" aspects with key elements of various sagas ranging from the Saiyan Saga all the way to the end of the World Tournament Saga.
- 11 playable characters.
Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Butōden 3
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Butōden 3
The third and final game in the Super Famicom branch of the series. Released on September 29th, 1994, it introduced a number of characters from the last arc of Dragon Ball as well as keeping a few classic characters in.
- 9 (10 with a code) playable characters.
- Improvements over Sūpā Butōden 2
- Charging your Ki takes only a couple of seconds (in comparison with Sūpā Butōden 2's several seconds of charge time).
- This is the only video game in the 16-bit generation without a conventional Story mode. Oddly, the Tournament mode seems to double as the Story mode for the game as when a Human player is crowned the champion, the credits start rolling.
- Piccolo Junior is nowhere to be found despite his involvement in the Buu Saga.
- Future Trunks Brief inexplicably makes his return from Sūpā Butōden 2 as this game's secret character. In addition, in the Japanese release, he is the only character whose name is written in English characters ('Trunks'), possibly to differentiate him from Kid Trunks.
Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden
Two months and a year pass before the release of Shin Butōden in November 17th, 1995. Though not the first Dragon Ball fighting game of the 32-bit generation, it kept the tried-and-true formula that made Sūpā Butōden a favorite in the hearts of many. It also reuses the sprites from Ultimate Battle 22, a Sony PlayStation game.
- Main features
- Arcade Game mode pits you against several random combatants for personal glory.
- 22 (27 in Vs. mode) playable characters.
- Improvements over Sūpā Butōden 3
- Taking advantage of 32-bit hardware, all pre-existing sprites have been revamped and enhanced as of Ultimate Battle 22. Fighters also now have pre-fight voice clips.
- In addition to air battles and long stages, certain stages now contain extended areas you can knock the other fighter into as well as environmental obstacles.
- This game marks the return of almost every character from the Sūpā Butōden series. Missing characters are Cell (Imperfect Form), Future Trunks in Saiyan Armor, Freeza (100% Power), Cell Junior, Zangya, Bojack, Broly, and Adult Gohan (Super Saiyan 2), though Adult Gohan does appear as the Great Saiyaman.
- Once again, Future Trunks' name is written in English characters in the Japanese release. Strangely enough, so is Super Saiyan 3 Goku's ('Super Saiyan 3').
- This game reuses a few tunes from older games.
- The colored split-screen border returns from Sūpā Butōden.
Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout
Main article: Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout
The last game to use the Sūpā Butōden engine until Arutimetto Butōden actually had little to do with Dragon Ball Z as a whole. Released in August 21st of 1997, Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout (or Dragon Ball: Final Bout, depending on your region) kept the gameplay similar to the rest of the series while adding features to the core engine.
- Main features
- 10 (17 with codes) playable characters.
- Arcade Game mode pits you against several random combatants before fighting the end boss, Baby.
- "Build Up" mode where you can level up your favorite characters while playing.
- Improvements over Shin Butōden
- Players and environments are now in full 3D. Some attacks and dodge moves can move you or the other fighter into the background/foreground of the level.
- Gone are the long arenas of the last five games, replaced by endless, open stages and a restrictive field of view. When the two players move far enough away from each other, the camera zooms out to adjust. Ultimately, this gives you less room to work with than the previous titles gave.
- Like the first Sūpā Butōden game, this game moves pretty slowly at times and knock-down recovery can be a pain to work with.
- This game, like the previous game, reuses some tunes from older titles.
- Two hidden characters from different timelines, Super Saiyan Goku (in his Turtle Hermit dogi) and Future Trunks, have their names written in English in the Japanese release: 'Son Gokou' and 'Trunks', respectively).
- More than half the secret characters in the game are some form of Goku.
- Altogether, there are six forms of Goku in this game. This would later be matched (and surpassed) by the Budokai Tenkaichi video game series.
- Despite his heavy involvement in the second part of the series, Baby only appears as a final boss character in this game (though he is playable through cheat devices).
Dragon Ball Kai: Arutimetto Butōden
Main article: Dragon Ball Kai: Arutimetto Butōden
Dragon Ball Kai: Arutimetto Butoden is a video game for the Nintendo DS. It was released in Japan on February 3, 2011. It is the first game from the Sūpā Butōden video game series since the 1996 game Final Bout and the first game to have the Butōden word in its title since the 1995 game Shin Butōden.
- Main features
- 56 playable characters, more than any other game in the series, and one of the largest playable roster in any Dragon Ball video game.
- Story mode that covers the whole Dragon Ball Z/Dragon Ball Z Kai arc.
- Versus mode to play 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, and 3 vs 3 matches.
- Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode that allows players to connect to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and play online choosing their favorite characters and stages.
- Customizable characters with a lot of different outfits.
- Full real and quick 3D actions. The player can fight in the ground or fly around the stage and do super attacks from the ground or the air. Nintendo DS's touch screen is used for some super attacks.
- It is impossible to manually charge your ki. Instead, power is generated depending on what your attack gauge is set to. (The lowest setting generates the most Ki while the highest setting, depending on the character, depletes it.)
- As with it's predecessor, the long arenas of the last five games, are replaced by endless, open full 3D stages.
- Very unlike Final Bout, the action in Arutimetto Butōden is pretty fast.
- Completely new music specially made for this game.
- The first game of the series with online features.
- Though not confirmed it's very likely that the game will be released in America and PAL regions.
- A lot of new "what if" stories based on all the Dragon Ball Z/Dragon Ball Z Kai arc.
- Also, the first game in the series with customizable characters.
- King Kai's playable debut.