The Dragon Ball Z Game We Deserve

The Dragon Ball Z Game We Deserve

Hyper Dragon Ball Z might look like a forgotten arcade game of the 1990s, but it’s actually a modern Dragon Ball game made by super fans in the indie fighting game engine, Mugen. And boy does the game look fantastic (the way it plays, sure, but also: dem sprites, tho.)

(Skip to about :45 seconds, if you want to see gameplay.)

“Our motivation was born from seeing the many official and unofficial games that DBZ has spawned over the last years,” the developers, Team Z2, said. “Usually packed with tons of characters, those games have always left us with a bad taste in our mouths.”

Enter Hyper Dragon Ball Z, which mixes Dragon Ball’s cinematic fights with the gameplay of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers. Sounds excellent, right?

“Gone is the sensation of every character being interchangeable and having the same style of fighting,” Team Z2 writes. “Instead, we have characters with beautiful animations, cinematic moves, skillful combos, interesting movesets, unique traits and the kind of fanservice that would make any Dragonball fan smirk. We drew from all sources and we committed to our vision, which we share with you.”

The game features stuff you’d expect from a fighting game, plus stuff that is unique to Dragon Ball, like combos, counters, air combos, dash collisions, super projectiles, beam struggles, character introductions and win poses, as well as five characters and 11 stages. Three more characters are in-progress, and more stuff is expected to be added in the future. What they have in the moment already looks impressive, though, as you can see in the footage.

You can keep up with the game’s development here, or download the characters and stages here.


  • Why is Namco-Bandai or whoever has the rights to the DBZ games throwing money at these guys and licensing a real game?!

    Ok there’s probably a mountain of legal issues getting in the way, but if they threw enough money at it im sure it could happen.

    • Ignoring that many other reasons why this wouldn’t be feasible; while this game might look fantastic for older hardcore DBZ fans, it just doesn’t have mainstream appeal. Games like ‘Ultimate Tenkaichi’ and ‘Dragon Ball Z for Kinect’ succeed despite their terribleness because they let everyone pick a favourite character that all play similarly and do impressive things with very little skill required. I’d personally love to see a Dragon Ball game like this officially, but it just isn’t going to happen (particularly when Super Dragon Ball Z didn’t do anywhere near as well as they thought it would back in the day).

      • Yeah I don’t doubt the selling power of the other titles purely because of the brand, but if this was developed as a downloadable title and released on Xbox Live/PSN, and you’d see solid sales. The fact that the game is being developed by fans already would dramatically lower the cost of development and if a studio already holds the rights to DBZ licensed games, then it would almost definitely be worth it for them. I’d assume so anyway, but there are still probably 50 other issues blocking it that I’m just not aware of.

  • HOLY SHIT. Please don’t cease and desist! This is what DBZ games have always needed, get away from the computer animated wannabe cartoon style, only Ni No Kuni can pull that off (and only just barely)

  • what do you wish for…. panties! LOL

    and yes… please please please make this game!

  • I saw my first glimpse of the DBZ fighting games in 1996 in Osaka. I walked into a flat where a friend was homestaying the kids were playing what I now know to be DRAGON BALL Z HYPER DIMENSION. I still remember my first impressions.

    I was floored.

    It was like I was looking at colour for the first time in my life. The fidelity for back then, from what I could only assume was a Super Nintendo, was amazing. I was only in Japan a couple more weeks and I wasn’t able to find the game again, but it did kickstart my obsession with DBZ. A couple years later when the emulator craze kicked in, I found it along with the Super Butoden series. I ended up clocking them all.

    This trailer reminds me of all that and I love it for it. Can’t wait to try this game out.

    • I had the same feeling when i glimpsed the screenshots, very fond memories of Hyper Dimension, it still looks damn good today.

  • We should give the actual dbz game developers a senzu bean. Clearly they need it after seeing the beat down these fanboy developers just gave out.

    • I find it hard to respect your attempt at a burn considering they’re using a pre-made Engine which is purely based on fights whilst the ‘actual devs’ make games mostly from the ground up with full story modes, maps, music etc. If anything it’s a totally solid effort but they didn’t offer much of a beating in a lot of ways. XD

  • Mugen aye, well if salty bet has taught me anything it’s that you should always sometimes never bet on DBZ.

  • I think the dbz game we really need is an official translation of dragon ball z online. The fan translation is great and all but a lot of hard coded text cannot be translated.

  • Well after grabbing all the characters I could and trying them out I’d say it’s looking really good, Hercule/Mr Satan is hilariously uneffective.
    The AI kicks my arse though.

    • I’ve never tried Mugen. How much time/effort did you have to put in to play a working version of the game above?

      • So far the only have a couple of characters and stages for download.
        Goku, SSJ Goku, Vegeta, Mr Satan and Saibamen(which aren’t really playable, they’re meant to be AI controlled). There are about 9 or so stages up as well.
        So that means the menus or character select screen won’t look anything like that at the moment but you can still try out the characters.
        Mugen isn’t difficult to setup. once you’ve downloaded it you just need to put you characters in the chars folder and open a file in the main directory called select.def and add them in there. It’s all commented so it’s pretty easy to understand.

  • Looks awesome, however it’s pretty obvious that they have ‘borrowed’ A LOT of frames from Street Fighter and King of Fighters games, almost to the point of tracing. Not that I really mind though.

  • The gameplay is not new as it borrows a lot from Street Fighter games but the small details and animations the developers put into it are amazing. Some AI controled Fighters are Impossible to beat (Goku, Goku SSJ). Either its a Character balancing issue or the AI is just too strong.

    • it’s AI. but imo it isn’t hard enough. either that or i’m too good. (XD i know i’m just bragging now) but honestly i’d like some harder levels

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