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Written by Joe Hall

As a fan of the anime, I have always liked the Dragon Ball Z games - as such, I'm rather pleased that the Wii is getting a piece of the action. With 6 more characters than the NTSC version ( bringing the total amount of characters and their different forms to 135 ), and 17 stages, itís looking like a pretty immense game indeed. The transformation of characters appears to be the key to the action, allowing for some frankly ridiculous moves and cosmetic changes.

In essence this is your classic beat 'em up, but with an added Wiimote twist, allowing you to re-enact your favourite Dragon Ball Z moves. For instance, performing the Kamehameha, Gokuís signature move, is merely a matter of holding the B and Z buttons, and then gesturing forward and back. This sounds incredibly simple but fun, and can only be made more entertaining by yelling Ďkamehamehaí at the top of your voice. The rest of the fighting is performed by using a mixture of the A and B buttons for punching and kicking. This simplicity seems initially to be a good thing - over-complication of controls is something that Wii already suffers, and a simple but frantic beat 'em could be exactly what the console needs.

The story is very lengthy and detailed, as those of you familiar with the television series may well have guessed. The game features all of the expected storylines, such as the Cell, Freeza and Buu sagas, intermixed with some of the lesser-known storylines, from the original Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball GT series. Itís estimated that it will take you 20 hours to battle your way through the game, which, if accurate, illustrates an admirable depth for a fighting game. Whether or not the game manages to sustain interest throughout is another question, however. As well as this a new game mode involving five on five tag battles looks set to be a massive amount of fun, providing an alternative to the traditional one-on-one fighting format.

Throw in destructible environments and added support for the Classic and Gamecube controllers if the Wiimote controls arenít for you, and this looks set to be one of the best fighting games on the Wii this year. The ability to exchange customisable character codes sounds potentially interesting, if the level of customisation is sufficient to make it worth it, and the real-time transformation of characters into more powerful forms should add a new dynamic to the game. It's one to look out for, and we'll bring you a full report as soon as we get our hands on it. The game is scheduled for release in Europe on the 30th of March so look out for a review soon.

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