Full disclosure: Namco Bandai paid for my travel and hotel accommodations during its 2012 Gamers' Day event.
If you grew up with Dragon Ball Z, tell me you never once wished you could go super Saiyan…. Secretly, we've all had a silly little desire to fly through the air, deliver endless punches and kicks, and scream as our power levels soared past 9,000.
God damn it I loved Dragon Ball Z as a kid….
That love burst from me when Namco debuted the trailer for their upcoming Dragon Ball Z Kinect game. I'd even say that I am stupidly excited to play this…only in the privacy of my living room, mind you. Namco had a demo set up during its Gamers' Day event. I gave it a try, but this isn't a love you show other people.
I looked completely foolish crouching to power up, ducking balls of energy hurtling toward me, and furiously flailing my arms at a television. But, it was everything I hoped for from a game combining body tracking with an anime known for endless fight scenes.
From what I played, the action follows a very predicable but acceptable pattern. You choose a character to play with, and you can pull off signature moves by keeping an eye on the on-screen prompts. Say you pick Piccolo and want to pull off his beam move. In the show, he does this by pressing his fingers to his forehead. The Kinect picks up on you doing the same motion and charges the shot.
Unfortunately, DBZ Kinect doesn't seem particularly precise. It could have been the dark room Namco set the demo up in, but I had a difficult time getting it to register complex moves. But the variety and complexity of moves available makes combat a very active thing. You really do feel like you're chipping away at billions of hit points. In fact, you are. The average fight I witnessed was about seven minutes long. Seven minutes of intense kicking, punching, and dodging action.
When this game is closer to coming out, I plan on adding to my 2012 fitness challenge column. It's a good candidate for working up a sweat without realizing how much work you're doing. Plus, I really, really enjoyed charging up a Kamehameha. From what I've played, DBZ Kinect is doing absolutely everything you'd expect it to, and that's totally fine by me.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!