|Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22|
|Developer(s)||TOSE Software Co.|
|Publisher(s)||Bandai, Atari (Japan)|
|Release date(s)||July 28, 1995JPN|
March 25, 2003USA
|Rating(s)||ESRB: Teen T|
|Video games Listing - Category|
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 (ドラゴンボールZ アルティメイトバトル22, Doragonbōru Zetto Aruteimeito Batoru 22) is a 2D/3D fighting video game based on the Dragon Ball Z anime series. It was released for the PlayStation in 1995 in Japan and 1996 in Europe.
The game is called "Ultimate Battle 22" because it features 22 characters at the beginning of the game (5 more characters can be unlocked). The game is notable for using actual cel drawings from the animators as character sprites and cutscenes before the fights which were a novelty at the time of its original release in Japan (these cutscenes were removed on the European and US releases). When Ultimate Battle 22 was officially released by Atari in North America, eight years after its Japanese release, no English dub track was produced and the pre-battle cutscenes were removed.
Another fighting game called which never received an American release, Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden, was released for the Sega Saturn a short time after Ultimate Battle 22 and is very similar to Ultimate Battle 22. Notably, the character sprites from Ultimate Battle 22 were reused in Shin Butōden.
Characters have two different meters to display status: a basic health meter and strength meter (latter explained below). The fighters have an array of basic close-up punches and kicks, as well as special attacks that require a motion with the directional buttons and attack input. Most special attacks are based on actual moves used by characters in the anime/manga (i.e. Goku's Kamehameha), but require a large strength reserve to used repeatedly. Other basic special attacks include a variety of Ki Blasts and explosion-based attacks.
Like the previous installments of the Butōden series, Ultimate Battle 22 has two levels of gameplay: grounded or in the air. By pressing triangle, the player's character will rise up and levitate, and if the other character does so, the camera goes to a dynamic aerial view. It does not have major effects on gameplay except for the different camera angles. In addition, if a character is hit with an attack that does heavy damage while aerial, they will plummet downwards an receive additional damage (much like fights in the regular anime).
Most characters have some sort of Ki Blast attack, melee attack, or "approach" attack. Doing special attacks drains the "strength" meter. Like in the previous fighting games of the series, when the meter is fully drained, the character will be "exhausted" and cannot move until strength is recovered or until being hit. To restore strength, one must hold square, X, and circle. The character will then do the signature "charge" pose by glowing in yellow aura and yelling. The player can also create a large Energy Shield (or Force Field in the case of Androids) for a brief moment by pressing right, down, and left on the control pad, and then pressing circle. While doing so, the player cannot be harmed by energy-based attacks, but is completely vulnerable to melee attacks.
The 22 characters are comprised of:
- Super Saiyan Goku
- Super Saiyan 2 Teen Gohan
- Majin Vegeta
- Super Saiyan Future Trunks
- Tien Shinhan
- Captain Ginyu
- Android 18
- Android 16
- Great Saiyaman
- Super Saiyan Goten
- Super Saiyan Trunks
- Super Saiyan Gotenks
- Supreme Kai
- Majin Buu
- Super Buu
There are also five secret characters. Those characters are:
- Super Saiyan 3 Goku
- Super Gogeta (he was mistakenly called Vegito, and given his biography and Fusion method, in U.S. releases)
- Kid Goku
- Master Roshi
- Mr. Satan
- Ruined City
- Cell Games Arena
- Kami's Lookout
- Hyperbolic Time Chamber
- World Martial Arts Tournament
- Barren Planet
- Crystal Room
Ultimate Battle 22 was the subject of an overwhelming number of negative American reviews. The original Japanese game came out in 1995, and thus, by comparison to the more recent titles of the time, the game paled.
- GameSpot give it a 1.2/10, calling it a "really, really terrible game."
- X-Play said it was "a waste of time and money."
- Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine gave it a 1/5, the second lowest score possible.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly said that "someone crapped in a jewel case and passed it off as a game."
- Overall, it has a 32% on GameRankings.
- IGN gave it a 4.0.
- Like Shin Butōden, this game marks the return of almost every character from the Super Butoden series. Missing characters are Frieza (100% Power), Dr. Gero, Imperfect Cell, Cell Jr., Zangya, Bojack, Broly, and adult Gohan (Super Saiyan 2).
- The method to unlock the five secret characters is mentioned in the instruction booklet that comes with the game. To unlock them, the following buttons must pressed in order while at the title screen: Up, Triangle, Down, X, Left, L1, Right & R1. After inputing the code, a sound is heard and an intro which features the five hidden characters is shown. After that, the title screen changed from "Ultimate Battle 22" to "Ultimate Battle 27" (due to the addition of the five hidden characters) appears.
- Mr. Satan is the only character in the game who does not have a strength meter, due to the fact that he does not use ki, but instead uses weapons. Additionaly, Mr. Satan and Master Roshi are the only characters who cannot fly. Kid Goku also cannot, but uses Flying Nimbus instead.