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Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit

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Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (ドラゴンボールZ バーストリミット, Doragon Bōru Zetto Bāsuto Rimitto) is a fighting video game based on the popular anime/manga series Dragon Ball Z, released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. It was announced in the Shonen Jump magazine on December 12, 2007, and released in Europe and Japan on June 6, 2008. It was released in the United States on June 10, 2008.

Story Mode


Super Saiyan Goku, after seeing his best friend Krillin getting killed by Frieza

The game's story mode charts the Z Fighters from the beginning of the Saiyan Saga to the end of the Cell Saga, allowing players to take control of the character who won that particular fight. For example, against Raditz, you take control of Goku, however if Cell were to have won a fight in the TV show, you would take control of Cell. In addition, there are two "what-if" storylines where the player takes control of Bardock and Broly in a story that describe what would happen if they were to come to Earth.


Burst limit

Goku and Vegeta fight in the game

The gameplay of Burst Limit is very similar to the other Budokai games; basic kicks, punches and combos are available, along with the "Ki Blast" button and a direction leading to a more powerful version of that attack, for example a Kamehameha or Destructo Disc. The game makes use of a multiple health bar system, with each character having a maximum (determined in the game options) of six health "blocks" that are worn down until the character reaches zero, when they are knocked out.

It also makes use of a "Fatigue meter" - blocking and certain attacks use up fatigue and when this reaches zero, the character is stunned for a few moments while he or she recovers - and the "Ki meter", which is a gradually regenerating bar that provides power for larger energy attacks, transformations, "powering up" and the game's finishing moves, "ultimate" attacks. In order to transform, you press down on R1 (in the PlayStation 3 version) or RB (in the Xbox 360 version).

The game utilizes in fight cutscenes or "drama scenes" in order to make it as true to the anime as possible - for example, if a character is attacked with an energy beam, in some situations it may switch to a cutscene to depict the character deflecting the energy beam and taking no damage, or another character jumping in the way. These Drama Scenes are activated once the fight reaches certain parameters, for example the character is down to 30% health, the fatigue bar is completely filled, or the player's character has just reached his final form.

Any character in the roster can also be picked as a "support" character - support characters are available in every fight and may be activated in a similar way to drama scenes. A cutscene will begin and the character will be shown deflecting an energy blast, kicking the opponent or standing in the way of an attack in order to defend the player, transferring itself to affect the battle in a number of ways, such as enhanced ki regeneration, damage down or fatigue down. The game then returns to normal gameplay.


The game has 21 playable characters available. Several characters have transformations into Super Saiyan or other powerful forms. The following characters (and their transformations) are available in Burst Limit:

Reception and sales

The game received generally positive reviews. IGN gave the game a 7.9/10, commenting that "Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is a strong fighting game, with combat mechanics that are both simple and deep. There are some issues in terms of variety, however, with a limited number of stages and characters that are fairly similar to one another."

GameTrailers gave the game a 8.2/10 and said that "Drama pieces are a nice touch but can sometimes burden the action." and "Burst Limit should no doubt please fans of the show, thanks to a large cast of characters, a fleshed-out story mode and all the special attacks fireworks you'd expect."

Following its initial release, the PS3 port became the top selling game in Japan for a total of three months. Beating out its Xbox 360 counterpart, which came in at twelve and other games including Mario Kart Wii, which came at four and Ninja Gaiden II, which came in at eight.[2][3] Atari reported that the game along with Alone in the Dark helped to increase the company's net sales.[4] The game was nominated for a Spike video game award for best fighting game,[5] but lost out to Soul Calibur IV.[6]

Along with its sales the game received positive reviews from various gaming critics. Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions earned their own aggregated scores of 71/100[7] and 72/100 on Metacritic,[8] 72.37%[9] and 73.23% on GameRankings,[10] and 7.7[11] and 7.9 on GameStats[12] respectfully.

Chris Roper of IGN felt that the combat mechanics were "simple and deep", but had issues with the extent to which many of the characters and stages were similar to each other.[13] Will Herring of GamePro praised the games visuals and felt that the Drama Pieces integrated well within the Z Chronicles. However, he stated that they didn't seem to work well when applied to the multiplayer mode.[14] Justin Calvert of GameSpot stated the visuals and animation would impress regular gamers, despite referring to the environments as bland. He continued, saying that "the overall look of Burst Limit is definitely greater than the sum of its parts".[15] Phil Theobald of GameSpy felt the lack of content made the game feel a little shallow, but called the game a quality fighting game with an improved game engine that couldn't be denied.[16] GameTrailers praised the game by calling it "a well-rounded package in fighting shape", while keeping its paces with plenty of gaming modes. They also stated that its depth might not please hardcore gamers, but fans or gamers looking for a user friendly fighter might enjoy it.[17] Dakota Grabowski of GameZone stated that it was an excellent game with some drawbacks, such as lack of characters and an under refined online multiplayer. While overall felt the game was a critical success.[18] Matt Cabral of Official Xbox Magazine praised the controls and the visuals. He also stated "after countless titles spanning various platforms, we may just have the best Dragon Ball Z game yet".[19]

However some critics were not as pleased with the game overall. Anthony Gallegos of was impressed by the game at first but was ultimately disappointed by its lack of innovation.[20] Dale Nardozzi of TeamXbox called much of the games features bare bones. He also complained about the game's sixty dollar price tag, stating that the gameplay didn't justify the game's cost. He recommended that consumers would be better off getting the game as a trade-in, a rental, or as a loan from a DBZ fan.[21]

As of December 31, 2008, the game has sold 730,000 copies worldwide[22] which includes 163,000 copies sold on PS3 in Japan by the end of 2008.[23]


  • Kamehameha, the signature move, appears on commercials on TV when saying it. The clips shown for the advertisement are such as arm wrestling, chef, megaphone, office, etc.
  • This is the first Dragon Ball Z game on the high-definition generation of consoles and the only game on HD consoles which has Budokai-style gameplay.
  • In the opening sequence, when attacking Nappa, Goku is wearing the costume he wore when fighting the Ginyu Force, but he does not have this costume in the game.
  • Although Chiaotzu is not a playable character, he does make a brief appearance during the first of two unlockable bonus movies, in which he sacrifices himself in an attempt to defeat Nappa.
  • In this game, Frieza's tail whip is white in all his forms, while it is purple in his first three forms in the anime.
  • This is the first time in the English version of the games that Goku calls himself by his full name "Son Goku".
  • Although both are not playable characters, King Cold and Mecha-Frieza make a short appearance in the second of the two unlockable bonus movies. They are seen flying towards Earth in their spaceship.
  • Much like the Budokai series, Cell's voice does not change when transformed, he instead retains his Perfect Form voice in this game.
  • This game shows Goku in the Father-Son Kamehameha in his normal stage, not as a Super Saiyan.
    • Alternately, Gohan remains in his Super Saiyan 2 stage after his fight with Cell, rather than reverting to his normal form.
  • Though this form is not playable, Goku is seen transforming into a Super Saiyan 2 against Broly at the end of game.
The Dance

Raditz, Vegeta and Nappa striking a pose

  • The two bonus movies from the game are played with a lengthened version of the introduction music in the background. However, the second movie uses an English version of the song.
  • During the credits of the game, a slideshow depicting key points in each saga runs behind the credits. Every now and then, a still image of a saga's main villains will appear, standing in line and striking a pose, much like the Ginyu Force. Villains like; Raditz, Nappa and Vegeta, Frieza, Recoome and Ginyu, and the Red Ribbon Androids can all be seen in these poses.





  1. Weekly Shōnen Jump scan
  2. Simple 2000: The Japanese, Dragon Ball Z Japanese Sales Are Over 90,000!!, Michael McWhertor for Kotak (June 12, 2008)
  3. メディアクリエイト全国ランキング 今週TOPはPS3『DBZ バーストリミット』9.2万本、360版とは大差, Gpara, June 12, 2008
  4. Atari, Inc. and Subsidiaries June 30, 2008 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, August 14, 2008, page 35
  5. Spike TV Announces Nominees for 6th VGAs, Brian Crecente, Kotaku (Nov 13, 2008)
  6. Spike VGA Winners: GTAIV snags game of the year, Dustin Burg, Joystiq (December 15, 2008)
  7. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (PS3) reviews at
  8. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (xbox360) reviews at
  9. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit for PlayStation 3, GameRankings
  10. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit for Xbox 360, GameRankings
  11. GameStats: DBZ: Burst Limit Cheats, Reviews, News (PS3)
  12. GameStats: DBZ: Burst Limit Cheats, Reviews, News (Xbox 360)
  13. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Review, Kamehameha! The DBZ crew is back, online and taking names, Chris Roper for IGN (June 11, 2008)
  14. Review: Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Will Herring for GamePro (June 11, 2008)
  15. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Review: "This 3D fighting game can be enjoyed by newcomers to the DBZ universe and Super Saiyan wannabes alike", Justin Calvert for GameSpot (Jun 10, 2008)
  16. Reviews Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Goku and the Z Fighters make their first appearance on the 360. You know what we're Saiyan?, Phil Theobald for GameSpy (Jun 13, 2008)
  17. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit: Reviews, Trailers and Interviews, GameTrailers
  18. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Review, Dakota Grabowski for GameZone (June 30, 2008)
  19. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, OXM Online, Matt Cabral, Official Xbox Magazine (June 12, 2008)
  20. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Review, Anthony Gallegos for (June 12 2008)
  21. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Review (Xbox 360) Dale Nardozzi for TeamXbox (June 10, 2008)
  23. Famitsu 2008 video game sales

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