Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu is a fighting game based on Dragon Ball Z that was released on November 24, 2003, for the Game Boy Advance. It was developed by Webfoot Technologies, who developed the Legacy of Goku series for the same console.
Taiketsu is less like its sibling Budokai series and more like the Tekken series of fighting games; combos and special moves are more complex as a result, and require much better timing or button input to execute.
It was one of the first Dragon Ball Z games in the US to feature Broly (something that was toted in promotional material) at a time when he was still "new" to DBZ fans in the US. The game has standard character roster of 15 playable characters, who are a mix of heroes and villains from the series.
Whilst all characters can perform one of three super attacks during the fights, few characters undergo transformations as part of their attacks. For example, Goku can turn Super for his Level One and Level Two supers, and Vegeta can transform into his Great Ape form for his Level 3 super. At all other times, the fighters are played in their "base" forms (Broly is an exception, who is primarily played in his Super Saiyan form). Fights are mostly ground-based, however the players can engage in an optional "Sky Battle" (the game's "clashing system"). Each fighter has a story ending when the player completes the game with them, allowing multiple plays.
The game features a one player mode and a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode allows to fight an opponent via a link cable. The one player modes are:
Fight a series of 7 randomly selected opponents. Once finished, a short story on the selected character is shown, and the player receives an award that is either a new playable character or 25,000 Zeni.
Raditz is unlocked after beating the Tournament mode once, Nappa is unlocked after beating the Tournament mode again with Vegeta, Gotenks is unlocked after beating the mode with four different characters, and Frieza is unlocked after the mode with all the characters unlocked so far. Beating the Tournament mode with Android 16 unlocks Cell, beating it with Frieza unlocks Majin Buu, and beating it with Buu unlocks Broly.
Fight as many fighters as possible without health restoring. The best runs are saved to the high-score list.
- Time Challenge
This mode is similar to the Tournament mode, except for the fact that the fights are timed. Extra points are won after each fight finished in under 30 seconds. The best times are saved to a high-score list.
Beating this mode with two different characters unlocks Android 16. Beating it with Buu unlocks Broly.
Practice moves, combos, anything.
- Endurance 2x
Fight twice as many opponents as regular Endurance mode.
- Adult Gohan/Great Saiyaman
- Android 18
- Future Trunks
- Frieza (First/Final form)
- Android 16
- Majin Buu/Super Buu
- Imperfect Cell/Perfect Cell
- Broly (Super Saiyan)
- Kame House
- Kami's Lookout
- Pendulum Room
- Snake Way
- Orange Star City
- Inside Buu
- New Planet Vegeta
- Image Gallery
- Super Saiyan Vegeta in a fighting pose.
- Android 16 and 18 standing next to each other.
- Super Saiyan Goku powering up.
- Android 18 kissing Krillin.
- Gohan dressed up as Saiyaman, kicking a criminal.
- A closeup of Nappa's face.
- Frieza's first form, overlooking the Ginyu Force.
- Super Saiyan Trunks holding up an energy sphere.
- Piccolo throwing his turban off.
- A closeup on Raditz head and chest.
- Super Saiyan Vegeta blocking Android 18's punch.
- Super Buu, scratched up, surrounded with energy.
- Vegeta powering up, with rocks in the air around him.
- Majin Buu sticking his tongue out at Babidi.
- Imperfect Cell standing in a city.
- Perfect Cell powering up.
- Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks in a pose.
- Super Saiyan Trunks about to use his sword.
- A close up on Legendary Super Saiyan Broly's head and chest.
- Hercule punching Android 18 in the face.
- Theme – The music that plays when the game starts.
- Conclusion – The Game Over sound.
- Namek – The music that plays in the Namek battle stage.
- Kami's Lookou – The music that plays in the Kami's Lookout battle stage.
- Inside Buu – The music that plays in the Inside Buu battle stage.
- Go Go Goku – The music that plays in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
- Wasteland – The music that plays in the Wasteland battle stage.
- Orange City – The music that plays in the Orange City battle stage.
- Snake Way – The music that plays in the Snake Way battle stage.
- Bonus Settings
- Fast Clock – The clock goes faster.
- Invisible – Fighters are invisible sometimes, and transparent others.
- Free Supers – Ki is not needed to use super attacks.
- Supers – Super attacks can be performed in the first place.
- Explosive Touch – Fighters touching each other both get hurt.
- Fast Recovery – Ki is charged faster.
- Instant Death – One hit kills the fighter hurt.
- Bonus Mode
- Endurance x2 – Endurance mode with stronger opponents.
- Time Challenge – A timed version of Tournament mode.
- Sky Battle 2 – When the characters are in a Sky Battle, the loser loses the round.
Overall the game was received rather poorly, with many claiming that the game was rushed for the holidays. It is considered by some to be the "worst DBZ fighting game ever". However, it was still a success having sold 608,000 copies in the United States by 2005.
Prima's Official Strategy Guide
The Official Player's Guide (by Prima Games) for Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu features not just in-depth gameplay information and tip, but also contains a complete list of past Dragon Ball Z games, trivia with the Family Trees of Goku and Vegeta, series highlights, and an interview with Goku's FUNimation Entertainment voice actor, Sean Schemmel.
Some of the guides contained a Limited Edition DVD included with it, the DVD features a single episode of Dragon Ball GT and some trailers (including one for the RPG Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II).
- One of the main selling points of this game was that for the first time ever Broly was a playable character in the U.S. (Broly was playable for the first time in a video game in Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2).