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'Dragon Ball' fan game revives classic look and style

tech reviews Updated: Apr 09, 2014 13:33 IST

Fans of the long-running anime and manga series have created their own video game interpretation in "Hyper Dragonball Z."

Using the free game engine MUGEN, the volunteer developers behind "Hyper Dragonball Z" opted for a relatively scaled-down roster -- 5 characters with a further 3 in development -- but prize variety over bare headcounts.

"The graphics have that 2D charm that, in our opinion, was lost in the transition to 3D games," reads the trailer's description. "Gone is the sensation of every character being interchangeable and having the same style of fighting."

"Instead, we have characters with beautiful animations, cinematic moves, skillful combos, interesting movesets, unique traits and the kind of fanservice that'd make any Dragonball fan smirk."

With an April 5 release timed to coincide with the birthday of "Dragon Ball" creator Akira Toriyama, the 2D aesthetic of "Hyper Dragonball Z" recalls the style of Capcom franchises "Street Fighter II" and "Darkstalkers."

And the team behind it hope that their homage will win recognition not only from established developers Capcom and Bandai (which steers the current crop of official "Dragon Ball" games), but also prominent global tournaments such as EVO.