Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team

Game review by
Duane Munn, Common Sense Media
Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team Game Poster Image
Cartoon violence galore, but no blood; for hardcore fans.
  • PSP
  • $39.99
  • 2010

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Despite its cartoonish nature, themes of class separation are prevalent throughout Tenkaichi Tag Team’s story mode. The Saiyans, a group of invading warriors, openly boast of being the “Saiyain-elite” while ridiculing Goku, whom they describe as a “low-class” member of their race. And in turn, the Saiyan are ruled by an overlord named Frieza, who dismisses the entire race as peasants and occassionally refers to them as "monkeys" (Saiyan are born with tails and can transform into giant, ape-like creatures). There’s also light stereotyping evident in some character designs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The hero of Dragon Ball Z is Goku, an easy-going family man who also happens to be the most powerful fighter in the universe. He uses his seemingly-never-ending powers to protect the weak from intergalactic evil-doers, and to safeguard the Dragon Balls, seven mystic orbs which, when collected, will grant the user a single wish.

Ease of Play

Pummeling opponents with DBZ’s over-the-top super-attacks is both simple and easy to master, thanks to streamlined controls that assign different attack types to separate buttons on the PSP (physical attacks with the square button, energy attacks with the triangle button, etc.). The game also allows players to lock on to specific targets, a crucial gameplay feature given that you will often be tasked with battling 2-4 opponents at a time.

Violence

This is a fighting game, so there’s violence, although there’s no blood and the action is over-the-top/cartoonish in nature. Fighters are thrown through collapsing buildings, only to jump up without a scratch. Combatants also exchange screen-filling energy attacks, but the massive beams often push your opponent into the background, so that no physical damage is discernable as the attack takes place. There is a fair amount of real-world violence implied by the game’s dialogue, however; heroes and villains alike are “destroyed” repeatedly during the game’s story mode (the good guys are always revived via a wish from the Dragon Balls).

Language

Occasional use of the word "bastard". Lots of threatening language, belittling of opponents, and promises to “destroy” the good guys and/or enslave the universe.

Consumerism

The game is based on the immensely popular Dragon Ball Z anime series, which has created in Japan but has fans and followers all over the world. Unlike some previous Dragon Ball games that featured original storylines, Tenkaichi Tag Team’s story mode is a note-for-note recreation of the cartoon, allowing gamers to battle their way through almost all their favorite moments from the anime’s 274-episode run.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, a game based on the Dragon Ball Z anime series, is a fighting game. All of the game modes involve some form of brawling, from the standard story mode to the game’s “fight for a long as you can” survival mode. The fights do serve as a means for the game’s good guys to triumph over evil. There is no blood, just over-the-top fighting moves involving fisticuffs and magic.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 11 years old December 23, 2013

Best game eva

This game is awesome i love it perfect for hardcore dbz fans
Kid, 10 years old October 31, 2010
it is not that good

What's it about?

In the video game DRAGON BALL Z: TENAICHI TAG TEAM, fans of this TV show can revisit every single battle from the animated series -- from Goku’s first meeting with his Saiyan brothers in episode one, all the way to the series-ending battle royal with super-baddie Majin Buu. Nearly all the dialogue from the series is here as well, thanks to an RPG-style story mode that requires players to move throughout various world maps (triggering talk-heavy cut scenes) in-between between dustups.

Is it any good?

Most Dragon Ball-inspired games have been lackluster at best, but Tenkaichi Tag Team is a pleasant exception to the norm. Gamers don't control two characters, as in most traditional tag games, instead they control up to four players, paired into teams of two. This fighting within the game’s 3D environments creates frenetic action that serves as the best virtual recreation yet of the anime’s now-legendary brawls. Seriously, it’s pretty cool to throw an energy attack at an opponent half a screen away, then watch two other fighters come crashing in-and-out of view before your attack lands. The game’s control scheme also helps make this the most immersive Dragon Ball fighter in recent memory. It’s easy to jump right in and begin duking it out, but pulling off complex attacks requires gamers to combine different attack commands simultaneously. Figuring out which combos will yield the best results can take some practice.

Unfortunately, the story mode is packed with dense, rambling dialogue. The nuances which shed light on why characters fight are easily overlooked, since they are sandwiched between the game’s in-your-face fisticuffs and pyrotechnic gameplay. However, considering that the Dragon Ball Z anime also dedicates most of its air-time to massive one-on-one battles, children may be more interested in recreating their favorite fights from the cartoon, rather than re-watching the story of Goku and his friends. Toss in over 70 playable characters, loads of unlockables, and online multiplayer battles, and Tenkaichi Tag Team scores a knockout as one of the best Dragon Ball games released.

Online interaction: Up to four players can battle it out online, against friends or total strangers, in the game's Multiplayer mode. The game does not support voice-chatting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Parents could discuss the game’s class themes with their children, specifically why it would be hurtful for those from more privileged backgrounds to antagonize friends or classmates from less fortunate environments.

  • Is the game’s cartoon violence necessary? How could a fun Dragon Ball Z game be created without focusing on fighting? What are some of the other activites that Goku and his friends enjoy?

  • Families could talk about the game’s fantasy violence. Why is it ok for the characters of the Dragon Ball Z universe to use such over-the-top attacks against one another, and why are those moves not ok to try against a friend in the real world?

Game details

  • Platforms: PSP
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: October 19, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T for Cartoon Violence, Mild Language

For kids who love fast action in their games

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