With the launch of Dragon Ball FighterZ just hours away, we thought it'd be fun to take a quick look back at what Dragon Ball looked like on PlayStation a whole 21 years ago. Strap yourselves in, because this is going to be a bumpy ride.
If you owned a PSone and were a fan of Dragon Ball back in the late 1990s, chances are that you had at least heard of a game called Dragon Ball: Final Bout, or Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout as it was known in North America. It was the first officially licensed Dragon Ball title to have ever been rendered in full 3D, replacing 2D backgrounds and character models with 3D assets.
Much like other PSone fighters such as Tekken and Soul Edge, Dragon Ball: Final Bout was meant to promote the power of Sony's system, flaunting 3D visuals that would show Akira Toriyama's beloved creation in a whole new light. Unfortunately, the game looked rough back then, and it looks absolutely abysmal now.
It's safe to say that Final Bout hasn't aged well, but then it was never any good to begin with. As will no doubt be the case with many of you, we first played Final Bout when we were little more than kids. We watched Dragon Ball Z, we had a PSone, and we naturally wanted a video game that allowed us to play as Goku and the gang. We may have actually got some enjoyment out of Final Bout back in the day -- being the blind fanboys that we were -- but have you tried playing it since? Now that you actually know the difference between a good game and a bad one?
Dragon Ball: Final Bout is a trainwreck. It's a truly terrible fighting game on almost every level, from the unbelievably unresponsive controls to the shocking voice acting. The combat system barely works, and even when you do manage to pull off a trademark kamehameha or final flash, it looks so bad it's almost enough to make your eyes bleed. It's no wonder that Dragon Ball games went missing on consoles until Dragon Ball Budokai appeared on the PlayStation 2 five years later.
But for everything that Final Bout got wrong, we kept coming back for more -- and not just because we were idiot children. You see, despite being one of the worst fighting games we've ever played, Final Bout had one saving grace -- something so cool that we'd boot up the game time and time again just to see it.
We are, of course, talking about its awesome opening movie:
The incredible 90s animation style. The amazing Japanese rock music. To this day, the intro to Dragon Ball: Final Bout remains one of our favourites. Fortunately, we no longer have to boot up the game to see it thanks to the magic of the internet.
So there we have it, our brief look back at the worst fighting game with the best opening movie. Did you play Dragon Ball: Final Bout back in the day? Play that opening movie dozens of times before letting us know if you remember this one in the comments section below.