And even though Spike's rights to Dragonball expired with the whimpering mass of failure that was last year's Ultimate Tenkaichi, the fact that the early material for Battle of Z failed to indicate the game's developer indicated, to me at least, that it wasn't going to be anyone special.
But, goddamn, Battle of Z is being developed by the venerable Studio d'Artdink!
And if you don't know that name, you should. The recent, utterly fantastic PS3 game Macross 30: Voices Across the Galaxy was developed by Artdink, as were all of the fantastic Gundam Battle and Macross games on the Playstation Portable, all of the Hybrid Pack Macross games for the Playstation 3, and Gundam Seed Battle Destiny for the Playstation Vita.
And, as someone who's written several exhaustive translation guides for Artdink's games, let's just say I'm a fan. Artdink excels at 3D action-combat, at ranged and melee systems and fast-paced aerial battles. They're an absolute perfect fit for the Dragonball franchise--and given how Battle of Z is set to incorporate giant enemy bosses, and multiple fighters duking it out simultaneously, I think it's safe to say we can expect to see Artdink deliver a truly fantastic game.
This is the best news DBZ games have had in decades, perhaps ever. If you're a DBZ fan: it's safe to be optimistic. And if you're not a DBZ fan, but loved Artdink's Macross or Gundam titles, this is certainly one DBZ game more than worth your time. It might be a bit early to say this, but I think we've finally got a game that won't just equal the quality of Budokai 3 or Tenkaichi 3--but far, far surpass it.
Dragonball: Battle of Z is scheduled for a worldwide release on Playstation 3, Playstation Vita and Xbox 360 in March 2014.