Launching the channel you'll hear someone reading out the entire game title in a cheezy way which doesn't give very good first impressions. However, this is redeemed a little if you're a DBZ fan as you're presented with a very familiar art style from the Anime show upon starting the game.
You have a number of control options mainly with the Wiimote and Nunchuk combo, the classic controller or the GC controller. I had to stick with the Wiimote controls since I don't have either of the other control pads and it can take a lot of getting used to because all the specials are executed by holding one direction on the D-pad and then performing motion gestures.
Once you have the hang of it however, it can be very fun to play as you move your arms as if you were really going to throw a Kamehameha or, exchanging punch and kicks at lightning speed! Other times you'll be bashing the A button mostly although it's still very satisfying to send your opponent flying about from place to place, crashing through objects. You'll also have to time the A and B buttons right to dodge the super attacks.
In other words, everything you can do here is very true to the show.
The amount of button combos and moves you can perform can be overwhelming so I would have preferred it if they added a more interactive tutorial instead of giving you a set of instructions that you have to read, remember and follow. Eventually I just skipped reading them because there's so many and just learned to play by experimenting. Fortunately you can pause the game to browse through a list of skills to remind yourself and if you're using the Wiimote controls then you'll even get an animated on screen reminder which is good.
There's also quite a number of modes to play through and I'm sure the first one you will go through is the story based "Dragon Ball History" which covers the series from the very first Dragon Ball show when Goku was little to the end of Dragon Ball GT. However, don't expect to watch fully scripted cutscenes because you'll only be hearing the key lines and scenes. Battling all the way through these will take you just under eight hours but there's more to entertain of course.
Besides the history mode, there's also an "Ultimate Battle" mode. This is further split into a "Sim Dragon" mode which is kind of like a visual novel game where you have to pick choices to decide what you do for the day. Then there's a "Mission" mode allowing you to fight set teams of opponents and getting ranked afterwards.
A "World Tournament" mode cycles through a number of different tournaments about every fifteen real time minutes. You then have to win your way to the top before you can earn some Z points and unlock more game features. The difficulty varies but if you're up for a challenge, wait until you try Yamcha's Tournament where a random character is selected for you. Once I had to use Ayane to fight all the powerful enemies from the end of the DBGT series and with her limited moves, it was nasty.
And how can you have a beat-em-up game without the option of fighting another player? Well, there's a "Duel" mode that covers that allowing you to either pick your own CPU opponent to battle against to just face another human player. You can also go online but I have yet to find a random player on even during off-peak time when people are off work. Considering how niche the series is I'm not really surprised.
On the other hand, I'm not so sure about being able to customise your characters with unlockable power-up items in "Evolution Z" mode. Purchasing these items with the "Z Points" you earn from playing the game just isn't as fun as say unlocking costumes or official artwork in my opinion. What I did find interesting was that you can randomly discover dragon balls during battles and once you have all seven, you're granted a "wish" to unlock more interesting content.
As mentioned earlier, Dragonball fans should be pleased with the overall presentation of the game. The cell shaded environments and characters are modelled just like the Dragonball world you're familiar with. Every moves are animated just like in the show and then there's all the sound effects. It's good to see you can switch to the original Japanese voices because the English script was changed quite a bit making the show sound very cheezy. However, there are the odd times where the English subtitles you find here don't match up to the Japanese voices.
A satisfying beat-em-up game for Dragon Ball fans that makes a fair attempt at using the Wiimote motion sensor controls.