The Nintendo Switch finally is giving people a chance to play older games on it. Those who subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online can play an array of NES titles. However, Bandai Namco has also giving folks a similar opportunity. The company has, as a Dragon Ball FighterZ pre-order bonus and offer for joining the Bandai Namco Latinoamérica email newsletter, doled out digital copies of Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden. While this is an older game, it fits really well on Nintendo’s newest console.
Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden is a big deal. This was the first Dragon Ball fighter and brought a lot to the table. People can fight as Goku, Super Saiyan Goku, Vegeta, Super Saiyan Vegeta, Piccolo, Super Saiyan Gohan, Super Saiyan Trunks, Android 16, Android 18, Android 20, Frieza, Imperfect Cell and Perfect Cell on nine different stages in story, versus and tournament modes. You can fight in air on the ground using characters’ signature moves. While the campaign is not translated in this version, it begins with the Piccolo Jr. Saga, touches on the Raditz, Vegeta, Namek, Captain Ginyu, Frieza, Garlic Jr., Trunks, Androids, Imperfect Cell and Perfect Cell Sagas, all before closing things out with the Cell Games. It was also known for the way it depicts battlefields, as the field is long, there is a map near the top of the screen showing where you and the opponent are and the screen will even split in the center when characters get too far apart.
The big deal with Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden Nintendo Switch version is how well it enables multiplayer gameplay. This game has one-on-one matches, which is to be expected from most fighting games. But the big deal here is the tournament mode. The game easily lets you set up a quick, eight-person tournament. It handles seeding and round assignments. Even though the game is entirely in Japanese, it is easy to see who is playing what and when, due to the player number being in English and character portraits shown ahead of each match.
The Nintendo Switch coming with two Joy-Con makes Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden matches even easier. This was a Super Famicom game with a rather rudimentary moveset, compared to other fighting games. Moves can be as simple as a 236+A for a forward projectile for many characters, with some movesets overlapping. This means that it is actually possible to play, maybe even performing well, on these smaller controllers. After all, they already give us an analog stick to use, something the Super Famicom controller did not have.
We also have the comfort of a fighting game that could be played in Tabletop Mode with multiple people. The ideal multiplayer Switch game scenario is having the console docked while you use it, due to the level of nuance and detail present in many games. But with Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden, we have something with large character sprites, backgrounds that do not require you to focus on them and visual options that allow you to increase the size of the action or even stretch it to fit the system’s widescreen. (But really, avoid that since it does not look very good.) There are options to make Tabletop Mode viable.
Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden is a special sort of occasion. It shows us how good an old game can be. It lets us see how well a SNES game runs on this system. It gives us a chance to see how this game’s tournament mode holds up and that the Joy-Cons can still work for some fighting games. It is great to see it on Nintendo Switch and watch how it holds up.