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Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension is a 2D fighting game that was released in 1996.
Anyone familiar with other SNES DBZ games made by TOSE such as the Butouden series will be right at home with the control layout for this game:
B = Kick
Y = Punch
A = Fireball
X = Special Function / Throw
L and R = Dash
Punches and kicks work like KOF normals. There are close standing normals, far standing normals and crouching normals. Double tapping and then holding or will result in a short ranged hop. Holding or while holding down L or R will cause the player to dash. Special "3D attacks" can be performed by pressing B or Y while holding down L or R. If you are on the left side, use R, If you are on the right side use L. 3D attacks shift your character into the background as they charge towards the opponent, bypassing all attacks. The X button serves a few purposes. X by itself is an attack that can swat away light projectiles, including generic fireballs and level 1 "Kamehameha" attacks. + X is throw. On hit, X launches both players into the sky battle stage, if available. X sends both players back down to the ground stage. X sends the opponent flying into the corresponding neighboring stage, if available. The stage chosen on character select determines which stage layout will be used. Game mechanics change drastically during sky battles, so for the purpose of this wiki, unless stated otherwise, all information presented here will assume players are playing on the ground.
In Hyper Dimension, all close range standing punches and kicks can be cancelled into any other normal or special, including a special launcher attack. Launchers can be performed by pressing B+Y during a combo chain, regardless of whether the opponent is blocking or being hit. Launchers cannot be performed outside of combo chains. Some specials also launch the opponent. When hit by a launcher, the opponent will be propelled into the air in an untechable juggle state. After the launch, you can hit the opponent with any attack, for a maximum of 3 hits before hard knockdown is forced.
Contrary to the Butouden series, there is no ki meter in this game. Instead, health and ki are are combined into one bar, meaning most special ki attacks will detract from your health when performed. To compliment this, powering up (by holding B+Y) will regenerate your health by 5 points per tick. When your health falls below 81, you gain access to your character's unique "Desperation Attack", which costs nothing to perform and can be done as often as you like.
Hyper Dimension also sports a "Guard Counter" system. When blocking an attack, a small blue circle will appear where the attack connected. If you input a special move when the circle is full, the screen will momentarily freeze and darken, your character will light up, and the special move will come out during blockstun. There is no cost to doing this, the only requirement is good timing. This mechanic alone can invalidate quite a few pressure tactics which involve blockstrings.
Hyper Dimension is a very jump-heavy game. Think of it like older KOF entries; hops are fast and even have some invincibility during startup, air normals are fast, and most anti-airs are slow and not invincible. In contrast, walk speed and dash speed is quite slow. This is not to say that you can't play an effective ground game, it largely depends on your character, but the risk/reward for playing a grounded game is often much worse than playing the aerial aggressor. This is because most anti-air and air-to-air attacks do not lead into significant damage or loss of positioning, whereas most air-to-ground attacks lead to huge, often fatal damage.
Contrary to what you might initially think, playing a basic fireball game is not viable in Hyper Dimension. Generic fireballs are slow and have extremely long recovery, so unless your character has unique projectile specials, a proactive long-range game is often ill-advised. This is a fast-paced, up-close style of fighting game. Try your best to control the air, use hops to get on top of your opponent and land a clean jump-in for explosive damage.
Basic fighting game rules apply here: use your character's fastest, safest and furthest reaching attacks to beat your opponent's best options. Some characters have better far standing normals than others. Some characters have great projectiles. Some characters benefit greatly from jumping around because they either have great air normals or great air specials. Check your character's page further down for descriptions of all normal and special moves and their best uses.
Hopping is a quick form of mobility and a very important tool in neutral for all characters. Not only are they fast, but all hops have a small period of invincibility, so it's important to learn how to hop quickly and efficiently. Hops are performed by tapping and then holding towards or away, but hops don't come out instantly. Due to the way the hop command works, the game takes a while to register it as a hop, so you will need to buffer it during other actions if you want it to come out instantly. You can buffer the input during round start to get a hop out immediately as the game begins. You can buffer hops during other moves. You can buffer hops while you are airborne, either during jumps, hops or air techs. You can buffer hops during blockstun. You can buffer hops while you are knocked down to get it to come out as soon as possible on wakeup. Which brings us to...
In Hyper Dimension, there are 5 frames of wakeup invincibility where your character is in neutral and can perform any action. Hop invincibility starts on frame 4, which means hopping on wakeup is a fully invincible reversal for all characters. Hop invincibility ends on frame 13 or as soon as you hit a button. Hopping on wakeup or buffering it during airtight blockstrings is a very legit way to escape pressure.
Guard countering is a defensive tactic that varies in strength from character to character, but consistent among all characters is that it generally prevents specials from being used in blockstrings, because every character has at least one special move which, if used as a guard counter, is fast enough to punish the recovery of pretty much every special in the game on block. Invincible attacks are best for this job, but not entirely necessary as long as the special is fast enough. Check out the character guides for your character's best guard counter specials. You have 12 frames (the length of hitstop) to input your special move to guard counter individual hits, and you have 17 frames to input your special move during an airtight blockstring of at least 2 hits. Buffer your guard counter specials early and time the button press during hitstop or slightly before, but make sure you don't get caught mashing a special when you are not in blockstun, otherwise you will suffer a counterhit.
All throws in Hyper Dimension are 1 frame startup, which means you can throw punish your opponent for a lot of mistimed attacks. This is fantastically abusable on defense. If your opponent is standing right next to you as you're getting up, mash throw. If your opponent times a jump-in attack too early, mash throw. If the opponent tries to stagger a normal or frame trap you on the ground, mash throw. If the opponent tries to throw you, mash throw. If you are mashing throw during an airtight blockstring, as long as you are in throw range, the throw will come out as soon as there is a 1 frame gap. If you are not in throw range however, your mashed throw will come out as neutral X, which can be pretty bad for you if the opponent purposely baits it by double hopping. But in general, throws are godlike. Use them.
Offense is all about predicting and baiting your opponent into performing one of the above defensive tactics. In general, constantly hopping all over your opponent is one of the best ways to pressure. They will only have 12 frames to input a guard counter special, and depending on the character you are fighting, that may or may not be feasible for them. Multiple consecutive hops is also the best way to bait throw mashing, as the invincibility of your hop should go over the default neutral X that comes out when you are not able to be thrown, allowing you to come down with a full combo. Where things get really tricky is when the opponent also starts spamming hops. Essentially, the first player to hop is the first player who is able to hit a button in the air, but is also the first player to run out of invincibility on their hop. A defending player may hop later than you do, but if you hit your button too early and they don't hit a button at all, their invincibility is going to cause your jumping normal to whiff completely, and they might be able to punish. On the other hand, if you hit your button too late, they might hit theirs early and stuff you out of your hop, killing your offense. The latter example only applies to longer range hops; in general the first hopper is at an advantage. It's better to hit your button as early as possible and stuff them out of any possible attacks. If you hop at a close enough range, their wake-up hop will likely sail over your head, causing them to land behind in which case you can then punish them anyway.
Empty hop throws or dash up throws are another great way to establish some sort of threat besides hops. Throws don't do huge damage, but after landing a few, the opponent is going to start panicking. As stated, throws are 1 frame startup, so keep in mind that the opponent will likely be able to throw you first if they perfectly predict this, since hops do have a tiny bit of landing recovery. Again, bait and punish overzealous throwing with more hops.
Lows are not very strong in Hyper Dimension because most of them can't be cancelled into launchers or any highly damaging specials, but there are exceptions. Despite this, it is necessary to threaten with lows every now and then just to tell the opponent that they can't simply block high all day and thwart all non-throw mixups. Unless your character's name is Vegito or Cell, you will probably want to keep this option to a minimum, as it's weak to the opponent's best defensive option: hopping.
Combos in Hyper Dimension are simple yet allow for some creativity, depending on your character. Generally, all characters want to combo into their best launcher. Universal launchers are performed by hitting B+Y during a combo chain. This will send the opponent into a juggle state where they can be juggled by any attack for a maximum of 3 hits before hard knockdown is forced. That's really all there is to it. Some characters have special moves that launch. There are a couple characters whose best combos don't involve using launchers at all. Check the character pages down further for a rundown of each character's launchers and combo options. A good mix of sample combos can be found in this video:
Piccolo, Vegito, Goku
Vegeta, Kid Buu