Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Review

The game tries to mimic 3D combat, but in reality is a 2D affair.  There is a dodge move that will have you sidestep a blow and move behind your opponent, but the game's tendency to lose or delay button presses makes it too unreliable to be effective.  You can also hit an opponent into the air, but they will just hang there until you move to meet them.  There is no way to direct attacks up or down or to move vertically on your own, making the whole vertical element a pointless non-factor.

Screenshots
Don't hit a lady, er, android!

Graphically the game stays close to its cartoon roots, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective.  If you're a fan of the show, then you'll appreciate how the game's graphics mimic the characters and environments of the series.  As a next generation console game, though, the graphics look plain, flat, and dated.  The characters are very two-dimensional and simple, lacking the details packed into the characters in most fighting games these days.  The backgrounds are even simpler, lacking detail and using very limited color palettes.  I'm sure that the fans of the TV series appreciate that the cutscenes look like they are straight out of the show, but they probably wouldn't have minded it if the fights used truly 3D characters and arenas.

When everything is taken together, Budokai really provides a lot for Dragon Ball Z fans.  If you're an aficionado of the series, then you won't be disappointed with the quality of this title. However, as a fighter the game falls short of the top titles in the genre and will more than likely be too simplistic for fighter fans.  How much you like Dragon Ball Z is a pretty good measure of how much you'll like this game.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 69%.  Dragon Ball Z fans will be pleased, fighter fans should look elsewhere.

 



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