Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 Review

All I know about Dragon Ball Z I learned from video games. One I played my first DBZ game I didnít know my Goku from my Frieza and I thought that Vegeta was some sort of knock-off of the national vegetable spread of Australia. This has got to be one of the most prolific fighter series out there and after reviewing umpteen of these games Iíve gotten to know quite a lot about the sagas. That being said, if you know nothing about Dragon Ball Z and are indifferent about learning more, then youíll probably want to avoid Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 unless you have the dedication of a video game reviewer. The game is a pretty decent little fighter with some cool animation, but itís really built for fans of the series. And if you just so happen to be a fan, then youíll find yourself in DBZ heaven.

The fight action looks great.
As Iíve played DBZ games over the past few years Iíve witnessed their steady progress in quality and Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is the best one yet. The story mode is extensive and will carry you through the Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT series. Youíll fight every battle and cutscenes will fill in the plot points in between. And yes, it will take you quite some time to make your way through all of the battles crammed into the story mode which is one of the reasons itís best left to true fans. There are a ton of battles here which will be nirvana for the fan but a seemingly unending series of fights to anyone else. Each battle has a victory condition which might not be to win the fight Ė sometimes you just need to hang on for a set length of time, for example. This can lead to some disjoint sequences in the story if you win a battle that you werenít supposed to according to the sagaís history. The story will just continue as if you lost, but at least youíll collect more experience and coinage for winning.

Other modes include an extensive training mode for players new to the game that does a great job of teaching the mechanics of the gameís fight system. Fans of the series new to fighting games will really appreciate this mode and it will be time well spent before moving on to the story mode. There are also tournament and battle modes for when you just want to match up a couple of fighters and go at it. Making a return to the game again are the Evolution Z items. These can be purchased with money won in fighting and are used to both improve your fightersí stats as well as to let you customize them to fit your particular style of play. When you take this into consideration with the fact that there are 120 fighters and their variants in the game you can see that there is a tremendous amount of room to create unique fighters. The game also includes a cool feature that will generate a password for your customized characters. You can then go over to a friendís house, input your code, and then be able to use the fighter you leveled up back at home.

The fighting in the game is centered on two attack buttons used for close and long range. These can be used in different sequences to unleash combos. The game is a bit of a button masher, but the ability to block and then counter adds a little timing and strategy into the mix. The addition of ki-enabled energy attacks makes the battles more exciting, though. There certainly is a feeling of satisfaction gained by unleashing an energy bolt on your opponent and watching him blasted backwards into an embankment by the blast. Another cool aspect to the fights is that they take place in a fully 3D environment. Not only can you try to attack your opponent from 360 degrees, youíll have the ability to soar and take the fight to the air or go crashing through the surface of a lake to continue the brawl underwater.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 82%. It may not satisfy the hardcore fighting fan or impress those who arenít fans of DBZ, but anyone who enjoys the Dragon Ball series will find it thoroughly enjoyable.


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