Email me for Advertising Opportunities, Review and/or Preview Codes, Hardware Reviews, & Story Ideas

Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2

Developer: Spike | Publisher: Atari
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/15/06 | Genre: Fighting

Most people played the 1st Budokai, and most enjoyed playing as Goku and friends, but yet the first Dragon Ball Z Budokai needed the feel of actually playing in the anime cartoon. Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2 captures that.

Through many years, the Dragon Ball series has been a huge hit, selling millions of merchandise worldwide. Dragon Ball was introduced to America a while back around 1996. Dragon Ball Z came with Goku and his new friends around 1998. Now the cartoon has finally came to Dragon Ball GT on Toonami Cartoon Network. Many people still enjoy the series now today; as well newer DBZ games are being released. Taikenshin, Legacy of Goku, Budokai.
Anyways, enough about the history.

The first Budokai experienced mind-blowing techniques, story line, and fighting, though the Dragon Ball series is never meant to be in 3D. Look at Dragon Ball GT; it is a great game, just lacks creativity, and style. Dragon Ball Z Budokai fixes many elements that the first one didn't have, yet, took away some of the fun out of the game.

In Budokai 2, you are Goku and your friends of coarse, but this time, the story length goes right to the end of the series with Majin Buu. Though the story does not follow the regular route of the series. The story is actually changed a little, from Nappa and Raditz arrive on the planet rather then Nappa and Vegeta, and Frieza is on earth before Namek. The story line has changed but it is still enjoyable to fight a new battle. Of course Goku is the main character, going along the series fighting enemies along side with your best friends.

The story now includes up to 29 characters, with additions of Videl, Majin Buu's, Teen Gohan, Goten, Trunks, and many fusions you can earn. With all these characters, how could the game go wrong? but it does...

From the first Dragon Ball Z Budokai, you had the very organized and cool looking little cut scenes in the game. Well it seems that Dimps (the designers) decided to take that part out, and to make it even worse, the story plot is going through a board game. A BOARD GAME! You move around just like in a board game with one (or more) spaces at a time. You have a bar of health with your board game character, where you can lose only that many times. So you must repeatedly beat the enemy over and over and over again till you actually beat him / her. Really, who ever decided to create the game board theme, was doing something at the time when thinking of that idea.

Ok, the game's movement is very bad, though if you look at the graphics, you will notice that they are more Cel-Shaded. Dimps and Atari wanted to capture the feel of the cartoon, and they did. The Cel-shaded graphics in Budokai 2 gives the game a real high feel of excitement. Looking at these kinds of graphics just makes you forget about the well-designed 3D graphics such as Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution. The graphics are cartoonish, and makes the game much more enjoyable and entertaining.

What about the fighting? Sure the gameplay is not the best. Though the fighting in the video game is amazingly decent. With the easy button slamming you are able to accomplish some crazy moves, such as Goku's Kamehameha, and Gotenk's Super Kamikaze Ghost and much much more. Think of the game, with layers of health. The whole game is a fight, more of a story. Let me just put this short and easy. The fighting in Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2 has improved from the 1st one, and is a really awesome fighting game with all the awesome moves that you can accomplish with ease.

There is so many different ways to play this game. As of all the Dragon Ball video games, there is a tournament mode. This would be the best time to invite your friends over to have some fun blasting fireballs at each other. You will be rewarded if you win a hefty stack of money, as well more respect. Though the only thing you have to watch out for is the boundaries. Like in the cartoon the ring has boundaries where if you touch the ground outside the ring, you fail. There are many different ways to practice, especially you noobs out there, you can train with your buddies of Dragon Ball Z, on Training mode, in teaching you how to do certain attacks, such as Clashing, Kamehameha, and my favorite Fusion.

You may think, "what is new in this one from the 1st one?" well, there is the length in the game is the biggest one, addition of new characters, new techniques, new modes such as Babidi's Space ship, unlocked only if you receive all the Dragon balls in the game. This is where you are able to train your character to earn characters, and new moves for characters. As well there is the training modes, practice modes (which every fighting game should have) along with not new but a fun Tournament up to all 29 characters. My personal favorite new ability in the game would have to be the Fusions. I wont give away who can fuse, but there are a few. But Gotenks is the ultimate fighter if you fuse with him (and even funnier if you screw up)

You are able to unlock many characters through the game, as well as attacks and such. Collecting all the dragon balls by digging at certain spots, can gain you access to the dragon at the end of the game. You are able to wish for Babidi's space ship, or a breakthrough for anyone of your character that you already own.

The game offers lots of characters, yet not as many costumes. There is about 2 assigned costumes to each character, except Gohan, he will get another one later on. Though making your character look better will not enhance your progress in fighting.

Getting the voice actors from the show is a very important value to the game. Each voice actor, such as Sean Schemmel are amazing voice actors for the series as well the games. Each voice actor did an excellent job at doing his or her job. With every emotion captured like it was nothing.

What makes a good fighter? Good plot, good characters, good attacks, good graphics? Most of these are all introduced within Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. The game is a really fun game. Though the board game idea kind of did not work (at all) in the process of gameplay. I really hope that Dragon Ball GT (which is coming out Winter) will not have the game board idea. Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2 is a well deserved B. Good voice actors, fights, and modes.

"A blast of energy to keep the series alive."

By Adam Beck - 01/29/04
ESRB Details: Violence

Screenshots for Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2