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Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2

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

dbz.jpgLike a pesky fly that doesn't know when to leave you alone, Atari has ushered in yet another Dragon Ball Z game. This time we find our favorite Japanese Animated heroes on the Nintendo Wii in the port of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2. While this title originally appeared on the PlayStation 2, some slight modification were made in this release on the Wii. But is it worth a look?

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is a fighter that tries to recreate the Dragon B Z experience by placing your perspective in the back. This allows for the player to feel more immersed in the action and gives the sensation that you are actively flying through the air, pummeling your foes. Each area has plenty of destructible environments but if you venture too far outside of the area you are in, the DBZ Gods will frown upon you by making you run into a mystical field that won't allow you to go further. In video game terms, we call this the edge of the level.

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DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 features a full story mode that players complete by beating foes. This cues up another cinematic sequence. However, the story mode misses the mark entirely because several times we only get to read about what happens instead of watching it occur. While DBZ fans can probably overlook such things--mainly because they have every word of dialogue memorized from every episode--casual viewers of the show of people who don't really know it very well will be turned off by the lack of the story sequences and simple text explanations. Wouldn't it be more rewarding to watch longer videos of show-quality clips between matches to play out the story? Right now there are forces at Atari who are scanning this review and just got their idea for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3!

While the story modes leave something to be desired, there is no lack of characters to choose from. Fans of the show will recognize countless favorites from Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. And for the true fan, nothing beats being able to play through the entire story lines of DBZ and DB GT in the Adventure Mode! But sadly this mode would have been made better if it weren't for the problems with the cinematic sequences. I still don't understand why it is so difficult to implement actual animated clips of the show to reward the player as they progress through each match.

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Since this is a Wii game, prepare to stand up and swing you arms like an angry toddler. Sure you still have the option to play the games with a Classic Controller or a GameCube controller--but nothing beats the sensation of playing a fighter as you swing around--attempting--to pull off a variety of moves and special powers. Sadly, this control method is a bit difficult to control and not always a precise way to play. Granted it is a heck of a lot more fun than plugging in a regular controller. What is it about a game that allows us to flail our arms about and rewards us for it?

Once you do get accustomed to the controls, regardless of which one you choose, players will find that the AI has a bit of a weakness. It tends to suffer from midrange attacks. This can cause you to get a lot of cheap victories if you assault this blaring weakness. But for the Dragon Ball Z fan, this is the best fighter they have ever seen and they will be able to quickly forgive these issues. For others it may be a bit more difficult to forgive this.

Overall Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is a good incarnation to the series. Despite this being the same game released on other consoles months and months ago, it can be a fun way to play if you are into swinging your arms around. If you prefer a more traditional control scheme--chances are you have already tried this one out on another console. Unless you are just starving for a new Wii game, there really isn't much need to play this one if you have tried the others.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 02/15/07
ESRB Details: Cartoon Violence
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Screenshots for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2

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