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Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (PlayStation 2) artwork

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (PlayStation 2) review


"I’ve never really been into Japanese shows like Digimon and Yugi-oh. Even when I was younger and all my friends were collecting pokemon cards and following the show religiously I gave it the cold shoulder. So when I played this game I wasn’t interested in the Dragon Ball Z series at all, I wasn’t expecting anything from it either. I’d heard from countless people that the past Dragon Ball Z games were horrible. Why would this game be any different? Boy was I wrong. "



I’ve never really been into Japanese shows like Digimon and Yugi-oh. Even when I was younger and all my friends were collecting pokemon cards and following the show religiously I gave it the cold shoulder. So when I played this game I wasn’t interested in the Dragon Ball Z series at all, I wasn’t expecting anything from it either. I’d heard from countless people that the past Dragon Ball Z games were horrible. Why would this game be any different? Boy was I wrong.

The first thing I noticed about this game was the cel-shading. “Great," I said to myself, “Another anime based game with cel-shading. Could this game get any more original?" Then I saw the bright colors on the main menu screen. “Oh, wow”, I said aloud as another thought came to my head, “I wonder who this game is supposed to appeal to?”. As I started up this game I was filled with all negative thoughts about it. Why wouldn’t I be, this is Dragon Ball Z we’re talking about. It appeals to the masses of 3rd graders across the world. But as I said before, boy was I wrong.

After I got the negativity past me, the first positive thing I noticed about this game is the simpleness of it. There aren’t many crazy kung fu moves like in other games, but it successfully pulls off a game that is hard enough so hardcore gamers like myself won’t complain. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 has just kicks, punches, energy blasts, and unless you're like my buddy, (who has played this game to death) you’ll be lucky to string together a big combo. But that’s okay if you can’t get those big combos, you’ll still be able to play and almost master this game in a short period of time.

And chances you are you will master this game because it is so addicting. The most addicting part is “Dragon World”. You have to capture 7 dragon balls and defeat all your opponents with your allies while you're at it. This story plays out on a game board that resembles the board from the Mario Party games. In Dragon World you take one step for each move you get and sometimes along the way you can get shields, money, swords, and more. Other times you’ll run into one of your allies and get .010 power up or you’ll run into your enemies. When you run into your enemies you’ll have to fight them. Depending on what stage you are is what level you fight in. Sometimes your opponent may have half of his energy while other times he can have double the amount of energy than you.

But a game can’t be considered a good game with bad game play, and this is where it gets somewhere into the mediocre side. It’s fun, it’s simple, and sometimes easy. What really throws this game off from being “great” is the controls. They are somewhat choppy, and hard to handle. If you want to do one of those big combos I was talking about earlier, it will be hard to do. While playing this game I was starting to believe that my controller had a life of its own. It would sometimes do a different move then I intended to do, and I would become very aggravated and throw my controller to the floor. Other then that, things are great.

And well, no Japanese fighting game is complete without characters yelling out things that are incomprehensible. Street Fighter had “ah drugon”, this game has “kameyameachi”. Usually this phrase is spoken when your doing one of your special moves to your opponent. Unlike Street Fighter though, this game also has plenty of phrases you can understand. If you are beating up your enemy he’ll say something like “Wow, your good” or “I’ll get you next time you wimp”. Another great part about the sound is the music. It sets the atmosphere of what the rest of the game will be like: carefree. In “Dragon World” the music is very jazzy and cool even during the most dramatic situations. Even though this may sound silly, the music really makes up what this game is going to be like for the rest of experience with it.

And to make this game even better, we have the graphics. Like any other anime based video game it has cel-shading. The thing different about this game is the fact that the cel-shading is real sharp and clear. The characters move smoothly and are never choppy. The background of the levels are done very nicely and are colorful. I really liked the graphics in this game. Just like the sound, they set that the atmosphere of the game is very laid back and carefree.

Well, after fifteen hours put in this game I’m not sure what score to give it. It’s a real good game, but because of the choppy game play it’s not a great game. It won’t appeal to everyone either. If you’re a video game addict, don’t even look at this one. It’s too fun for most addicts. If you want to get away from HP points and scoring touchdowns on madden, this game is for you. Just don’t let your friends see it.

Rating: 7/10

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Community review by espnking2002 (November 29, 2004)

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