Review by Philosophe

"Worth buying if you can't wait for Budokai 3."

Gameplay: 8/10
Unlike Budokai 1, where you had to do combo before firing a death move, in Budokai 2 you can instantly launch one by pressing two buttons at the same time. Besides that the controls are pretty much the same. The game loses points, however, for an overall lack of free movement (EX: Free Flight).

Story Mode: 4/10
The story beautifully designed story mode from Budokai 1 is gone. In its place is a poorly designed and aggravating mode called "Dragon World." It is set up like a gameboard for each saga. You can power up by landing on certain spots and fight other characters when you occupy the same space as them. It is very loosely based on the Dragonball Z story line. It is fun the first time you play it, but to unlock characters and acquire certain items you will have to play it dozens of times. The action on it is slow and cutscenes are rare and short. It is in every way inferior to Budokai 1's story mode.

Sound: 9/10
The sound in this game is pretty good. The tunes are pretty catchy and I've found myself humming them from time to time.

Characters: 9/10
This game has almost every character you could ever want in a game spanning Dragonball Z. It does lack Zarbon and Dodoria from the last game and some characters are still missing ultimates. It does have a decent selection of fusion characters, including some extra "what if" fusions. The characters have more varied fighting styles than in Budokai 1, especially the Buus.

Graphics: 8/10
This game has great graphics compared to Budokai 1. The cell-shading is pretty well done. The Gamcube version far outclasses the Playstation 2 version in this category. Also, the kamehamehas are finally BLUE and the other death moves are much more varied in color and performance.

Overall For a DBZ Fan: 7/10
Definitely worth the wait for Budokai 3. However once Budokai 3 is out there will not be many reasons to buy this game, except to see the extra fusions. For a fan the Budokai series is a must have.

Overall For a Non-DBZ Fan: 5/10
An ok fighting game. The moves are neat to watch and shooting lasers and flying is an interesting experience. But there are better fighting games out there.

Final Comments:
Dragonball Z: Budokai 1 was a moderately good fighter game. It had modest graphics and nice gameplay. What made it such a great game was its excellent story mode ranging from the beginning of the Saiyan Saga to the end of the Android Saga. Dragonball Z: Budokai 2 is a moderately good fighting game as well. Unlike Budokai 1, though, it lacks a good story mode. Instead it capitalizes on better gameplay and better graphics. Which game is superior to the other is debatable. But, as I have already said, once Budokai 3 is out this game will be obsolete.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 03/01/05


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