Review by AJM Ruler

"Was the wait worth it....HELL YEAH!"

This is a review for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 for the Gamecube. In my last review for the first Budokai on the Gamecube, I made a comment at the end about Budokai 2 most likely never making a Gamecube release. Thank God I was wrong. As like the first Budokai that made it's appearance on the Gamecube, this is a enhanced port of the original PS2 version. Also Sony has an exclusive contract with the Budokai games, causing it to have one year of exclusivity. Is Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 just as good as the PS2 version? Read on......

Graphics: (10) The last Budokai offered something COMPLETELY different from the PS2 version...cel-shaded opposed to just regular 3D. Now again this is cel-shaded and well not as much improved as the last Budokai, you can see that Budokai 2 on the Cube looks better than the PS2 version. Now each model in this game looks more and more like the cartoon, Atari did a good job modeling all the DBZ characters to their exact likeness. As with the backgrounds, you can tell that they just look gorgeous. Exclusively in the Gamecube version is the inclusion of a day/night feature.

Sound: (9) Again Atari has managed to secure all the voice-actors from the show and I mean ALL of them. There are no voice-alike actors in this game. Goku sounds like Goku, Vegeta sounds like Vegeta. Can't get any better than that. Music in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 fits nicely into the DBZ universe. I especially like the Staring and Endings song themes.

Game Play: (9) The BIGGEST improvement over the last game is the game play. If you thought the first Budokai was fast paced, be prepared because this is EVEN more faced past. Take for example if you fire off a Kamehameha wave at somebody from afar, they now can easily dodge it. You have to fire close range if you ever expect to get a hit. I can say easily the best improvement is the ability to FUSE or use the Potara Earings. Fusing into one being from two is just so cool. Though there are drawbacks if you mess up, and I will let you see it for yourself. Dressing your fighter with a variety of costumes from the series is also cool. Exclusively in the Gamecube version is the inclusion extra stages, Cell games, and extra costumes.

Storyline (If any): (7) The only downpart to Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 is the sometimes dreadful Dragon World. Gone is the great story mode that was featured in the first Budokai. Now Atari has decided to make a game board and go through the Saiyan and through to the Buu sagas. A lot of the storyline doesn't make sense, but bare with it because now it is WAY easier to get the Dragon Balls than in the first Budokai.

Summary: (8.75) Atari has finally done something with a Budokai port and thus everything in BOLD is exclusive to the Gamecube and NOT found in the PS2 version. So if you liked the first Budokai, this is a must have for your Budokai collection on the Gamecube. And with a cheap price tag of $30 (2004), anyone can afford it.

+Enhanced graphics
+Nice voice-acting
+Faster Game Play
+Exclusive Extras only found in the Gamecube version

-Dragon World
-The wait for this game

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/20/04

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