Review by SantaIsTheOne

"A great addition to any DBZ fan's collection, though a bit lacking..."

When I first played Budokai 1, I was not really impressed. Sure, it was the best DBZ game around, but it didn't impress me. I am a fan of DBZ and have been for a pretty long time. I thought it was cool to fight as all the characters and stuff, but after a while, it just got old. I wasn't into the fighting engine. Not much has changed this time around except for a few things. Also, the Cube version has a few extras like a few new costumes, night/day arenas, a new Tournament mode, new difficulty levels, and exclusive capsules (you get some also if you have a B1 file on your memory card when you start a new B2 file).

Story: 6/10

This is the weak point of the game. Dragon World is the new style of Story mode as opposed to just Story mode in Budokai 1. The difference now, is that you are like pieces on a game board and you move across it according to your turn. It's like a board game. Everyone takes turns and there are powerups and Dragonballs either on top or you can dig for them. It somewhat follows the story but not exactly. I won't reveal anything but while it goes by the story, they also through in a few different things and some twists kind of like Budokai did with it's extra story missions. It's strange but it's easy to get used to. It's not a terrible mode overall, but it's just tedious to play, considering you have to play over 20 times to unlock everything. Overall, this is really what hurts the game the most.

Graphics: 9/10

The graphics are really nice. Instead of going 3D, they go cell-shaded which gives it a more cartoony look just like the show. The presentation of the characters is amazing as well. There really aren't many complaints about the graphics except maybe that the character models are still stiff and sometimes a tad blocky. Really it isn't a big deal though.

Sound: 9/10

The sound is great. All the sounds from energy blasts to the voiceovers are excellent and pulled right from the show. From what I can tell, most, if not all the voice actors from the American show (from the more recent seasons at least) are in the game. The sounds are great and I can't really find any complaints here either except that each character really only says about 10-15 things throughout the whole game (but, then again, it's a fighting game and voices really aren't a HUGE deal).

Gameplay: 7/10

Here is where the game suffers a little bit. They stepped it up from the first one though. Now you have to put in button commands for certain attacks and fusions. The fighting is a bit more fun to play overall, but it's still a little too stiff. The models aren't very fluid at all. It almost reminds me of Mortal Kombat Deception or something. These models are more fluid than that but it still bothers me. Another problem I have is that you really don't have a lot of combos. Most of the characters have the same moves. They just have different names. Most moves all have the same combos for each character leaving out any variety. You can do as many cancel combos and whatnot as you want, there still isn't a lot of variety in the fighting to warrant it as a good fighting game. What they need to do is focus on the fighting engine as much as they focus on the DBZ presentation (which is the best part of the game). Overall, I am still not too impressed with the fighting engine in the game. I also never liked the 7 capsule limit with the fact that it takes 4 capsules to transform with some characters leaving out their moves (or you would need a Breakthrough capsule which gives every move). I understand the energy drain of transforming but part of the presentation of the show is in the style and really, it's not DBZ without transformations and the 7 capsule limit almost discourages transformation in most cases.

Replay Value: 4/10

I can't see big replay value except playing DW tons of times to unlock everything (if your patient holds) and if you have friends interested in playing it for the multiplayer fighting. Other than that, I can't see anyone really playing this much after beating it 100%.

Overall: I recommend this game for fans of DBZ but still recommend a rental (if you have a PS2 you might as well go get Budokai 3 anyway). If you are a fighting game fan and want to check it out, RENT it because you may not like it because of the lack of depth compared to games like DOA and Tekken. It is a pretty good game but the replay value and depth is lacking, making it a great DBZ game, but a somewhat lacking fighting game when it comes to overall depth.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/06/05

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