Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2

Only Dragonball Z is allowed to have a title with 12 syllables

I just recently started playing this game. There's a lot I like about, but there's a lot I don't like about. Mainly, there's two things that I want to address without getting nit picky. The gameplay and the story mode.

The Gameplay

The gameplay of the Tenkaichi series of games is a vast improvement over the 'Street-Fighter' style seen in the Budokai series.
Instead of fighting a 2D/semi-3D plane, the battlefield is completely 3D, allowing you to fly around in the direction you want. This can get kind of cumbersome on certain stages where the AI can get confused as to the correct path to find you, but otherwise, the system works perfectly.
Because of the freedom that the 3D battlefield grants, the fights in the game feel much more dynamic and exciting. The designers have managed to capture the true feel of the show. Attacks flow together much more smoothly.
The controls are both friendly to casual gamers and the more hardcore fighting fans. From button mashing, to delicate combos, either way the controls are fairly accurate and responsive.
As with any DBZ game, the most important part would have to be the Blasts, and the game handles them much more easily than the Budokai games. In Budokai, you would have to pull of a long and complex combo in order to use a Blast other than your basic one ("kamehameha", "galick gun", etc.), but in Tenkaichi, the button combinations for even the Ultimate Blasts ("spirit bomb", "final flash", etc.) have been reduced to a single button combo (ex. press down on the control stick and L and X at the same time). In some ways this is better, and in someways it's not. It's remarkably less satisfying when you use an ultimate attack, but it can also  get you out of a tough spot without having to expose yourself by attempting a long combo.
I don't know if this should be categorized under gameplay, but I wanted to address the Evolution Z system. Evolution Z adds an RPG element to the game, much like the capsules from the Budokai series, however, instead of adding a flat bonus, the items level up with you. I personally, hate this system. But I'll get more into that in the next section which is...

The story mode

I'm not gonna beat around the bush. The story mode in this game sucks weewee. The only redeeming quality is that it covers almost every saga, every movie, and includes almost every character from Dragonball Z and GT. However, I feel the decision to try and cram everyone into a single game is what caused the story mode to be rather underwhelming and overwhelming at the same time.
The biggest flop of the story mode was the decision to include Evolution Z.  All of your characters start at level 8 and will only level up if you have given them a Z-Item such as  Attack +1, Defense +1, Ki +1 etc. This immediately becomes a problem when the story introduces a new character and you're forced to go buy more items from Baba's Shop which can only be accessed in between battles on the World Map, which you fly around on to the different locations on the Earth. The game offers you the chance to grind experience points as much as you want by fighting smaller battles on the World Map, but I rarely did. I simply bought the best items from Baba's Shop and equipped them to my characters so that they didn't get their ass kicked. All in all, the story mode would be 75% better without the inclusion of Evolution Z and the World Map.
So you might be saying, "Well surely the story mode will have to be cinematic and exciting like the previous games." You're wrong. The story is advanced by seeing the characters stand around and talk, and then you fight. That's it. Occasionally there will be somewhat of a cinematic cut-scene, but they are few and far between. Most of the time the characters pose awkwardly and deliver campy dialogue (which they luckily got the original cast to return for this game). This takes so much away from the game that it makes the story mode just a chore that you do to unlock more characters, rather than the story of the Z Fighters.
Another thing that really bothers me is that it seems that no matter what the actual outcome of the battle is, you always have to win the battle. For instance, Krillin and Gohan don't defeat Racoome on Namek, but the game tells you to win the battle, only to reveal afterwards that you actually lost even though you won..? It's not like the game is incapable of kicking your ass with the AI (in fact, sometimes battles are ridiculously hard for no apparent reason). Sometimes the condition is to survive as long as you can, but the game rarely uses this in situations where it would makes sense, but instead tells you to win the battle. Here's an idea, if you want us to have to win every battle, why not allow us to play as the villain in the battles in which they win.
The stages in the game are the norm for a DBZ game, but there are simply not enough to compensate for the long story mode. You fight Janemba on Kami's Lookout. Not even kidding. You only fight on two different planets, Earth and Namek because those are the only two planets with a world map... So you're restricted to Earth locations and one Namekian location. Pretty lame. (I have yet to play the GT story mode yet, so there might actually be more stages)

All in all, I love the games dedication to employing every character into the games and the kickass fighting system, but the story mode's flaws makes unlocking the characters very tedious and unrewarding.

EDIT: Also I'd like to mention that there are about 7 songs in the game... that's it.


  1. sounds fun

  2. I actually like Tenkaichi 3 the best.

  3. Last DBZ fighter I played was Budokai 2. That was terrible, but my friend swears by Raging Blast.

  4. i don't like this kind of

  5. story mode sounds like a lot of fun. new follower

  6. sure 2 isn't nearly as fun as 3. but it is especially fun on (don't think of me as too much of a twat for saying this) the wii because to perform blasts, you get to actually go through the motions, so you feel more engaged in the game than simply pressing buttons.

  7. I always find dragon ball fighting games just the same, again, again, again and again..

  8. Too bad I don't have the new gaming consoles... I stuck with my gamecube :(

  9. show some screen shots with you reviews!!! the whole experience would be better ^^ i loved dragonball Z myself too