Dragon Ball Z Budokai

Review

posted 12/17/2003 by Matt Mirkovich
other articles by Matt Mirkovich
One Page Platforms: GC
You know, I really don’t have a problem with Dragon Ball games being made; I think the show begs for a good fighting game and if made right can be quite enjoyable. Unfortunately this is not that good fighting game we were all hoping for. This game is nothing more than a simple button mash fest with a broken fighting, flight, and special move system. In short, even if you’re the hardest of the hardcore Dragon Ball Z fans, give this game a rental shot before you toss away your money on this festering pile.

First, I must give the game credit where it is due. Like most Dragon Ball Z games, this game gets the story across nice and quickly, now wasting hours and hours on useless dialog of why certain characters exist or why they fight. The story tells you all the important bits and then retreats into the terrible fighting. The other plus to this game are the graphics. Dragon Ball has never looked so good and the transition to 3-D for the Dragon Ball characters is finally a good one. The fighters included in this game are pretty much everyone from the Frieza and Cell sagas, including Goku, Gohan, Krillin, Piccolo, Tien, Yamcha, Vegeta, Trunks, Frieza, Cell, Captain Ginyu, Recoome, Zarbon, Raditz, Nappa, Androids 16, 17, 18, and 19 and the wonderfully lovable Hurcule.
Graphics have taken the cel-shaded turn and for the most part look very good, the rest of the game does not however, really all you’ll be staring at is the fighters anyway so do you really care how the rest of the game looks? The music is also a bland mix of stuff you’d hear from the TV show and generic fighting game music that really adds nothing to the game. I’ve also never been a fan of the voice acting in the series, in the middle of the Frieza series they switched actors and I think it was really for the worse. The voice acting here won’t be winning any award that’s for certain.

Now on to where the game really bores, the fighting. Honestly I really don’t get what is so hard about capturing the fighting style of Dragon Ball Z and making it fun. To start with every character has the exact same moves, the only variety comes in the form of special attacks, which are really easy to learn, punch four times and then hit the energy button. It’s a universal combo that equates out to snores on the battlefield. Each character has a different energy attack along with power up skills that are assigned by capsules. Each character can have up to seven capsules, most of those seven capsules are what it takes to move your character into their elevated more powerful state, leaving you with less and less cool attacks.
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