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Playstation 2












T (Teen)



Q4 2003



- Cell shading provides excellent look for game

- Large variety of moves and characters to choose from



- Limited move sets, like maybe 4 across 29 selectable characters

- Dragon World is brutal with multiple replays



Review: DragonBall Z: Budokai (Playstation 2)

Review: Virtua Fighter 4 (Playstation 2)

Review: Dead or Alive 3 (XBox)

Review: Soul Calibur II (PS2)



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DragonBall Z: Budokai 2

Score: 7.0 / 10


Besides someone who actually speaks Japanese, who better to review DragonBall Z Budokai 2 than chief otaku Tazman? Anyway, Budokai 2 is another romp in the world that is DragonBall Z where the battles are epic and humans don’t do particularly well in the fights compared to the aliens.


dragonball z budokai 2 ps2 review          dragonball z budokai 2 ps2 review


Budokai 2 starts you off with a handful of selectable characters and one or two selectable moves. As you progress through the single player “Dragon World,” you earn additional characters (by either defeating enemies, or by having a specific opponent beat an enemy) and moves. With 29 selectable characters and a series of moves specific to each character, there’s a lot to fight for.


Dragon World is a re-hash of the DragonBall Z story on a game board; you move Goku and a few helper characters against whichever enemy is on that world, when two enemy pieces meet – they fight. When the main enemy is defeated, you progress to the next level. Oh, and don’t forget to collect the Dragon Balls – if you collect all 7, you can summon Shenron and get a special prize, either a rare move or open a game feature. Unfortunately, there is no change to the Dragon World map nor the goals… so you end up redoing the same fights often. To get all the useful gifts from Shenron, it will take about 30-35 complete trips through Dragon World and I don’t think anyone has the strength for that.





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I’m immediately thankful that there is another way to earn power-ups and moves through the game: by purchasing them in the shop. Unfortunately, the only way to earn a decent amount of money (Zenie) is by competing and “placing” in the Tournaments. As you collect more characters, you can eventually start larger tournaments with larger cash prizes.


The multiplayer features for the game are sparse – you can use the duel feature (basic 1-on-1), 


Tournaments (but you can’t earn Zenie… so what’s the point right?), and you can train in Babidi’s ship with a friend (once you earn it). Besides direct gaming, it is possible to trade moves and power-ups with your friends which would be valuable assuming I had anyone else around willing to trade missing moves for the 18 KameHameHas I have.


dragonball z budokai 2 ps2 review          dragonball z budokai 2 ps2 review


The fighting system is stripped down compared to most fighting games, which makes it both more accessible as a game and more likely to degrade into an exercise in button mashing (or at least repeating the same 2-3 combos that you like best). Unfortunately, with the wide number of characters and backgrounds, all of the moves in the game are shared with other characters, if not in name then in execution. With identical moves and strength across all characters, the only difference becomes the height of the characters – Goten, Kid Trunks, and Krillin have distinct advantages because they can avoid some attacks above them that other characters aren’t so lucky to. Each character can be manipulated to hold a limited number of special moves or power-ups – the more powerful it is, the move space it takes up. So a really good piece of armor may prevent you from taking along a grappling attack… nice touch.


DBZ2 look is cell-shaded. Initial pictures had me cautious, as no picture of the action could look anything but grainy or distracting, but I must admit, the style does an excellent job of recreating the feel of the battles in DragonBall Z (except for the battles that finish under 90 seconds as opposed to 9 episodes). The soundtrack was decent and the sound effects were accurate so no problems aurally.


All in all, DragonBall Z: Budokai 2 is the kind of game that will appeal for immediate accessibility but perfectionists will be turned off by the shear repetition required to get everything in the game.


- Tazman

(February 28, 2004)


“Hey, Joe is there a secret way to kill a really annoying guy?”

“If that were true, do you think that you'd be here?”

- Sanford and Joe (3-South)

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