Any Dragon Ball fans out there have most likely heard of or played the action-packed anime series' Playstation 2 debut, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, a while back, and thoroughly enjoyed playing a part in the some of the best sagas in the DBZ universe. The character models stayed true to the anime, including the different facial expressions. The in-between-battle cut-scenes played well to fit the game's cartoon-like atmosphere, showing as if you were watching the show itself. However, the general fighting game fan probably came out feeling a bit empty-handed; the last game didn't offer anything special besides playing in the Dragon Ball Z world and the voice acting from the anime cast of characters. Despite not being too innovative, DBZ: Budokai came out to be a top-selling game in its own right. And now Atari is publishing Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 for the PS2, promising to go where its predecessor did not.
Once again, the recipe to recreate various sagas from the show will be used here. But now, the game will include never before seen character fusions, new opponents, and a new single player mode. The graphics will be redone, and named in honor the creator of the Dragon Ball universe, Akira Toriyama. The new unique graphics style will be called "Toriyama shading", which is said to be highly detailed.
The character roster now features 34 of the heroes and villains that have graced the show in the various DBZ sagas. Budokai 2 starts from where the first game left off, from after the "Cell Saga", and continues with "The World Games" through the "Kid Buu" sagas of the animated series. Players will duke it out in eight highly destructive arenas. These will be used in four gameplay modes: Versus, Tournament, Training, and the before-mentioned, all-new single-player mode called Dragon Mode, where players join up with a team of AI-controlled DBZ fighters on a quest for the legendary seven Dragon Balls. Fans of the show can perform the famed fusions, the combination of two fighters into one; it wouldn't be DBZ with out the fused fighters from the animation. Players can also choose to fight as one of the three forms of the villain Buu: Majin Buu, Super Buu, and Kid Buu.
Yeah, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 sounds like it's going to stir up that 'ol melee magic again. If fans have drooled over the first Budokai game, they should be jumping for joy over this second gem. Hopefully, the sequel will appeal better to general fighting game fans this time around besides the regular Dragon Ball enthusiasts.
9/16/2003 Alexandria Long