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GameCube / Review / Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2
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Publisher: Atari
Developer: Dimps
Release Date: Available Now
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Graphics: 4.0
Sound:3.0
Control: 2.5
2.5
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Review by: Clockwork Crow
Posted: 12/27/04 [view screens]

It's a little difficult to give a fair review to the GameCube port of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 when the original game is not only a year old, but already has a sequel that's superior to this game in countless ways. With this in mind, it may be better to start with what's different on the GameCube: besides the improved loading times, there are some new secret stages, skills, world tournament settings, and difficulty levels--and, uh, that's it. If you already own Budokai 2 on the PlayStation 2, there's no need to buy this.

Let's All Go to Dragon World

Since so little has changed, the GameCube Budokai 2 ends up sharing most of the original PS2 version's faults. The core of the game remains largely unchanged from the original Budokai--it's fast, simple to pick up, and mostly relies on extra skills you earn while playing the story mode. It's this Dragon World story mode, though, that disappoints the most: instead of recreating scenes from the anime, you move your characters around a Risk-like game map, hunting down dragon balls and tediously fighting the same characters over and over again until their health points drop to zero. This process is slow, boring, and worst of all it doesn't feel like the TV show at all--but you'll need to play through it anyway if you want to learn new skills.

Wishing for a New Game

Like all Budokai games, the emphasis during battle is less on complicated strategy and more on fast action and flashy visual effects. The characters look great, and the special moves (many of which let you bash up the environments) are no less impressive than they were a year ago. The only problem: since the controls almost never change from character to character, there's very little difference between all the fighters--you've seen one, you've seen 'em all, in other words. This, coupled with the disappointing Dragon World and the fact that the PS2's Budokai 3 fixes every problem mentioned in this review, makes this port very difficult to recommend.


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