Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World
As the last DBZ game in the PS2's library, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World is both a mediocre effort and an overall disappointment from Atari and Dimps. Even fans of the series will be hard pressed to favorably compare DBZ: IW against the rest of the Budokai series, mainly due to a modestly tweaked fighting system, a frustrating new mission mode, and tons of missed potential. If you've played a Budokai game before, feel free to skip this last entry.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Even with improved graphics and a large character roster, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World ends the DBZ series on PS2 with a bust instead of a bang.
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At one time, DBZ Budokai was the fighting series that proved anime-based fighting games could still surprise the most fickle players. A few years down the road, the formula has been rehashed so many times, the end result on the PlayStation 2 with DBZ: Infinite World feels like a letdown. Personally, after playing other Dragon Ball games like DBZ: Burst Limit, Budokai 3 and Dragon Ball: Origins, I feel that DBZ: IW wastes a lot of potential with a few uninspired and inexcusable gameplay choices.
Weaker Than Radditz
DBZ: IW's newest mode, Dragon Mission, is one the primary reasons that I got tired of the game so quickly. In various scenarios, you're asked with running errands under a time limit, set against familiar scenes of the DBZ anime. What this really means is that every time you progress through a certain amount of stages in Dragon Mission, DBZ: IW will make you participate in a mandatory fetch quest, footrace, or the horrible "run through all the rings under a time limit" mini-game. (Has no one in Dimps ever heard of the torture device called Superman 64?)
Even worse, the control in these quests is just plain horrible. In the 3D-movement areas, the camera remains rooted to a fixed point no matter where you move, making you adjust it every five seconds while simultaneously trying to find whatever shiny things you're supposed to be collecting or jumping through. If you find an object you're looking for that happens to be sitting on top of a small cliff, good luck trying to reach it, since you can't really fly wherever you want. Instead, you'll waste precious seconds looking for a conveniently placed boulder in a different part of the map to help you double-jump up to an even bigger boulder. If you're trying to catch or hit something, your two hands will be painfully occupied trying to make the camera focus on what's directly in front of you while you're still moving.
Quantity Over Quality
While it's unfortunate that you must complete Dragon Mission in order to experience the rest of the game, DBZ: IW still has an impressive list of fighters and lot of saga-sprawling fan service for patient DBZ fanatics. Sure, the graphics look decent, but they're not really an improvement on past games -- although, to be fair, that's probably just a technical limitation with the PS2 than an actual development flaw. At the very least, the fighting system is solid, but unless you're a seasoned player, you'll be on the receiving end of several devastating energy blasts and dramatic kicks to the face. Overall, DBZ: IW is a lame excuse for an anthology that misses the opportunity to make one last good impression on DBZ fans.
PROS: Huge character roster, customizable skills, long story mode and dual-language voice tracks
CONS: Horrendous mini-games, stale content, Dragon Mission is a very poor choice for a new mode