Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World Preview
Just when we though the sequels would never end, developer Dimps is finally hanging up Goku's hat on the PlayStation 2 with Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, an anthology of all the DBZ: Budokai titles to date. As the final DBZ game for the PS2, Infinite World is going out with a bang -- there's more fighters, mode modes, and even more screaming, steroid-pumped aliens with blond hair.
In a short while, gamers will see yet another Dragon Ball Z game on store shelves. It's not a sequel to the more recent DBZ: Burst Limit, but rather a tribute for every Dragon Ball Z: Budokai fighting game that has been released since 2002. But wait -- if it's really an anthology of the Budokai series, why isn't Infinite Worlds carrying the same subtitle?
For starters, Infinite Worlds merely pays homage to the entire Budokai saga while mixing all the series' elements together. Instead of Budokai Tenkaichi's over-the-shoulder view, Infinite Worlds will use the standard (and familiar) 2D perspective of the Budokai series. In addition, the fighting system will mix and match from all the previous Budokai-flavored games, not just DBZ Burst Limit. You want light-speed dodging and reversals? You got it. How about hand-to-hand combat in mid-air? Yep, that's in, too. It's not just the fisticuffs that have changed, either. Infinite Worlds will also display the awesome cel-shaded graphics that put the actual TV show to shame. Needless to say, the cutscenes are bound to look impressive.
"It's over 9000!"
Most importantly, Infinite Worlds will house about 40 characters from every single DBZ saga, including some familiar faces from the DBZ movies and the (not-so-popular) Dragon Ball GT series. Of course, there are plenty of DBZ fans who love to argue that Goku is a completely different being than Gogeta and Vegetto (nerds!). Well, with all the different fusions, transformations, and other cast mash-ups you'll see in the game, Infinite World actually has over 100 different fighters in the roster. So, hardcore fans needn't worry -- you'll be able to go Super Saiyan 4 and launch your ultra planet-destroying Kamehameha attack in Infinite Worlds quite easily.
Lastly, the "Dragon Mission" mode promises to expand on the series' story much more than other DBZ titles. Sure, in most games we've seen so far, a 10-second pre-fight movie will give some short exposition, but it's ultimately a throwaway gimmick. However, Dragon Missions will essentially be the plot filler for Infinite Worlds, with various minigames and tasks to complete. In our demo, we saw the developer try to complete two tasks: running down the infamous Snake Way under a time limit, and catching Bubbles on King Kai's planet -- both during the Saiyan Saga arc. Based on my personal knowledge of the series, I wouldn't be surprised to see missions that take scenes from memorable DBZ events like Gohan's survival training, Goku and Vegeta's super-gravity drills, and maybe even a chase scene or two from the thrilling Namek Saga.
Dragon Ball Z: Infinite Worlds hits U.S. shelves in November for the PlayStation 2 (and early December in Europe). If you haven't played a DBZ Budokai since the first installment, it may be time to start raising your power level. Check back for our review in a week or so to see if Goku's last PS2 adventure lives up to its saga.