Fighting games have come in so many different shapes and sizes that at times they all start feeling similar. It has been so common in fact that almost all of the different fighters out there seem to roam on the same sort of two dimensional playing fields. Today we are checking out a game that manages to eliminate some of the common conceptions about fighting games by making a much different style of playing field. The game is Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2, and it is now available for the Nintendo Wii. Can this game manage to revolutionize the way we view fighting games? Read our full review to find out!
The fighting genre has always been a favorite of gamers ever since the days where we would all go to the arcade and pound on the buttons and joysticks until we had beaten everyone who still had quarters left. The transition to the consoles wasn’t perfect, but it has brought us some of the best games of our time, and the genre continues to grow. The last Tenkaichi game and previous Dragon Ball Z games have not gone on traditional fighting however, using the Dragon Ball Z universe have tried creating more immersive and interactive fights that would engage the user more than a typical 2D fighter. Tenkaichi was a good game that thrived with great visuals, but fell short in a few of the gameplay areas that many hope would be fixed in this sequel.
There is a very high chance that if you are reading this review you are already a Dragon Ball Z fan, and therefore explaining the story would probably be pointless. For those who don’t know, I would recommend checking the show out, as you then can kind of get much of the back-story, which you get bits and parts of in the game. The story found in Tenkaichi 2 is told in brief segments that occur throughout the story mode after you win fights. The story keeps a rather nice pace. Although it is so brief at times that you very rarely really find yourself engaged in what is going on, which is pretty disappointing for how successful the show has been.
When looking at this game I have to say that there is only really one component you have to look at with this type of game, and that is the fighting mechanics. This is for all intensive purposes the first fighting game to hit the Nintendo Wii, so it will be the first to attempt using its controls for a fighting game. Now I could spend time talking about the modes, but really what decides this games success is much more the mechanics. Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is a tough game to learn. In fact, the game gives you plenty of different tutorials and practice style sessions to grow accustomed to the controls. Whether you’re hitting buttons or using either the remote or nun chuck, there are so many different combinations of attacks that you can pull off that it can be hard to really grow accustomed to them.
If you have the patience and the willingness to learn the controls, the game can be quite rewarding. I have to say for about the first half an hour of playing this game I was frustrated and just failing my arms and buttons everywhere. But with practice came a much more refined game that really felt quite impressive. Budokai 2 definitely has a unique style in its fighting itself, which is three dimensional and allows you not only to glide around a nice arena but also shoot up into the air and have some pretty intense aerial battles. This contributes to part of the learning curve, and the rest is just left up to learning the controls and understand exactly what each button and move accomplishes.
To explain everything about this game would be a sheer challenge in itself but to summarize is something I can do. The experience in this game is very different from any other game, even the PS2 counterpart. We have grown so accustomed to have games that use a lot more button combos that have motion sensing does add something to the experience. The modes in this game aren’t particularly deep but then again they don’t seem to need to. Once you learn the feel of the controls in this game, you will be ready to really enjoy a unique fighting experience.
Visually the game doesn’t look all that different from its PS2 counterpart, which was released a few months before this game. Luckily for the Wii version however the PS2 version was a good looking game and the same cel-shaded style has ported over nicely to the Wii. I have to say that the use of color in this game is what I think is one of its strongest suit, along with the anime style that is done better in this game then any other Dragon Ball Z game before it. In the end, this is not the best looking Wii game so far but it is still quite impressive.
This is a tough category to score, mainly because my first thirty minutes of this game were just down right frustrating. I literally put down my two controllers and took a deep breath because it was getting irritating losing all the time. However after really trying to learn the tutorials and a little practice, the game really grew on me. It has a very unique style for a fighting game that really makes it a fun one to play. To be able to get accustomed to the controls and really learn the style of this game really helped to make this a fun game to play.
If you are a fan of Dragon Ball Z and own a Nintendo Wii, then there is absolutely no reason why you should not own a copy of this game. Fans of the fighting genre should take a look at this game, as it has a very unique style that I know may not appeal to some. But in this editors opinion, it is definitely one that if you give it some time and take the time to really learn the style, then your going to find a lot to enjoy in this game.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.