What is ironic at even the tail end of the Playstation 2’s lifecycle we are still seeing quite a few games being release that carry a fair amount of hype along with them. For example, the game we are talking about today is one that has been hyped up for quite some time, mainly because it is based on an extremely popular franchise. You know of course that I am talking about the Dragon Ball Z franchise, which is actually hitting its stride a bit late but it still seems like many are intrigued by its latest game Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 for the Playstation 2. Can the game manage to continue improving enough to make this new game worthwhile? 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 game now the sequel to the original Tenkaichi.
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.
The fighting mechanics are still very different from what we have seen in literally any other fighting game. Tenkaichi 2 gives you plenty of freedom when in battle with the third person perspective that really just works for this game. Whether you’re going up or down or around the game has well enough control that helps make this high flying action even more enjoyable. It is this ability to really fly around the environment during these fights that really make this whole experience more diverse and enjoyable.
For those who haven’t played a Dragon Ball Z game then you might not know how fast paced the game really is. From being able to fly while fighting, you may be surprise at how fast the combo system really is. This is really one of the stronger points of the game to, because it really allows you to go at in battle and just enjoy some really great looking fighting. The only problem however comes when you see how shallow the AI is in the game, which is unfortunate because at some of the lower settings you get a few opponents that just don’t know right from left, and that is quite disappointing.
In the end, Tenkaichi 2 is just a good well rounded fighting game that has really everything it takes for a good game. The game has a story mode, that although the story seems a bit brief the game does progress nicely in terms of pacing, and the enemies do become increasingly more challenging. In the end, Tenkaichi 2 is definitely a much better rounded fighting experience that definitely shows to be a worthy sequel.
Visually all of the previous DBZ games have thrived in the visual department, with some of the most color-rich games on the market. Tenkaichi 2 does have all of this in the game, however there are some problems that do occur in the games frame-rate. In fact, the game just seems a bit choppy during much of the more intense fighting sequences ,and just doesn’t seemed to be as fine tuned as we would expect. The game looks really great when standing still, but once things get too hectic, the game just doesn’t really hold everything together as well as you might hope.
I have had my issues with previous DBZ games, mainly because they have been all style and no substance, and Tenkaichi 2 really seems to be the first game that has enough content in it to make it a real worthwhile successor. The combat in the game feels the more complex and well rounded then it ever has, and the story mode is deep enough to really keep you occupied a long while. Also although online play would have been great the multiplayer aspect of the game is a lot of fun to sit down and play. Tenkaichi 2 is an enjoyable game that finally starts to do some justice to the DBZ name.
It has been a long time in coming for the DBZ franchise, which has struggled over the years. Tenkaichi 2 is not perfect, but it is a game that any fan of the franchise that is looking for the next game in the series would really be extremely satisfied with. Tenkaichi 2 has all of the makings of a solid fighter, with pretty good visuals, great fighting mechanics and just an overall enjoyable gaming experience.
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.