Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi PlayStation 2
Published by BANDAI
Developed by Spike
Release Date: Out Now
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi, an introduction.
There have been quite a few Dragon Ball Z titles to date and most of them have not been well received. However, the only one in the series that we've seen, Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 was actually a very good game and acknowledged by many as being the first game to be worthy of the Dragon Ball Z name. Here we have the next game in the series, Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi.
What's the game about?
Like Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3, Budokai Tenkaichi is a fighting game. In terms of content Budokai Tenkaichi surpasses Budokai 3. The modes on offer include Z Battle Gate, Ultimate Battle, World Tournament, Duelling, Practice and Evolution Z. The game offers over 50 characters and now you have the ability to fight underwater as well as on the ground and in the skies. The combat system has also been modified to improve the experience.
What's good about the game?
The outstanding feature in Budokai Tenkaichi has to be the number of modes on offer and the amount of play time they will offer Dragon Ball Z fans is amazing. Z Battle Gate allows you to take part in some of the greatest Dragon Ball Z battles. Ultimate Battle is a ranking mode where you can see how good you really are. You can take part in Warrior Training, where your ranking is not affected, as well as a Super Warrior 100 Ranking mode. World Tournament offers 4 different tournaments (one for each skill level) for you to take part in. Duelling allows you to fight against a friend or the AI and you can pick who to fight as and who to fight against. Practice allows you to brush up on your skills. Finally Evolution Z allows you to edit each character's Z items. Z items can increase a character's defence and attack ratings as well as add new attacks.
Budokai Tenkaichi was developed by Spike, a developer with a history of creating enjoyable fighting games and as you'd expect they've made some modifications to the battles. Battles can be on land, in the air or even underwater. The Dragon Rush ability and Hyper Mode have been taken out of the game and the control scheme has been adjusted slightly. The dash ability is still here though and is an essential tool for both attack and defence. Most importantly though the battles in Budokai Tenkaichi handle really well and whilst the battles were very good in Budokai 3 they are better in Budokai Tenkaichi. Destructible environments also add a further twist to the battles. It's also very noticeable that the AI has been much improved and is now much tougher. I have to admit that I found the default setting tough going and had to drop down to easy (which still isn't a pushover) for a few battles.
What's not so good about the game?
I'm sure the biggest disappointment for fans of Dragon Ball Z will be that there is no online mode in Budokai Tenkaichi. Two players can battle it out in various modes but those who were expecting to have fights with more people will be disappointed.
How does it look?
Once again the cel-shaded look has been used which makes a lot of sense, as it suits the subject matter very nicely indeed. In fact the presentation is simply excellent and fans of Dragon Ball Z will be impressed with not only the in-game graphics but the artwork on the menu and even the introductory movie clip (which doesn't contain any speech by the way). The destructible environments all look great and the special attacks all look exactly how you would expect them to. The frame rate is also superb and always remains constant.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi is absolutely fine for deaf gamers. Explanatory comments for each game mode are given in text. All instructions are shown in text too. In fact all dialogue outside of the actual battles is subtitled, which is excellent. There are various tutorials and all of these are delivered exclusively via text. However, character comments that are made during a battle are not subtitled. Whilst it would have been nice to have had these comments subtitled, it doesn't make the game any less deaf gamer friendly.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 was a very good game but Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi manages to improve upon on it and it's a game that Dragon Ball Z fans will really appreciate. There's not much the game can be faulted for except to say that in terms of providing multiplayer action it needs to be improved. With no online play and support for only 2 players offline, there's little to get excited about. As a single player game though, it's great and a must for fans of Dragon Ball Z.
Overall Game Rating: 8.3/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Spike have done a great job of improving upon Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 and Budokai Tenkaichi is the best Dragon Ball Z game to date.