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ups: great graphics, easy-to-learn battle moves, customization
downs: repeitive in a few areas

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Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 Review
review
game: Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2
four star
posted by: Amanda Bateman
publisher: Atari
developer: Namco Bandai
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date posted: 12:00 PM Fri Dec 22nd, 2006
last revision: 02:39 PM Mon Dec 18th, 2006


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Click to read.The name is a mouthful, but after playing Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2, it'll seem rather fitting.

BT2 is based off the highly popular series of cartoons that center on main character Goku, his family, and his friends. The ongoing theme of the series is the collection of seven Dragon Balls, which, when gathered together, summon a dragon that can grant wishes. Of course, most people know and enjoy the series for its seemingly ongoing and countless battles, which only grow in intensity (and to some, ridiculousness) as time progresses.

BT2 does a good job of helping the player relive all of those key fights throughout the series. The player will take on the role of the good guys and sometimes the bad guys in this cross between an adventure game and a fighting game. The more story stages are cleared and the more enemies you defeat, the more story opens up to you and the more characters you'll be able to play as. In fact, BT2 boasts the fact that you can play as over a hundred different characters in this game alone that can be found in Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, or Dragon Ball GT.

When you get tired of story mode, there are many other play options available. Players can fight in a tournament-style series of battles to earn zeni (the monetary unit of this game), which allows the player to buy "Z-Items" which can power up your characters in a variety of different ways. There is also a Custom Character creator, which allows you to design your own fighter to enter into battle.

Normally, most fighting games stop there with the content, but BT2 has taken care not to leave anybody behind on the fun. BT2 incorporates a helpful series of tutorials. Players learn a move, then have all the time in the world to practice it to their hearts content before the next lesson. The list of techniques is long, but many simply stem off of basic moves, making this fighter easy to learn, but hard to master.

An encyclopedia of information about the series is contained within the game, so if you're new to the series or you've forgotten something, this is a great area to check out. There are also detailed pages on each of the major characters, including their most important facts, artwork, and even the voice actor or actress who plays the role.

Speaking of voices, BT2 is fully dubbed. And I mean fully. The minute you load the game, you'll have characters from the series reading all the text out loud to you, including the menus. At times they also share some humorous dialogue between each other. If you're a fan of the Japanese voices, they have you covered too. You can turn on the original audio from the game to give it that import feel, but at the same time still be able to read all the text. Personally, I can provide a long list of games that this option would be great to include in. So you localization guys; hope you're paying attention!

The gameplay is a lot of fun. The battlefields are huge and colorful, yes. But the damage that can be done within them is absolutely delightful. Just like in the cartoon, you can throw your opponent into the side of a mountain...then watch the mountain crumble into a pile of dust after impact. And with a push of a button, you can be right up in their face again to repeat the process the minute they stand up.

Everything runs smoothly, the controls are a breeze to work with and there is basically very little here to turn off players. If something's not to your liking, most likely there is an option to fix it. What I mentioned about the battlefields holds true for the rest of the graphics: smooth, colorful, and well executed to fit the original art style of the characters and settings.

What might turn you off? Well, the fighting gets a bit repetitive, I have to admit. It's hard to sit there for hours and play because of that. I'd recommend taking this game in short strides in between other titles to make sure you don't get sick of it too quickly.

Even if you dislike the series, I bet you'll still enjoy the game. That's how good it is. I'm not at all a Dragonball Z fan, and I loved this game.

Atari, this one's a winner.

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