Graphics:
6.8
Gameplay:
5.5
Sound:
5.7
Control:
6.1
Replay Value:
6.0
Online Gameplay:
5.5
Overall Rating:
5.9
Publisher:
Namco Bandai Games
Developer:
Spike
Number Of Players:
1-2
Genre:
Fighting
Release Date:
November 2, 2010


Before getting into this review, I admit two things: 1. I’m not very good at fighting games. Never have been, never will be. 2. I despise anime. Well, most anime. Therefore, I’m no Dragon Ball fan, although I’ve certainly been exposed to a good number of video game incarnations in past years. Now, I suppose my dislike of Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 could be due to the aforementioned disclaimers, which I’m willing to accept. But at the same time, I just refuse to believe I’m that far off in the analysis. I can’t understand the purpose of implementing crazy intricate controls and mechanics when the novice need only mash on a few buttons. I can’t even fathom the most hardcore fans being interested in the story…because there is no story. I can’t understand how anyone could derive any fun from unlocking another useless collectible. But hey, maybe I’m wrong.

The visuals aren’t anywhere near as crisp or believable as they were in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (which is a vastly superior game overall, by the way). The best part of Spike’s visual display is the character design, which remains faithful to the long-running franchise and should satisfy the fans. They really did put a lot of work into the depiction of those popular faces, which is why it’s a little confusing as to why the backdrops are stark and almost entirely barren. However, I do recall past Dragon Ball titles that suffered from this very same drawback; I guess this is a series that just doesn’t pay much attention to its surroundings. Well, okay. The animations are decent, too, and despite a few small technical glitches during intense encounters, the graphics come out being better than average. They’re just underwhelming.

Here’s a big plus for the sound category- the voice actors are straight from the TV show. That means the fans will quickly and easily recognize any given character, because each boasts the correct voice and the correct look. This is undoubtedly the most appealing aspect of the game; it’s a solid bit of fan service that should be appreciated. However, I’m not sure they used the music from the show…I accept that some of the voices will be terrible – I guess it’s DBZ’s MO – but at least they’re realistic; if that really is the TV soundtrack, it’s awful . Even if you’re a big-time follower, you can’t possibly think it’s any good, can you? That being said, if the developer’s goal was to present an authentic Dragon Ball atmosphere, and it both looks and sounds right, then maybe I shouldn’t complain. Maybe I’ll just issue a general complaint- please change the music in both the games and the show.

If you’re at all familiar with past installments in the series, you probably know what to expect. Raging Blast 2 does offer a few twists to the standard formula, but it’s easily recognizable as a DBZ production, even if those twists don’t do much to shake up the gameplay structure. Perhaps the biggest difference between this and other fighting experiences has remained: the inclusion of the sky as another fighting dimension. You can once again launch attacks from both ground and air, and as another nod to the fans, characters will basically do what they do in the show: they’ll freak out, shriek at nothing, and charge up world-ending special abilities. If you can unleash them, good for you. If you can’t, you can always focus on a few reliable attacks to get you through most encounters. As I said in the intro, it’s a weird setup: mashing buttons can work, but the learning curve for the super-ultra-powerful combos is crazy steep.

I think I pulled off one. Maybe two; hard to say. My biggest problem with the whole thing is the delay I suffered between each assault series; at the end of a combo – even a relatively simple one – my character would sort of just stand there. The problem with this is two-fold: firstly, it’s irritating, secondly, as super cool combos are the point of the game, it’s almost like you’re being punished for trying to play the game correctly. This leads me to the flip side of that coin, which is also this production’s biggest downfall. Because it seems as if an attempt at mastering the complex moves is discouraged, mashing buttons is encouraged. Well, if you wish to preserve your sanity, that is. While it’s true that you can’t win every time by slamming away at random buttons and being all inaccurate, it’s way too successful and leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth.

And as for those complicated maneuvers, which can include everything from aerial strikes to grabs, I don’t think they needed to be that difficult. I kept thinking it was a case of poor button-mapping because my fingers would get all twisted into a pretzel when attempting one of the over-the-top moves. But it might just be that the developers went overboard. When you pair this up with the button-mashing option and a huge number of characters that aren’t all that different from one another, you’ve got a fighting setup that flounders. The modes don’t add anything too spicy, either; and the online play is fine, but a little sparse. There’s the World Tournament mode that supports up to 16 players and it’s great for big-time fans, I guess, but I had difficulty finding anyone around. And when I did, I died pretty fast…but that’s just because I sort of suck at fighting games.

Yeah, I may not be very good at such games but I still know a good battling title when I see one, and this doesn’t qualify. I don’t care who you are; crazed DBZ follower or not, the combat mechanic is just silly unbalanced and seems to encourage the wrong way of playing. The backdrops are bland and uninspired, the top-tier combos are just way too hard to pull off, and that little delay between combos doesn’t fit and gets quite aggravating. On the plus side, you have the good character likenesses, the decent sound effects and voiceovers, okay control, a ton of characters, and the recognizable fanservice all the way ‘round. I understand making a game specifically for the fans but in this case, I have a feeling that even some of those people will be disappointed. Do they really want no story at all, even if it is a fighter…? The shows have stories, don’t they?

The Good: Good character design and animations. Flashy, fitting special effects. Huge roster of fighters. Twists on standard fighting mechanic still appreciated.

The Bad: Horrid music. Bland, barren landscapes. Overly difficult combo demands. Occasionally iffy control. Delay experienced after combo delivery. Not enough distinction between characters. Button mashing encouraged. No story.

The Ugly: The music. No, seriously. WTF.

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hellish_devil
hellish_devil
10 years ago

"if that really is the TV soundtrack, it’s awful"

No, usually games based on Dragon Ball DO NOT use the original anime sondtrack.

BTW, the anime soundtrack is GREAT.


Last edited by hellish_devil on 11/4/2010 10:26:12 PM

McClane
McClane
10 years ago

So true, the original soundtrack is awesome, the games have "cool" music…well, what the developers think is "cool"….

Akuma_
Akuma_
10 years ago

The anime soundtrack, for both the series and movies were all awesome.

The DBZ franchise hasn't produced ANY good games since Budokai 3.

Victor321
Victor321
10 years ago

You love JRPGs but despise Anime Ben O.o? They're like, cousins! Well, at least from my view. I've never read about you outright hating anime until now.

However, now that I think about it, you've never "promoted" your love for it, so to speak; regardless, I never once thought you 100% hated it =O Guess I learned something new tonight (or today, in some people's cases ^.^).

I have, to be honest with you, also never seen "WTF" in any of your reviews before :S


Last edited by Victor321 on 11/4/2010 10:21:54 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

We have discussed it before and I was left scratching my head as well. It just doesn't make sense in a sensible world. Then again, neither does a bodybuilding tree-throwing ogre who is a video game journalist.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Anime is over-the-top stupidity. JRPGs weren't really anything like that in terms of atmosphere and attitude. They held similar designs sometimes, but I fail to see the connection between Dragon Ball and Final Fantasy.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Come now, there is plenty of dark and serious anime for adults.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Oh, I know. …doesn't stop it from being over-the-top stupidity in my eyes. 😉

I admit I haven't seen a lot of it, though. I just remember being forced to watch Akira because it was like the greatest thing ever, and I was just…really confused. It wasn't even watchable, IMO.

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
10 years ago

All anime sucks because obviously Dragon Ball = All Anime. While DBZ died with me a long while, I will say there are some amazingly thought out Anime you are missing out on. 🙂

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Akira was unwatchable to me too, utter trash.

But if we are gonna go the Final Fantasy route, how about a whole quest designed around cross-dressing Cloud up like the sexiest girl so a fat guy who likes to do dry-hump the air in front of him will pick you to have sex with instead of two actual females? It was hilarious, but totally anime.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

World's new avatar = teh awesome.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I'm playing Crisis Core, and it makes me miss those good old days 🙂

Victor321
Victor321
10 years ago

Lmfao WEWM, your first post was beautiful

And @ Ben, I can see why you might think that way, because it makes so much sense!

I may, just may, have that same viewpoint when I'm older (and tree-throwing anyone).

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

@World
Everytime I see a picture or shot of Aerith, I get all sad inside….

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

So, er uh, what anime do you not hate? Or what can you suffer through?

Not surprised to hear this, has any Dragonball game ever gotten high marks?

GuyverLT
GuyverLT
10 years ago

The only one would be budokai 3 it got some 6 & The 1st Tenkaichi got a couple of ok scores.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Some DBZ games have been decent, yeah.

McClane
McClane
10 years ago

I liked Burst Limit, extremely short SP but combos and mega spirit attacks were easy to pull and awesome…


Last edited by McClane on 11/5/2010 1:36:39 AM

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

thats exactly why i hate newer dragonball z games, they dumbed it down so much that button mashing is all that happens.

firehahahahaha
firehahahahaha
10 years ago

Burst Limit had quite a smooth fighting system. Just add back in some moves and combos, and like quadruple the character count, and it just *might* beat Budokai 3

frylock25
frylock25
10 years ago

for sure that would be a cool idea

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

I can't wait for the MMO to hit America.

oONewcloudOo
oONewcloudOo
10 years ago

DBZ would make a really good action/adventure game, only if the developers that make these fighting games stay away from it

Akuma_
Akuma_
10 years ago

It would be one of the best ones out there aye.

Would sell millions.

But there are no companies with the balls, or the talent to make a good one.

Same as stargate.

gangan19
gangan19
10 years ago

I was so pissed when i bought the first one, at full price!, budokai 3 was the best

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Yes sir it is! Love Budokai 3. You have it on PS2 or Wii?

Akuma_
Akuma_
10 years ago

Budokai 3 is BY FAR the best DBZ fighting game ever made.

I have it on PS2. SSJ4 Goku was so freaking amazing to play.

The transformations, the unique combos and ki attacks, the ultimate attacks…..Man it was such an amazing game.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

i hope you're talking about budokai 3 and not budokai tenkaichi 3. the tenkaichi series is where the game gets so dumbed down. I remember my main character in budokai, great saiyaman. guy didnt have any projectiles but i kick serious butt with him.

i also love ultimate battle 22 for the ps1. you can fire your specials and you can still hit it away by pressing square plus X. also my best guy there was krillin, the destructo disc cuts through every special attack even guards.


Last edited by johnld on 11/5/2010 2:07:03 AM

gangan19
gangan19
10 years ago

ps2 always….ps2

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

::facepalm::

They need to get CyberConnect2 to make their DBZ games.

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
10 years ago

That would actually be pretty fricken awesome.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Boggles the mind why it hasn't been done by now. They could do wonder with the DBZ franchise.

McClane
McClane
10 years ago

As long as ALL sagas are in the game, I'm in…

You know, sagas of Piccoro, Saiyan, Cell, Freezer, Broly, Baby, etc.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

just imagine the size of that for free roam. i mean they can fly all over the world, they travelled across galaxies, and even went to their version of heaven and hell. i wouldnt want to play on snake road though, screw that. i forgot which game but there was a dragonball game where you got to fly on a world map. you were supposed to fly around using the dragon radar to find dragonball.

firehahahahaha
firehahahahaha
10 years ago

You could fly around in Budokai 3

Ultimate_Balla
Ultimate_Balla
10 years ago

Bodybuilding tree-throwing orge who is a journalist. LOL.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

I wish that they stuck with the control scheme the budokai series introduced, not the tenkaichi series. the budokai series had actual combos, different buttons for punches and kicks with different combinations. in my opinion, they dumbed down combat starting with the tenkaichi series of games in order to make the fields bigger.

i bought pretty much every dragonball game out there because i loved the tv show when i was younger. got dragonball final bout, ultimate battle 22, and legends for ps1. budokai 1-3, tenkaichi 1-3 (but my brother gave away 3 without me knowing), legends, and superdragonball z for ps2 (i liked super because it felt like a street fighter type game). burst limit for the ps3. legacy of goku series, supersonic warriors, and even the card game for gameboy.

I'm all for making the game bigger to get the feeling of the series/world or dbz but it doesnt mean that you dumb down the controls in the process. from the raging blast 2 demo, it seems like its more of that dumbed down gameplay i hated (didnt buy raging blast because i had enough of that kind of controls). i mean they have their signature moves mapped out to the right stick.

all in all my favorite one was ultimate battle 22 because the moves are a little complicated to do.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

You played Final Bout too?
That was the sh** on the PS1!!!!

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Budokai series crushes every single 7th gen Dragon Ball games.
You would think Spike will do better like how CyberConnect2 did but no~~~~~
They just had to dumbed the damn thing down, Raging Blast was awful and I thought they're gonna fix it with this.

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
10 years ago

The only way I buy a dbz game is if they also told the story of what happens after gt. They never made those into a anime.

eazye
eazye
10 years ago

listen up ppl who think that budokai 3 is better than this or this is a sh** game..this game is sik it is next level compared to the previous games sharper graphics way more moves more combos just cos use are sh** and cant play it properly the previous games were to easy n combat was to shallow this game will show who is the best fighter..and who cares if galaxy mode dosnt have a story the main thing that stands out is the intense level of fighting in this game that captures a true dbz battle…go online and find out.. people all around the world play this online and there is some talent let me tell you..but wait u wouldnt know because u think budokai 3 is better becos its easy haha…use would get eaten alive online..this game should at least get 8 out of 10 and is way better than any previous dbz game


Last edited by eazye on 11/17/2010 10:04:57 AM

TheShadow
TheShadow
10 years ago

Big fan of DBZ, only anime i actually watch. My favourite DBZ game is Budokai 3 and i have RAging blast 1 and 2, number 1 was ok, pretty good, liked the way they did the story but 2 even though it had no story I really loved the gameplay, the slow-mo hits are awesome and the supers look like supers now. They came a long way from rb1 but still need some work to do as well

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