Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
Back in the days, the Power Rangers were bigger than life. These days, it’s the fighting hooligans of Dragonball Z who get the chicks. The series are repeated day after day (at least in Belgium) and it’s not likely that we will ever see new episodes. Yet Dragonball keeps selling millions. Why is it that an anime series about funny looking guys with too many hair problems who fight green and pink foes is so popular? Hell, if that’s popular, I could well be most sexy motherfucker of the year.
Because Dragonball Z is about exploring yourself. It teaches us how to keep trying, even after bad luck. If we fail miserably, we must strike back with all our might. Don’t just quit it, that’s for losers. And you know what, eve the biggest loser could make the difference in Dragonball Z if they work hard enough and get just enough beatings to transform in some dude with even more hair than before. Dragonball Z isn’t just a cartoon; it’s a way of life.
It’s obvious that if something is this popular, you should start earning money buy exploiting your product. Making games is one of the more commonly used types of exploiting a product. This used to be a problem, because old PSone games about Dragonball Z were bloody awful. Not anymore though, thanks to the professionalism of Spike. They knew how to create a convincing fighting game based on Dragonball Z. Sure, we aren’t talking big masterpieces of art, but Spike gets the job done. Fast paced action and over the top kamehameha attacks: that’s just the way we like it. Wouldn’t say it’s a surprise I’m now writing about the fourth Budokai game.
Because it’s hard to create an original game about an existing and finished series, Spike tries to add something new to the gameplay. This time, it’s possible to fly like a bird and run like a fat women at Burger King in every arena. Not just going right and left, but walking and flying, almost like a regular action game. To make this aspect easier, Spike has changed some basic controls. The accent lies more in the special attacks, like kamehameha or other beams of incredible super duper power. It’s still possible to kick some ass the old fashioned way, yet it will hardly budge the enemy. A wrong chose I believe, because it doesn’t widen the scale of moves, on the contrary.
It has become a simple job to just kick your opponent on the ground to perform a special move. This could well be repeated over and over again. I don’t need to tell you that this sort of action becomes repeating, yes, even a little boring. I just want a lot of moves and action, not just a game where you or your opponent loses the game because he hasn’t got the chance of standing up. Every move can be performed by other characters, although this leads to a different sequence. I think that’s a chance wasted, because more moves could increase the lifespan a lot.
The graphics on the other hand are just marvellous. The game uses a remarkable cartoon style which knows how to handle your PS2. Quite a difference from the original Budokai, which was, let’s be honest, just plain ugly. The music is ok, but don’t expect nothing shocking. Or maybe I had find something shocking. A song used in some fights is almost exactly the same as a song performed by Velvet Revolver. Coincidence? I Don’t think so. I sure hop Slash isn’t playing Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi.
The fourth Budokai game repeats itself too much, at least too much for a great review. It’s nice of Spike though to create a whole new experience by adding some freedom to the fights. Too bad I played almost every sequence in earlier Budokai games. Maybe it’s time to think about a real RPG instead of these fighting games. There’s nothing wrong with them, but something’s starting to get old.