Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection is hitting the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this winter, but will only include the first and third games, skipping over the second game in the process. While the first game contained a story mode many fans still hold up as one of the franchise’s best, and the third refined the fighting system and other aspects into one of the overall best-regarded games for the franchise, the second game still had its charms: a board game style of story mode with a few “What If?” scenarios, new absorptions for Majin Buu, an entirely new fusion character (Yamhan, a dance fusion combination of Yamcha and Tenshinhan), an alternate form of theoretical-fusion Gotan (a Potara fusion combination of Goku and Mr. Satan), the first new vocal theme song for the franchise since 1997, and much more.
So why skip the middle-child in this upcoming HD collection? Speaking with Shack News, Namco-Bandai Senior Global Brand Manager Jason Enos stated:
“No, but when you look at the three games, one and three are actually more straight-up fighting games. Two IS a fighting game, but it also introduced some other elements of gameplay that kind of broke off the fighting aspects a little bit,” Enos attempted to explain. “So when we finally decided which games to go with, obviously fans love different ones, but we decided we would bookend the compilation because the first game set up the Budokai series, defined what it was, and the third game was a final resolution of the Budokai series.”
Unfortunately, that is not really an answer so much as it is a simple acknowledgement — but it is thankfully at least more than we had at first. The game collection is already looking as if it will contain a complete musical replacement score and possibly not even some of the minor additional content from the re-release/Japanese version of Budokai 3, so the hardest of hardcore fans may want to just break out the original PS2 versions this winter.
If you North American fans never picked up the “Greatest Hits” re-release of Budokai 3 and go out in search of it these days, be aware that Atari suffered a major misprint error which resulted in the game being stamped with the original, non-”Greatest Hits” version (thus missing the extra content, the most significant of which was the optional original Japanese voice cast). It was eventually corrected, but picking up the game used does come with the risk of grabbing a mis-printed disc.