Press Archive

Animerica April 2003 (Volume 11, Number 4)


Dragon Ball Z: Budokai

3D Fighting
Domestic U.S.

This is more than a blessing for DBZ fans; it is like a kiss from the Pope. A host of characters from the show, each with their own respective powers, appear and pound each other for our amusement. Everyone can fly–sort of. Actually, they kind of just get knocked into the air and float around, but while doing so, they can dash in any direction, so it does sort of look like flying, which is something not seen in too many fighting games.

One of the best aspects of this game is the fact that it isn’t a rip-off of any other fighting game engine. It is an entirely new system that feels cleaner than most engines and runs quite smoothly. The fighters are nicely balanced and wonderfully animated, looking amazing in 3D polygonal form. In fact, the transformation is so intense it makes watching the animated cut scenes based on the anime the most entertaining part of the game. (If you thought Piccolo looked cool before, wait until you see his little antennae wobble around in 3D!) The story mode allows players to battle through each of the key characters in the story starting with the beginning of DBZ and ending with the fight with the conclusion of the Cell saga. This is a great idea because it forces you to switch characters to get through the entirety of the story. Once completed, some of the earlier segments can be replayed through the perspective of different characters. Aside from story mode, the game comes with the standard fighting game modes: Tournament, Versus, Training, etc. The game also comes with a lot of funny little quirks that are tied to the anime in the most amusing ways. For instance, while fighting, players will occasionally “lock up” and start throwing hundreds of kicks and punches in super-fast motion by rotating the analogue stick as fast as possible to determine the victor of the mini-battle. Admittedly it takes little skill to rotate a stick but it does add a lot of entertainment to the game. All in all, this is an amazing game for fans and a really fun game for non-fans. It has enough going for it to appeal to just about anyone. Fans will really freak out on it. Non-fans will still enjoy it due to its fun and absurd nature.

–Dr. Brown

This completely original 3D fighting game is so awesome that even if you’re not a fan of Dragon Ball, you’ll still have a great time playing!! Life is good…no…it’s fantastic!!!

Transcription & Notes: VegettoEX