Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 review

  • 130 great looking, playable characters
  • Immediately available transitions
  • Z Item upgrades for your fighters
  • One pattern can beat all opponents
  • Single-citizen 'towns' in story mode
  • Unstoppable menu chatter

The game becomes strangely addictive after that first hour, thanks to dizzying attacks and explosive blasts fierce enough to take out huge swaths of whatever planet you're fighting on. It also helps that the action keeps up a rapid pace, mixing crazy projectile attacks and incredibly mobile characters with in-your-face punches and kicks, as well as a zillion counters and counter-counters. And once you find your groove, it works well even for non-DBZ -heads.

It's nice that DBZ has so many fans too, because BT2 is most fun when you're button-mashing against a real-world opponent. They're a little less likely to pin you down in an inescapable flurry of attacks, and they rarely fall prey to the easy patterns that thoroughly thwomp the computer.

The same core commands are used throughout, making it pretty easy to learn a few moves that work for any character. Of course that also means there is little variation, which can then result in an increased feeling of repetition after only a few hours.

As Atari promised, the storylines are pretty short, but the many, many battles make the game surprisingly lengthy. This obviously won’t be an issue for DBZ fans who appreciate the stories, but non-fans will need to learn to tolerate a lot of yelling, overacting and seemingly unnecessary excitement before every bout (and even on the menus).

All 16 of the game's huge, freely explorable arenas look pretty good even when zipping around at high altitudes - though they're most enjoyable when smashed to bits with an opponent’s body or an insanely big blast. More impressive still are the cel-shaded characters, which look almost identical to their anime counterparts. Even better, you can activate character transformations right off the bat (after building up a bit of in-battle Ki), enabling your plain-looking characters to wig out and become various magnitudes of glowing blond supermen, gigantic apes or a variety of other weird monsters.

More Info

Release date: Nov 21 2006 - PS2
Nov 15 2006 - Wii (US)
Nov 02 2006 - PS2
Jan 26 2007 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2, Wii
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Atari
Developed by: Namco Bandai, Spike
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Cartoon Violence


  • jscriber100 - September 18, 2010 2:07 p.m.

    oops, i commented on the wrong dbz game!
  • jscriber100 - September 18, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    i've had this game since it first came out and i can't believe after all these years no one has was a great game and i like how the story mode is played out like a board game with character portraits.

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