The first draft of this review opened with a joke in which we talked about the amazing impression Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World made on everyone in the office, captivating and amazing us. But we changed it to make sure someone from publisher Atari%26rsquo;s marketing department couldn%26rsquo;t rip out just that quote and print it in the game%26rsquo;s ads. You see, the punch line of that opening joke was going to explain that the bit that%26rsquo;s amazing, captivating and impressive is how absolutely, horribly, jaw-droppingly bad Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World is. There have been at least seven other Dragon Ball Z fighting games released on PS2 since 2002 %26ndash; all of them are far better than this steaming pile.
Like most of its predecessors, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World is a fighting game. Its roster boasts more than 40 characters, complete with a giant stack of transformations and the now-trademark upgrade capsules. That sounds like a lot until you recall last year%26rsquo;s DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 had 162 characters.
But we could live with %26ldquo;only%26rdquo; 40 characters if they played well. They don%26rsquo;t. The fighting is boring %26ndash; how is that even possible with a DBZ game? These mugs can fly through mountains, punch so quickly the eye can%26rsquo;t follow it and morph into more powerful brawlers. About the only thing they can%26rsquo;t do is go ten minutes without a face-melting lightning bolt exploding from one of their bodily orifices.
Yet, this is bland. The arenas are sparse and lame, and you know those big counter-counter-counter moments and massive beam clashes and dynamic special attacks that made other recent DBZ fighting games so playable? They%26rsquo;re all missing. What you%26rsquo;re left with is basic punches, kicks, and the most uninspired Ki attacks ever. What%26rsquo;s that? A fireball? Whee. Call us when you actually notice how kicksauce your source material is.
Oddly enough, you%26rsquo;ll be begging to get back into the boring fighting after only a few missions in the story mode. It somehow manages to take a series that%26rsquo;s all about galactic level combat and decide instead that you%26rsquo;d rather fly through rings, collect some random floating crystal things, and generally just run all over the map between clumsily executed cut scenes. When chasing a monkey down is the highlight of a 100+ mission story mode and two new songs by composer Hironobu Kageyama are the best part of the overall package, you know there%26rsquo;s a problem. Download the tunes and skip everything else.
Nov 24, 2008