After dozens of games on nearly as many platforms, the Dragon Ball Z franchise finally hit its stride with last year's Budokai Tenkaichi, the first game to really capture the feeling of the DBZ anime's insane, aerial martial-arts battles. For the sequel, developer Spike has pulled out all the stops, packing in around 130 characters and two dozen full storylines to deliver the definitive Dragon Ball experience.
Like in the first game, fighting in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 unfolds from a third-person perspective (as opposed to the usual side-view setup). In each one-on-one battle, you'll be able to fly around freely, exploring and demolishing wide-open arenas as you trade rapid-fire punches, boot your foes far into the horizon and unleash huge, literally earth-shattering fireballs.
The fights are deceptively simple, and most players will be able to hammer through big swaths of Tenkaichi 2 just by mashing buttons. It's instantly accessible, but there's really much more to the action than that, and those who take the time to discover and master its surprisingly deep system of combos, counters, counter-counters and apocalyptic special moves will find it much more rewarding.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 on the Wii is more or less identical to the PlayStation 2 version, with one important difference: the controls. You can play Tenkaichi 2 with a Classic Controller or even a GameCube pad, but more adventurous players will definitely want to try hurling Kamehameha energy blasts with the Wii remote and Nunchuk attachment.