Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 - hands-on

Part of what makes Tenkaichi 2 so addictive is just how much it looks like the anime - the colorful art style translates perfectly to polygons, and the fights play out just like interactive versions of the TV show's season-spanning brawls. The illusion is helped along by the addition of "Banishing" attacks, which enable you smash your opponent with a charged-up kick and send him sailing into the distance. Then - if your timing is right - you can quickly teleport behind him and bash him in the other direction.

As is true for most DBZ games, the dozens of characters play differently but control more or less the same, so there's no real learning curve when switching to a new character. That doesn't mean that all of the combatants are equally matched, of course - try pitting a rock-tossing, jetpack-wearing weakling like Hercule against the colossal yellow demon Janemba, and you're in for an embarrassment.

Also, each character has a dozen or so unique (or at least unusual) attacks to learn, as well as different combos to unleash during close-quarters moments. But in spite of all the options available to us, we found we were able to easily defeat all comers by repeatedly using the same basic moves, even on the hardest difficulty settings. Hopefully, that'll be reworked before the game's release on Nov. 7, but otherwise Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 already looks to be an awesome romp regardless of whether you can even tolerate the insane series it's based on.