DRAGON BALL Z BUDOKAI HD COLLECTION REVIEW
Now in HD!
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Dec 6, 2012 10:45 (Dec 6, 2012 10:45)
Written by: Alex
It is hard to give "Dragon Ball Budokai Z HD Collection" a fair review. Or rather, it is hard to say anything new about it. Take almost any DBZ game, and mix it with comments about any competent HD remake and you will be well over half way to my view of this new collection.
This is not to dismiss Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection, rather to set appropriate expectations for a game that repackages two titles that most of its target audience have will already have played.
And while this coat of paint may have been liberally daubed over two of the best games in the series, it still leaves a fairly limited audience.
If you read my last DBZ review, or any DBZ review for that matter, you will probably have noticed how they all comment on (and occasionally complain about) how the story is always the same retelling of the anime. Not only is this true of DBZ HD, it is compounded by the fact it is repeated twice. As you sit down to once again follow Goku as he attempts to unite the Dragon Balls it is hard to ignore the fact that this is a pair of Balls.
In the collections defence they are not completely identical. Budokai 3 does introduce some new elements with the Dragon Ball GT story arc in the mix that, while not the most beloved instalment, does add new characters and story to justify its inclusion. This may well be the reason for the absence of Budokai 2, though with all he oddities of publishing there is always a chance of some strange past clashes of licence.
Much like their stories, the Dragon Ball Z games all adhere to a their own unique gameplay style. While other anime games do borrow heavily from their dramatic camera angles and fast cuts, DBZ mixes in aerial combat to really add to the series super hero action.
With a relatively limited repertoire of moves available, on the surface both games seem to be fairly standard 3D fighters, where they differ however is in the interplay of their different statuses.
Fatigue, Ki, health and even the fighter’s current form (between standard and ‘Super’) all have to be successfully managed in order to win. For example each character’s Ultimate Attacks is most effective when an opponent’s fatigue is low, so in order to use the attack you must first wear out your opposite number with Dragon Rush, while finding time to charge your own Ki in order to power up the attack. It sounds complicated, and takes a little time to get used to if you are used to standard 3D brawlers, but it makes for a fun dynamic.
Though it may not offer incredibly diversity in terms of controls, with all the fighters controlling in basically the same manner, it makes up for this by making each fight a chain of dramatic moments that encapsulate the back and forth of the show perfectly. With counters and blocks frequently beginning power struggles that require furious mashing of buttons, no fight is ever predictable.
As I previously said the basic move sets for fighters are similar across the entire roster, but DBZ does allow for some customisation to enable any player to balance their favourite character to best match their preferred techniques. With the basic split in these different specs being defensive, aggressive and death blows, this allows a variety of moves to be selected for any fighter to redesign their fighting style. It may not offer quite the same as the same depth as Tekken’s huge move lists, but it does introduce the ability to do some fun tinkering.