The legacy of some stories never end even after being told countless times. One such story centers on the life and battles of Son Goku, Akira Toriyama’s creation of epic proportions that have captivated the world through various Dragon Ball series.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 for the Playstation 2 retells the trials of Goku, from the humble Dragon Ball beginnings all the way through to GT, and proves you can’t keep a good story down. Being the seventh Dragon Ball game to hit the Playstation 2 in the United States in about a five-year time span, the story once again gets repackaged but Spike keeps upping the ante in the fighting mechanics to pump out yet another satisfying fast-paced, free-roaming slugfest.
Budokai Tenkaichi (Japanese – “Best Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournament”), gathers the gang yet again for more of the 3-D throw down elements brought to the system in the first Tenkaichi. While the game starts off the pace with a handful of combatants, the game’s story mode once again serves host to a bevy of unlockable content that pushes the total number of “playable characters” to a mind-blowing 120.
The total fighter count is a tad misleading as a number of the characters have powered-up forms. While Tenkaichi 2 implements the new feature of powering up (and even down) while in the heat of battle, the menu still allows you to choose between every Super Saiyan form of Goku, Vegeta as their offspring and fusion forms, which are considered individual characters in the tally.
Nonetheless, the roster covers the series in its entirety and even throws in all of the side stories and movie plots to include characters such as Garlic Jr., Lord Slug, Tapion and many, many more. The Z-items return once again, allowing players to beef up characters according to their play style with items that increase stats or allow for special abilities.
The story mode now throws in the traveling elements of Budokai 3 and allows players to fly to each destination with optional pit stops that hold hidden items and smaller fights to raise experience points. Experience points are now applied to the items equipped to the character (as opposed to the character themselves like in Budokai 3) and raise the stats of items that qualify for level boosts.