Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2
Posted 2 years ago By - Shane Kalicharan
I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z every chance I got. No matter how many times YTV restarted the series from Episode 1, I just kept watching. It’s safe to say that DBZ was the lifeblood of my childhood. I missed out on the first Raging Blast due to a lack of a PS3 at the time, but I did eventually buy one and was looking forward to Raging Blast 2. With my love of the series and the game boasting 90 characters, I was expecting a treat. Alas, I was wrong – Raging Blast 2 only offered me one thing - rage.
It’s not all bad though, so I’ll start with the positives. The work put into each character is the strongest feature of the game with each individual character design qualifying as “top notch”. Visually, they stay true to the anime and are represented accurately. Even the alternate costumes for the characters are done in an authentic manner. During combat, outfits become damaged and characters eventually bear the marks of battle - a nice touch and something that always happens in the anime. Each of your on-screen brawlers features their signature fighting styles including Super and Ultimate moves. What’s more is that each also feature voice acting from the same folks who provided the voice work in the anime series. Plus, the addition of “what if” characters - those that never appeared in the anime or the movies for one reason or another - was really cool. These include Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta and Super Saiyan 3 Broly, among others.
The other thing I really liked about Raging Blast 2 is that every disc comes with an unreleased Dragon Ball Z movie – The Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans. The movie is also in HD which is nice, though expected considering the platform it’s being released on. As a bonus, upon watching the movie, you’ll unlock a new character. The movie itself is pretty entertaining too, although it’s only available with Japanese dubbing, something that the purists will be thrilled with.
There are some issues I have in terms of the characters though. The game is called Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, yet it only features characters from the Dragon Ball Z series. There’s no one from Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball GT which is a bit disheartening, especially with such a huge roster. The main problem is that each character operates the exact same way. Everyone uses the same input for combos and everyone’s melee attacks have the same effect. This creates a level of repetition that the non-fan may find oft-putting.
Raging Blast 2 also features an incredibly sloppy and unnecessarily complicated combat system. I’ve won too many matches by simply button mashing and in a fighting game, that’s really not a good thing. I would have loved to fully grasp the combat system, but the tutorials only give you a feel for the bare minimum. This is especially frustrating when one enters the “Raging Soul” mode. In this mode, the player gains the ability to perform incredible combos with ease. It’s no problem for the CPU to massacre me, but because of how sloppy the combat is, human participants will have some trouble with it. I had to once again resort to button mashing, which worked much too well for my liking and established what little depth this game actually has. Another little gripe with Raging Soul is the audio. The same annoying song plays every time someone enters the mode.
On the up side though, it’s quite easy to pull off the awesome moves seen in the anime, provided you have enough charge - or tension as it’s called in the game. Super moves are done by pushing the right analog stick in any given direction. You can also customize which move is done for each available direction. Ultimate moves are performed by pushing down on the right analog stick and require a completely-filled tension gauge. Super and Ultimate moves are executed very well in this game and again, are very authentic to the anime series. For example, Super Saiyan 2 Gohan’s Ultimate attack is the father-son kamehameha wave which killed Cell in the anime series. In the game, the attack looks exactly the same as it’s animated counterpart, with Gohan firing the beam using one hand and Goku in the background performing his kamehameha.
Controls aside, I was hoping the game would have some saving grace in Galaxy Mode, which is the closest thing it has to a story mode. Granted, too many DBZ-based games have simply resorted to re-telling the anime’s plot in their story modes, but this one just feels rushed and even with the incentive of unlocking more characters, I felt no desire to trudge on. In Galaxy Mode, each character has their own zone (or galaxy) and in each zone are a series of fights. Most of these fights feature special conditions to fight in which does sometimes make for some interesting gameplay. But most of the time, it really doesn’t make too much of a difference. There is one fighting condition that I genuinely hated though, and whoever thought it was a good idea, well, it really wasn’t. In some of these Galaxy Mode fights, the player must start in a near death state. If you get hit just once, the battle’s over and you lose. It wouldn’t be too bad if it was just you versus one enemy but more often than not, the enemy party has several characters who need to be defeat one after the other. The incredibly sloppy blocking controls don’t help things any either.
Raging Blast has a lot crammed in it though. By playing through the various battles, you unlock new characters and earn new content for the in-game encyclopedia and museum. The incentive is good, but the tedious nature of the game overpowers any interest I had in unlocking everything.
Despite how great it looks and the sheer amount of content to be had, the weak controls and the poor fighting system outshines what could have been a great total package. As far as I’m concerned, if you want a solid DBZ fighter, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 on the Wii takes the cake.
- Strong voice work
- Full length HD movie on disc
- Huge roster of characters...
- Terrible controls
- Characters all operate in the same way and feel far too similar
- Gameplay can become incredibly frustrating
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Release Date : 2010/11/02
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Namco Bandai
Developer : Spike
Category : Fighting & Wrestling
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
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