Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is yet another installment to the withstanding Dragon Ball Z video game franchise. Whether you’re an avid fan of the Japanese animation series or not, you can pick up the game and jump into the fighting without having to understand any of the drawn out story line beforehand.
The main features of the game are its visual effects and it’s newly added interface using the Nintendo Wiimote complimented with the Wii nunchuck attachment. Visually, the game brings out the hand drawn 2 dimensional anime characters and displays the 3D form of the characters using techniques techniques such as cell shading to each game character to put them each of them into a lifelike 3 dimensional element. It has a feeling of bringing comic book characters to life and you get to control how they fight. This allows for the game to be played across a wide area 3D plane for massive levels to explore and destroy in the interim of hunting and pummeling the opponent.
Blending the Wiimote interface with this 3D fighter game attributes to this 3D experience into a game previously ported from the Playstation 2 platform. This updated Wii version is essentially the same game as the PS2 version with all of the extra features typical of arcade style fighter games, however, the Wii version encourages the user to use the new Wii style controller to command complex strings of attacks against the opponent instead of pure button pressing with “standard” gaming controllers.
The Wiimote nunchuck attachment is required to work with the wireless Wiimote however the game also supports using a Gamecube controller through the Wii’s 4 port axillary GameCube controller ports on its side. The Wiimote commands an alternative interface allowing the player to translate their physical motions of how the characters would move in person through the Wiimote controller. Without reading the owner’s manual, from my testing, I would use the nunchuck to move the character forward, back, left, and right while flailing my other arm with the other controller hitting the A and/or B buttons to see what the response would be. It didn’t take long to realize that the game was a little bit more complex than mere button mashing, ahem, “Wiimote flailing”.
To make the character fly vertically in the air to either chase the enemy or to evade the enemy, hold the “c” button and then move the Wiimote in the air up or down to ascend or descend. Since the scenery is so big, there is a feature to fly forward to your enemy by holding (flying technique). An awkward function to flying is learning how to stop in which I still haven’t completely figured out yet. The problem is that the character flies endlessly into a circle and eventually drains all of the character’s rechargeable Ki power meter bar in order to stop. I avoid that move for now.
Fans of the anime would know of the super power moves that each character possesses in their various Super Saiyan forms. An interestingly attractive feature is the initiation of the Kamehameha wave produced by holding the “z” + “b” button key sequence and drawing the controllers to your side and then pushing forward. Picture how Ken and Ryu’s “hadouken” fireball. This looks really cool when showing off to friends and is quite a visually appealing sequence because it feels just like how the anime character would throw a fireball. The scenery of the levels is also interactive and craters can form from the large exothermic reaction caused by the explosion. The aftermath of a few of the Ki based super attacks yields destroyed terrain in the scenery.
There is a bit of a learning curve without playing any of the older 3D Dragon Ball Z games in the series and a little more so learning how to use the Wiimote. The game consists of battling it out against your opponent in a massive 3D world. It is this depth of size that makes new players trying to find the opponent difficult if either you or the enemy has flown away. You have to learn how to navigate in free 3D plane and to utilize the navigation map which displays the enemy’s relative position. On top of that, the game controls are not immediately intuitive. However, once you get used to the battle system and learn how to navigate around the battle ground, the game brings out the fun factor of using the new Wiimote interface.