|System: PS3*, Xbox 360|
|Pub: NAMCO Bandai|
|Release: November 6, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Mild Blood, Use of Tobacco|
Both of these games also feature cinematic moments where you have to mash buttons harder that your opponent to win a beam struggle, or play minigames in order to attack with a flurry of punches. The games are fun and easy to play and the cinematic cutscenes are cool, but these in-battle quick time events break up the flow of the fight if you are used to more traditional fighters.
However, the real draw to both of these games isn’t the versus mode, it’s the single-player campaign. Both games retell the story of Dragon Ball Z, with Budokai 1 covering the events of DBZ up until the end of the Cell Saga, and Budokai 3 going through the movies, Buu, and even Dragon Ball GT.
Budokai 3’s single-player introduces an incredible array of RPG elements that further enhance the experience. Aside from powering up your character as you fight, you also find capsules that unlock new moves and transformations for your characters to undergo. You have multiple slots to equip these capsules to, and while powerful capsules, like fusions, take up multiple slots, you can use single slots to customize your move set and power up particular moves that you use a lot. Of course, this customization, while awesome in a single-player context, unbalances multiplayer very quick.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD made me realize something: All I ever really wanted was a DBZ fighting game. Sure, all the newer Dragon Ball Z releases are cool, but the simple mechanics and customization of DBZ Budokai 3 (and to a lesser extent, 1) was far more enjoyable that the cinematic systems of newer games. Hopefully, the Budokai HD collection represents a return to form for the DBZ series. A brand new DBZ game with a refined Budokai 3 system would be awesome beyond words.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: November 7, 2012