Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 Review
Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 is one of those games that I wish I could love but deep down hate with a passion. With such a large variety of different characters, countless worlds and funny one liners, you would think making a fighting game based off the hugely popular anime and manga series would be a breeze but how wrong you are. Although Namco have crammed a ton of different fighting modes in, both single and multiplayer, the game feels very repetitive and unless you are a hardcore fan of the Dragon Ball series, you will probably want to steer clear of this one.
When the game loads up for the first time you are greeted to an anime sequence of epic battles between all your favourite Dragon Ball characters with some crazy Japanese music playing in the background. My first thoughts led me to believe this was going to be a fast paced fighting game in the style of one my favourite childhood cartoons but after heading over to the tutorial, my thoughts were destroyed as if I received a hit from a giant fire ball from Goku himself. Found in the Single Play menu, the tutorial tries to teach you the basics of the game but good luck understanding what on earth they are asking you to do as some of the instructions were poorly translated and others were ridiculously hard to execute as it required a perfect scenario that the tutorial failed to place you in.
After completing or giving up on the tutorial, you can either head over to the training mode to try and brush up on your skills or straight into one of the main game modes, Galaxy Mode and Battle Zone. Galaxy Mode lets you take control of one of the 90 different characters and play through their story via short battles with a variety of difficulties. In Battle Zone, you pick your favourite fighter play through the different sagas from the anime, defeating a number of enemies before taking out the boss of each zone. There are also the standard battle modes where you just fight against random opponents or your friends either locally or via Xbox Live and a couple of tournament modes that pit you against random players of equal skill level.
Each character has a Ki bar which they must fill up using melee attacks in order to use their special attacks. Regular attacks do very little damage and are just used as a way to charge up your Ki and then release one of your special attacks such as Goku’s Kamehameha. If you charge your Ki to the maximum however, you will be sent into the Raging Soul state where you are no longer able to perform special attacks but your regular attacks hit for a lot more. This was a nice attempt at trying to change the combat system from the first game but to be honest, spamming special attacks and charging your Ki again is still the easiest way to win most battles.
Attacking is one thing but dodging is what turns the tide of a battle. To initiate a dodge in Raging Blast 2, you simply need to hit the RB button at the correct time. You can hold it down to block but that won’t stop any special attacks so you can’t rely on that for protection. Now, I used the word simply but in reality dodging one of the hardest things to execute because depending what type of attack your opponent is using, you are required to also hit either the A, X or Y at the same time as the RB. In the heat of battle when your opponent is chucking god knows what at you, it becomes very difficult to remember which button to press and still have enough time to hit it before you get pulverized.
It’s not all bad though as the characters and environments look amazing and for any Dragon Ball fans this will be the major selling point although just be aware unless you have played the first game to death and understand the mechanics you will need to invest a lot of time in order to actually play as your favourite characters or at least have the difficulty turned right down. As far as I could tell the voice acting is all done by the original cast and did bring back some good memories from watching the anime and as a nice treat there is a re-mastered version of the original Japanese OVA, Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate Super Saiyans, found on the disk.
With regret I must say that Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 is not a good fighting game because of its overly complicated controls. Unless you are willing to pour hours and hours into this game in order to become attuned to the attacks of all 90 characters, I strongly suggest you stick to watching the anime or reading the manga to get your fill of Dragon Ball goodness.