Dragon Ball Z Budokai

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a game by Dimps Corporation
Platforms: GameCube, Playstation 2
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.6/10 - 5 votes
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See also: Dragon Ball Games, Fighting Games
Dragon Ball Z Budokai
Dragon Ball Z Budokai
Dragon Ball Z Budokai
Dragon Ball Z Budokai

Dragon Ball Z Budokai is the first game in the Budokai series that was released for PlayStation 2 and GameCube back in 2002. When this came out, I worked part-time in a video game store and a guy I worked with was all in on this. It was a game that Dragon Ball fans (which I did eventually become, in part because of this) were very excited for and it spawned a pretty popular series.

What If?

Over the years, I have come to truly appreciate what they did with the story in Dragon Ball Z Budokai. This is a retelling of the first three Dragon Ball Z story arcs. I know that this has been done to absolute death in Dragon Ball Z games since, but back in 2002, this was actually a pretty big deal. I think this alone was enough of a selling point for many people. However, it is the What If scenarios that this game has which truly make it great. There is a What If storyline for Vegeta, Frieza, and Cell, and they are all very well done and make you think. At the time of release, I was not super into it, but now, looking back there are some great ideas here.

Like The Anime, Before It Went HD

I think that Dragon Ball Z has some amazing-looking games, just look at the fairly recent Dragon Ball Fighterz for example! In regards to Dragon Ball Z Budokai, this game is showing its age. They went for a cell-shaded art style which certainly helps the game fight off father time a little bit. However, things are not as detailed as modern games which is to be expected. The “finer details” are not all that present here and the various backgrounds of which there are a decent amount are not exactly popping. As this is a PS2 and GameCube game, the cell shading lacks that pop that an HD game would.

Ripping Those Audio Files

This game has a solid soundtrack. It features rocking music and it has many voices that have clearly just been ripped from the show. These sound files still sound nice and clear and I like the fact that they did this as it makes the story more authentic to the show. The music is your typical DBZ stuff and I mean that in a good way.

The Ultimate Battle!

As well as the story mode, Dragon Ball Z Budokai is pretty stacked with game modes. The other main mode is called, World Tournament, and this as the name suggests is a tournament fighter. Here you select your fighter and prove that you are the best fighter. You have a character progression system here which is basic, but it does let you tinker with your fighters to give them new moves and make them stronger. The gameplay on offer here is very button mashie. I feel that the Budokai series got more refined as it went on which is to be expected. The game tries to have a bit of strategy, but it is way easier if you just spam the same attacks over and over again. I do feel that this is more fun when you are playing with another person rather than the AI.

7

It would be so easy for me to say that Dragon Ball Z Budokai is one of the poorer Dragon Ball Z games out there, but I feel that is a bit harsh. This is a series that technically has the better part of 10 games in it! So, it goes without saying that the one that started it all is a bit rough around the edges. I think that there is still some fun to be had here and I do appreciate the fact that they stacked this with game modes.

Pros:

  • This is the game that started it all
  • The graphics have aged quite well
  • The What Is mode is great
  • It has plenty of game modes
  • This game is fun to play with others

Cons:

  • The game is rough around the edges
  • The fighting is not exactly deep

Download Dragon Ball Z Budokai

GameCube

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

GameCube Screenshots

Playstation 2 Screenshots

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