How do you review a high definition version of a game released for a previous generation of console? Usually, you go for nostalgia factor and how much the addition of online multiplayer adds to the fun of your once cherished game. With the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection, only the nostalgia factor counts, as this for a fighting game of the most deserving genre of any classic game to receive online multiplayer has nothing of the sort!
The original Budokai will not really be spoken of, by the standard of games today it just doesn’t hold up. Barely any combos, poor graphics and horribly slow movement for a fighter. Although little mini games in the story mode were an amusing way to add in key elements of the Dragon Ball Z universe that wasn’t simply about people hitting each other.
On to the real reason why anyone should buy this HD remake, Budokai 3, in my opinion the best Dragon Ball Z game ever made. The addition of online multiplayer (and trustworthy connections) would have made this a must purchase for any Dragon Ball Z fan. A very impressive character progression system for its time, nice selection of characters from the Dragon Ball universe. Fast, fluid combo system and passwords given to your custom characters so you can share them with friends, Again, this game screams for multiplayer!
The real gem about this game is the focus on timing for incredible combat over complex combos. Start the game as a button basher and you can still do well, learn the timing of your combos, teleportation and super-moves and you’ll be destroying the game on its hardest difficulty pretty quickly.
The story mode is very basic, fly around a small version of the world to each battle, small piece of dialogue to some pictures of whoever is talking and the fight begins. Between battles you can hunt the world for capsules, containing anything from moves to gear to add to your custom character, money to buy more capsules with in the capsule shop in the games main menu, or hunt for Dragon Balls, collect all 7 in a characters story and summon Shenron for a wish. Find hidden characters to unlock them under specific circumstances, most of the time running along with the Dragon Ball Z storyline.
The replay value really is in character customisation and levelling up, and the best place for that is the Dragon Arena. Complete the story mode with every character that has one, and you will unlock and arena with every character in the game from level 1 to 99, raising in difficulty with level. Earn your XP, some capsules to help you level up faster, earn more money, and even some extra playable characters when stronger opponents break in to challenge you as you progress. Hone you skills and raise your level until you feel you are ready to face the games most difficult challenge, level 99 Omega Shenron – prepare for a teleport fest. The feeling you get if you manage to defeat this beast is one this gamer still remembers from his fist time back in 2006, and has yet to get the skills back to do so again on the HD remix… Yet.
The best Dragon Ball Z game ever made, remade in high definition for new and old Dragon Ball Z fans alike to enjoy once more. If only it had online multiplayer so it could TRULY be enjoyed by all over again. A must buy for Dragon Ball Z fans who have not liked the recent attempts and really miss their saiyan fix, but the lack of online means unless you really loved this game back when it was originally released, the fun will get stale pretty quickly.
Scoring 7/10 For what it is – great, fast, simple, oldschool Dragon Ball Z fun. No online multiplayer makes it severely lose points. Straight up port seems like an opportunity for a quick cash in on a franchise that isn’t doing as well as it used to.
Namco Bandai, Please, spend a little bit of time and money for the release of a multiplayer patch for this game, then sales should improve immensely.