Today we look into a game that is based on a highly popularized anime series, which has many iterations on the video game market and has followers all around the world. Dragonball: Raging Blast 2 is the sequel to the previous Dragonball: Raging Blast video game. Having not played the first installment in this series I cannot comment on how the game has advanced since, but being a DBZ fan, and having played pretty much all the other DBZ games, I feel my opinion could be taken with lot less grains of salt.
Dragonball:Raging Blast 2 is a 3D fighter based video game that focuses on customisable characters with team battles of up to 5 characters per team. It must be the biggest fighter game out with the most linear gameplay known to man. It is so jam packed with characters (96) and content that the actual fighting in the game has taken a back step. So much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if there are multiple characters with the exact same move sets with slightly changed animations.
Lets instant transmission to the rest of the review after the jump.
The single player aspect is pretty straight forward. After selecting the character you want, you progress to a stage where you are able to select the event in which you will have to battle to move along the board. Each galaxy has multiple events, which each has their own pre-requisite to pass. You either have to land the most hits in the time allocated, survive at near death, reach a maximum damage combo, perform all the moves in a list, time attack, or to simply KO the opponents.
The events are scaled in difficulty, from “Very Easy” to “Ultimate”. As you pass these events, you will unlock content along the way. This can be anything from a new event, battle technique, customisable item, character art, to the BMG music. The boss event will grab you a Dragonball after the battle. Once 7 are collected you can call on Shenron, the mystic dragon, to grant you a wish in the form of new battle locations to character techniques.
There are also special events that need to be unlocked over and beyond passing all previous events. These events are shared between other character’s galaxies. You need to progress enough with all the characters that share that event to unlock it. These battles can be extremely difficult to qualify. But they unlock rare items and extra content.
The disappointing part of the galaxy mode is that there are no in game cut-scenes, no dialog, no nothing. Only the fighting! Although the events do correlate to the character in terms of story to a certain degree, someone who has no knowledge of the Dragonball Universe wouldn’t know who’s who in the Saiyan zoo. The Budokai series (PS2 Dragonball games) nailed this part perfectly. It made the fights way more enjoyably and you got to relive the anime all over again.
Dragonball: Raging Blast 2 is a good fighter but it lacks dimension, unlike other popular fighters the characters almost have the same movesets. It’s disappointing as there are abundant characters to choose from that play the same as many of the other characters. There are obviously small differentiations from character to character, but nothing that will WOW you at all.
You use the left analog stick to control your character. The L1 and L2 bumpers let you ascend and descend respectively. The Button is the physical attack, Button is the energy attack, Button is the signature move, Button is the dash. Holding R1 bumper is defend and by pushing the face buttons as your opponent attacks let you either dodge, counter, or mimic the attack. The Right analog stick controls your “Super Attacks”. By pushing it in a specific direction will let you perform a predetermined technique at that time. The down directional button initiates the charge field where you can fill up your KI gauge. Once the KI gauge is full you have the option to go into “Raging Soul” mode, in this mode your stats increase drastically, but you are only limited to normal combat. If you decide not to enter this mode you are able to stay in a “Hyper Tension” state which slightly increases your stats. The bonus of doing this is that you are able to perform an ultimate attack by pushing in the R3 analog stick. This leads to a character specific technique that does devastating damage.
You are also able to perform transformations with specific characters. For example: Goku is able to transform into Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, and Super Saiyan 3. He is able to transform into any of these forms at any time. Cell, however, has to transform from one form to the next before reaching Perfect Cell.
Now before you start jumping into the game to pull off a world famous KAMEHAMEHA, we should discuss more of the actual combat structure. It is very possible, and quite frankly very easy, to juggle your opponent and prevent him/her from even getting the opportunity to lay a finger on you. This can either be seen as a good or bad thing, as you will have to be skilled enough to know how to do it. But eventually you change your game plan from skilled to strategic which for me kills the experience.
By performing consecutive physical attacks you can stream into a combo. While in a combo if you press you will perform a stun attack, either by pushing the opponent back, opening him/her up for an effective super attack or to juggle the player with some more combos. Holding the or button during a combo allows you to charge the attack. While charging you are defended against weaker attacks for a period and once released they deal increased damage.
While moving across the battle location you are able to dash towards your opponent. There are multiple ways to do this. You can either normally fly towards the opponent, or perform a charged dash which keeps you defended against energy attacks, or you can instantly teleport behind your opponent. All types of dashes have their strengths and weaknesses in the heat of battle, but it relies on the skill of the player to choose which is better for the situation.
You are able to customise every single character with up to 3 different item sets. This is obviously so that you can determine what character team builds you have, or depending on your style of play you can quickly change between settings.
This part of the review left me in much frustration and almost a broken controller. I think the reason why I battled so much with the online aspect was due to the fact that the single player campaign is pretty easy. When I jumped into the ranked matches it was pairing me with very skilled players. I’m not too sure if it’s because not many people were playing the game or if it simply is a broken matchmaking system. One thing for sure is that I was schooled hard on how easily it is to juggle your enemy from even laying one hand on you. But that’s not to say it’s not fun, there are many aspects to the online gameplay that changes the feel of the game.
In Team Battles you are able to select up to 5 characters to play with, each with their own customisable item/move sets. The difference here is that you can choose any form of the character. For example, when selecting Teen Gohan, you are able to select the normal version, Super Saiyan, or Super Saiyan 2. Selecting the form you desire lets you start with that character in that form, so it lets you skip having to transform the character in battle.
By performing certain actions within the online game will unlock you some titles. For example losing a total of 5 games will nab you the title of “Power Level of 5”. There are plenty so you will spend a lot of time trying to perform certain actions to get them.
From the moment you put the disc in your console you are able to watch a re-mastered OVA called (Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate Super Saiyans). After watching it you unlock the villain of the story, the character is one of many which have never been in any Dragonball game.
Raging Blast 2 is fairly easy to play but leaves you wanting more. Die-hard fans will appreciate this game more to actually see past the repetitive gameplay it offers. The Trophies/Achievements are not too bad, but require plenty grinding and possibly some boosting to get anywhere near the end.
I liked Raging Blast 2, would I recommend it? Perhaps. If you are a fan of the series and don’t really mind repetitive gameplay then this is the game for you. If you’re looking for a fighter that could keep you entertained for hours, then I’m afraid you should look else where as you’ll soon see how much of a grind it can be to play through all the characters that feel the same.
If you’ve played the game already, share your feelings in the comments below.