'Dragonball Z Budokai HD Collection'
Developer: Dimps Corporation
Publisher: Namco Bandai
System: Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3)
ESRB Rating: Teen
Review Rating: 2.5 stars
My biggest wish while playing the original "Dragon Ball Z Budokai" series was that I could fight opponents online, but I had to wait for a new DBZ series for that option. While modern "Dragon Ball Z" games allow online matches, the game play focuses too much on cinematic camera angles and uncontrollable sequences. Now "Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection" brings the old-school ground-and-pound combat into this generation, but it offers little else.
For some reason, this "collection" only features "DBZ Budokai" parts one and three, but not part two. I suppose that it might be due to the unfavorable reception of part two, but die-hard fans would prefer the entire series. Still, the fact that part one covers the entire anime plot from the Saiyan Saga until the Android Saga while part three follows the DBZ movies as well as Dragon Ball GT is almost enough to sell this collection on its own.
I welcome the fact that the combat system for each game is unchanged and also that trophy and achievement support has been added, but modern gamers need more than gorgeous visuals to revisit a series. I'm sure that DBZ fans would appreciate new modes, especially online multiplayer support.
"DBZ Budokai 1" features 23 perturbed pugilists as they trade earth-shattering attacks and ear-shattering soliloquies in Story mode. Additional combat can be found in Duel and World Match modes, but there's little difference in actual game play or even the fighters themselves. Too much effort was spent on balance and not enough was spent on creating stylish and unique characters.
On the other hand " err ... fist, "DBZ Budokai 3" features a much more robust combat system complete with incredible transformations, teleportations and even a Hyper Mode that opens up even more powerful moves. Over 40 overly-powerful characters are available to customize with special capsules that unlock transformations and character fusions. This is still my favorite game in the entire DBZ series!
However, due to the limited improvements, "Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection" will only appeal to fans of the series.