Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 Review

When it comes to the Dragon Ball universe, consoles were a little slow in getting attention in the West. The PlayStation 2 was really the start in the United States where Dragon Ball titles really began showing. Since then, it appears that a Dragon Ball related title releases at least once a year on almost every console with the latest being Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2.

At its core, Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 contains the same formula as most other Dragon Ball titles. The ability to work through the various storylines of the series through different characters while performing many of the combat moves and maneuvers that are specific to the universe.

With Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2, the series includes most of the known characters from the main plot, complete with different Saiyan levels, alternate costumes, and power levels. It also includes many characters from the movies. Like many of the titles before it, Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 shovels so many characters, it shows how big the series had gotten by the end for Toriyama.

But the difference that I’ve seen with Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 is that the series attempts to change the button mashing of previous titles, the last I played being one of the PlayStation Portable offerings. Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 is on paper, a much more technical and strategic fighting title. Thankfully including a tutorial, the title becomes a lot more sophisticated than it was before with counters and dodging becoming more important and recovery from attacks to mount counters being detrimental to winning or losing.

This focus on technical skills, however, doesn’t translate well with the increasingly cheap AI that forces players to either run and hide and attack from a distance or move in to perform a combo and then move out to recharge. The AI is so skilled at charging in to combo the player and not letting the player recover from attacks.

The story mode follows many characters and has different challenges. Instead of simply defeating every character straightforward, Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 gives mission objectives like defeating a group of enemies in a specific amount of time, or fight while losing energy. These would work well if the AI wasn’t so skewed against the player.

Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2’s single player is only helpful in unlocking characters and seeing glimpses of the huge story that centers on characters, otherwise the title is more for multiplayer. Playing with someone else is much more fun when it comes to the huge finishing moves, the counter system, and overall enjoyment. Since players won’t get the technical combat down so quickly, the title is actually fun with someone else in a local match. Online, however, is another example of people knowing how to use characters much better than yourself.

Namco Bandai has gotten the look of Dragon Ball down to a science only increasing the cartoon look in terms of the cell-shading and including the Japanese and English voices has become a standard as well. The look and sound are nothing new, it’s still Dragon Ball; just another iteration.

Included is a remake of Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans movie, but the system for finding the movie is counter-intuitive. It’s fun to watch, but not so much a strong reason to purchase.

I like the Dragon Ball series in manga, anime, and video game form; and Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 looked like it was going to evolve the series, but making it more complicated might not have been the best way to go. The controls are simple enough to pick-up and play, but the learning curve is a little much. Fans will enjoy another outing with the series, but fighting genre fans will want to pass.

Good for Dragon Ball enthusiasts, bad to everyone else

Review Copy Provided by Publisher