PS3 Review – Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2

The Dragon Ball franchise has been, and still is, one of the most popular episodic anime and mangas. With one of the video games from the series, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, players could gain control of a variety of their favorite characters and use countless moves on the opponent – and best of all it was satisfying and entertaining to play. Now, developer Spike Co. Ltd hopes the sequel, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, takes all the positive aspects from its predecessor as well as adding new exciting additions and also listening to fan feedback to create another quality Dragon Ball title.

The game’s story mode has seen a much-welcome expansion letting players now play through some of the highlight battles from the anime. One that specifically comes to mind, which will undoubtedly be replayed over and over, is the fight against Vegeta and Freiza. The main story mode sees a massive amount of missions allocated to each of the game’s characters which you can complete and ultimately adds to the replayability of the game.

In Raging Blast 2, players have the opportunity to take control of over a healthy portion of playable characters; 90 to be exact, with 20 being new to the Raging Blast series. There are franchise staple characters you would naturally expect to see such as Krillin, Trunks, Piccolo, Goku, Vegeta and many more, all with their own unique powers to use and many more, albeit fairly unexciting, combos to execute during gameplay.

With the gameplay tweaks you’d think it would make it more fluid and satisfying during the gameplay experience such as the various moves you can perform with each character. But this unfortunately isn’t the case. You’re going to find yourself doing the same moves repeatedly and each character’s super moves are just too short. Another frustrating aspect is if you’re getting hit by a powerful attack and then hurled into the environment. After that you’re going to be finding your way back  to the opponent which takes an unnecessarily long time. And as fans of this particular series, and fighting games in general know, time is always of the essence.  The actual characters don’t have much to distinguish themselves from another fighter seeing that each of them have all the same moves apart from super attacks. And to make matter worse, these “super attacks” aren’t nearly as super as they are purported to be. By not delivering the type of depth that is now standard in competitive fighting games, there’s not much praise to give the repetitive gameplay.

A good aspect though, is the fighting is now done within a generously proportioned scale – essentially meaning that there’s more to do during an actual match, specifically with the environment. A pleasant addition is that players are now able to engage in combat whilst in midair, which is certainly a nice change of pace. The environments are now also destructible, so you can annihilate opponents by hurling them into parts of the landscape, like mountains and such.

Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 is definitely not a game which you can jump into and straight away beat an opponent with ease, something that is common with other fast-paced fighters such as Street Fighter IV. The controls will take plenty of time to master and eventually beat an opponent. However, once you successfully master the controls and the skill is used wisely, you’ll be rewarded with the instant satisfaction of doing a Kamehameha on command to finish off your opponent. Newcomers to the series will definitely find the battle system a tad puzzling and may be put off by it.

If there’s one thing that’s undeniable about Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, it’s certainly the game’s visuals. The game’s presentation is very impressive at first glance. Most notably, the visuals really shine upon successfully executing a character’s super attacks and watching debris fly out in all directions when the opponent is launched into the ground. As far as the audio, there’s an option for either Japanese or English dialogue which is accompanied by some generic sub-standard rock music.

There’s a healthy variety of gameplay modes in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2. Single player boasts a ‘Galaxy Mode’ where specific missions for each character are set. Then there’s the ‘Battle Zone’ mode which has players take on other fighters who are within a specific zone. By taking them out in their zone you progress to other zones and will be rewarded with artwork and other unlockable items. Local Battle, Team Battle and World Tournament, as well as online modes round up the rest of the modes for the title.

The Dragon Ball: Raging Blast series, as well as all the other games related to the anime, has become an exhausted franchise and Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 reaffirms that statement. If you can see through the repetitive, sometimes frustrating gameplay, then you may get your fix here. Fans of the Raging Blast IP will know what to expect from this game, but the majority of players won’t see through the game’s various downsides. With a more entertaining experience found in Namco Bandai’s recently released Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, you’d be better off getting that instead.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Fighting elements are similar throughout all characters.

– Boring and repetitive gameplay ruin the overall experience.

+ Pleasant visuals and healthy amount of modes.

6 out of 10