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Shin Budokai - Another Road is a solid game in the DBZ franchise, and I will preface my review by saying I'm not a huge fan of the anime, but I do enjoy the games as a guilty pleasure of sorts. The game's story is the rudimentary battle of good and evil between a bunch of oddly named young men, but the story does well to offer an alternative story that doesn't disturb the mythos too much while offering some fun references for the diehards.
The gameplay is the weakest section; it's not bad, just a bit meagre. The game consists of performing a large volume of missions, such as stopping the baddies before they massacre a village, and it is quite challenging, especially when there is a time limit, but it is quite samey and after a while you'll probably become quite numbed by it. It is well balanced, though, and there's no way you can just run in and destroy everyone.
Visually, the game aptly recreates the style and tone of the games, and should be lauded for that. It looks great on the PSP, and while the visual style is going to irk some right off the bat, fans are no doubt going to love it. Aurally, the game is a different deal, though, and I tend to turn the volume low because the voice work is high-pitched and irritating, and the soundtrack doesn't fare a lot better either.
DBZ fan? You'll probably love it, or at the least have a lot of fun with it. If you're not a fan, like me, the results may vary, but on its own merits, it is a well-crafted actioner that delivers the goods and is oddly quite entrancing and addictive.
Dragonballz Shin Budokai 2 is a fighting based adventure game which starts after the first in trunks future. The storyline is fluid and dynamic, and provides many interesting cutscenes. However, the game does have some flaws. Firstly, the game has waaaaaay too many loading screens. For example, say I want to play training mode. I wait for the game to load, then watch the opening film, then it loads. I then load my save game, through another loading screen. I click training, it loads again. I choose a character, another loading screen. Then finally, I choose the stage and character life and ki, after which there is another loading screen. That's six loading screens, just to try out my new characters moveset. The story mode is ok, but it has an annoying tenkaichi 2 style fly around between every single battle. This worked on the PS2 as it was a bigger console with which they could add good graphics and physics. But on the PSP it simply looked like a GBA style DBZ game, and trust me, they were very bad. The battles themselves are very good and are lively and fast-paced. They are slightly reminiscent of Budokai 3, though have much more free roam aspect in them (though still have very little) and the moves/combos are much easier to activate. There are also several alternate endings in each chapter, though they are very hard to unlock. There are three other game modes (NOT including Ad Hoc mode) Arcade, which pits you against random computer opponents which, frankly, is useless as you can simply choose your own player to face in training. There is Z trial, in which you can do Survival, Time Attack or Challenge, which all are extremely fun and promise hours of extra gameplay. Then there is Training in which you can fight any character and make them a dummie, do a specific guard, or spar with infinite or regular health. The Network Battle mode is good as it allows you to trade profile cards, battle CPU or each other. It also has a built in Battle regulator meaning that people who switch off in the middle of battles when they are about to lose, will still lose and will not be able to gain trophies for the next three battles. All in all, this game is fun and very interesting but has a couple of annoying flaws.