Like most teenage boys in the late 1990s and early 2000s – I was obsessed with DBZ. I’d come home and watch it afterschool before doing my homework. So I felt like a kid again while playing through Dragonball Z Budokai HD Collection (Budokai 1 & 3). Nostalgia is great and all, but is this collection worth your money when there are newer DBZ games on the market?
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Title: Dragonball Z Budokai HD Collection
Platforms: PS3 & Xbox 360
Release Date: November 6, 2012[/toggle_box]
- Stunning in HD – I’m normally not one to be impressed by HD collections, but Dragonball Z Budokai 1 & 3 looks noticeably better in HD. Especially Budokai 3 (pictured above), it almost looks on par with some of this generations fighting games… almost!
- Over 9,000! – The combat is fast and just as enjoyable as it was all of those years ago. It remains mostly unchanged, you can still use items, go into hyper mode, dash, fly, roll, go into hyper mode again, and then unleash your ultimate attack. It does a great job at capturing the feel of the beloved anime classic.
- The Whole Gang’s Here – There are 60 fighters between both games so all of your favorites are here.
- Aging Gracefully – I was surprised at how gracefully these games have aged. They can still keep up with the anime fighting games of today, they just lack the graphical advances and online features.
- Japanese Audio Tracks – If you’re one of those dub haters you’ll be happy to learn that you can play Dragonball Z Budokai 3 in Japanese.
- Trophies and Achievements – I know I’m stating the obvious, but now you can earn trophies and achievements. What would we do without our virtual awards? Life would be incomplete, right, right?
- Budokai < Budokai 3 – Chances are you’ll spend most of your time playing the third installment in the Budokai series. It’s vastly superior to the first one, cell-shaded graphics and all.
- No Online Mode – It would have been nice to be able to jump online and fight, but I can understand why this feature was omitted. Adding something like this to an HD Collection could be time consuming and drive the cost of the game up.
- Difficulty Spikes – Prepare to rip your hair out on more than one occasion. Some fights felt impossible even on the easiest difficulty setting.
- Where’s Part 2? – The elephant in the room must be addressed – where’s Dragonball Z Budokai 2? It’s odd that the second entry was omitted from this collection. It makes it feel incomplete.
Pick this collection up if you missed these two titles the first time around, or if you just want to see them in HD. The games may be old, but the remastered graphics, soundtrack, and same great gameplay is worth the $39.99 price-tag. Now if you’re just looking for a great anime brawler — go with one of the newer Dragonball Z or Naruto games.
[box_light]We believe that the score is the least important part of a review. It’s tough trying to assign a numerical value to an experience. Furthermore, is there really a difference between a 7.5 and an 8? Gamers place too much importance on arbitrary numbers. This is why our scores are hidden by default. Only look at them if you absolutely need a number between 1-10 to see if a game is worth your time. You can read our review guidelines here. A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.[/box_light]
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Replay Value: 7
“Good” – This game probably won’t win any awards, but it’ll keep you entertained, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters–it’s worth a look.[/toggle_box]