Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection - Review

Author: Marco Salvaneschi
Date: 2020-07-30 22:32:55
Acci-beats, missed opportunity. Unless you call yourself Street Fighter or Tekken, resurrecting a game engine with pistons and fighting games from many years ago on current consoles is already a big risk. Doing it without giving it a petrol enriched with some powerful octane of playability, longevity and more modernity, then, is almost counterproductive.

Namco Bandai inserts the back (gear), proposing yet another Collection rigorously in HD guise, but proposing to us the apparently marketed strangely partially. The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection indeed contains only two of the three episodes - four if we also consider the Infinite World of 2008 - that make up the original Budokai series, that is, the first and third. The second is not, "because it is atypical", it seems. It may have been atypical, but it is certainly unpleasant to start an engine, and a collection, which loses blows already at the start.

Detailed characters in HD, but very bare arenas.

By inserting the first with the first episode - HD version of that Dragon Ball Z: Budokai which first inflamed even the European crowds in the now distant 2002 - you immediately notice how the nostalgia operation is not always worth the candle, if the latter can not really turn on neither the mixture of emotions and memories of the ancient Goku fans and fighting company, nor that of modes and game features that now seem hopelessly old and limited in the eyes of the new lovers of fighting games at meetings. If it is true that even in his time Dragon Ball Z: Budokai did not boast a combat system that lived up to the best fighting games around, focusing more on the incomparable charisma and the unparalleled style deriving from the manga / anime branded Toriyama / Toei, it is equally true that in 2012 a fighting game cannot fail to propose a simple albeit online versus, which now represents the real gasoline of the videogame genre in question.

So here we are limited to simple performances / single tournaments, and to a much more significant (but short) story mode, which goes up to the Cell saga. The cel-shading used to transpose the unmistakable stretch of Toriyama-san in 3D lends itself as usual very well at a 16: 9 restyling in high definition. From an artistic point of view, the porting from PS2 to PlayStation 3 (and therefore to Xbox 360) manages to get closer to the master's art, thanks to the increased technical specifications, although the textures of the scenarios could certainly have been worked more. Remaining on the subject of artistic coherence, if we are more or less graphically there - always considering that we are talking about a mere restyling of a visual system that has about ten years on its back - in terms of sound commentary we can instead complain, given that the wonderful original music has been replaced by others, taken on weight by the Tenkaichi and Raging Blast sagas.

Although this bitter replacement cannot be directly attributed to Namco Bandai - we are talking about legal issues and apparent musical plagiarisms by the author Yamamoto, although dating back ten years ago - this is yet another reason why this Budokai HD Collection is not exactly a great idea from any point of view: on the one hand it does not enthrall the incurable old nostalgics with a complete content collection (Budokai 2 is missing) and faithful (no classical soundtrack) compared to the originals; on the other, the intransigent "fighting game" - a playful version of the "celodurists" - cannot appeal to the game mechanics, which inevitably remain simplistic, dated and not even a bit modernized.

Budokai 3 boasts greater tactical and visual depth.

In this sense, the second and last game included in the collection, or Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, certainly gives more tactical depth than the first episode, integrating the simple original four-key combat system (punch, kick, save and attack Ki Blast) with unpredictable "teleported" counters, powerful Hyper states, spectacular Dragon / Ultimate attacks and frenetic struggles of pure spiritual ... and physical energy. The original system based on the use of particular Capsules during the matches and the way to obtain the latter or the Dragon Balls fluttering over an elementary free roaming world benefit from it, as well as the large wrestlers park, which passes from the 23 characters of the first episode 42 of Budokai 3, thanks also to the narrative inclusion of elements from Dragon Ball GT and from the films of Dragon Ball Z.

Despite the third Budokai therefore represents one of the peaks of the entire videogame series dedicated to Goku and companions also from the point of view of the gameplay - not that it took much, in truth - this Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection does not justify nor in terms of quality nor on the quantitative one the full price (about fifty euros) at which it is sold. An old fighting engine that inexplicably goes to two pistons instead of three or four, and that beats in the head because it was not fueled with petrol without an octane supplement online, it will hardly be able to move the interest of many, including collectors. In short: in the event of a Tenkaichi HD Collection, plus V-Power for Goku, I recommend.

In HD it's a completely different thing to see, but the gameplay is always the same.