Dragonball Raging Blast 2: review

  • Format: Xbox360 (version reviewed), PS3
  • Unleashed: November 5th
  • Publisher: Namco Bandai
  • Developer: Spike
  • Players: 1-2 (offline), 2-8 (online)
  • Site: http://dragonball.namco.com/

Budokai. Shin Budokai. Tenkaichi. Burst Limit. Don’t worry, that wasn’t an incantation to make you spontaneously explode; rather it was a list of just a few of the newer fighting games based on the Dragonball franchise. Onto that list you can add Raging Blast, with the first being released onto Xbox 360 and PS3 last year. As we approach the end of 2010, Spike has decided to release the second game under the Raging Blast title, but has enough changed?

For games based on an animรฉ/manga there is an inherent problem when it comes to sequels in that with each yearly release, you are forced to tell the story over from the beginning with what little has happened since the last tacked on at the end. Dragonball is an interesting case since it’s a manga which finished years ago – and that has resulted in the games based on the DBZ series always telling the whole story over and over for years already.

How many more times will fans willingly fight from Goku and Piccolo versus Raditz through to Goku verses Kid Buu? It is at this point we will mention that the assumption has been made that anyone not familiar with the series quit out of this review about a quarter of the way through the first paragraph.

The first Raging Blast game did take steps towards placating this necessity to tell the story again by reducing it to only key fights with very short conversations. It also offered up ‘What-If’ content where imaginary situations that couldn’t fit into the proper plot were explored.

Raging Blast 2 has further removed itself from telling the tale again by all but erasing a story mode from the game. In its place players will find Galaxy Mode and Battle Zone. The latter is tiered battles under certain handicaps using any character of your choosing, where a loss will result in starting over again.

Galaxy Mode is where someone not interested in online matches or tournaments will spend their time. For every single character in the game (60+ villains and heroes) there is a Galaxy Mode to play through to earn upgrade points, items, pictures, costumes, and other unlockables. Each galaxy offers a host of battles against semi-relevant opponents with special conditions to meet (such as the enemy getting stronger near death, the player starting from near death, having a short time limit, and so on) culminating in a boss battle against a more relevant opponent.

By now you will have seen from the screenshots that Raging Blast 2 accurately and impressively imitates Akira Toriyama’s trademark art style and has also had an impressive face-lift compared to the first game. Coupled with this is everything that fans associate with Dragonball: powering up, extravagant special attacks, explorable stages in which you can fight on the land or in the sky, and destructible scenery.

In what will no doubt be a talking point for fans; Raging Blast 2 features the cast of Dragonball Kai (the director’s cut release of Dragonball Z) in both Japanese and English. This means some voices may sound unfamiliar to those who watched the original airings years ago, but most key characters still have their original actors.

Very little has changed since the first Raging Blast in terms of gameplay. Tweaks have been applied here and there but in essence it is the same mix of long ranged beam attacks, short ranged hand-to-hand combat, and charging of KI. A Raging Soul mode has been added that can be activated once you have fully charged up your KI and, along with a terrible J-Rock track activating, your character then sacrifices being able to use special or ultimate attacks in favour of increased damage and far lengthier combination attacks in close combat for around thirty seconds.

It’s hard to judge whether Raging Blast 2 offers enough. Enough of anything. The visuals are better, and gameplay tweaks have been added. There are four new stages. 23 new characters have been added to an already large cast; six of which are new to any Dragonball game to date. The disk also includes a 30 minute remastered animรฉ OVA ‘Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans’.

If the above sounds like it is worth paying ยฃ36.99 again then the score that follows below will be inconsequential. Buy the game and enjoy it. Take a step back and assess the changes, as well as the fact that it has only been a year since Raging Blast 1 was released however, and paying full price again is less appealing.

Yes, there are new characters and the total number of characters is huge; but most of the new characters are not popular ones (did anyone really want Saibamen, Cell Jr. and Cui?) and fighting styles between the whole cast tend to fall into three basic types (small builds, medium builds, and colossal builds). Yes there are gameplay tweaks, but exploitable unblockable attacks have slipped through the net and will no doubt ruin online play. Yes, there are new stages, but the total number is still lacking and missing some iconic locations. Looked at in this light, Raging Blast 2 is ultimately a run-of-the-mill sequel that will only truly satisfy the fans that are easiest to please.


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Written by Ian D

Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.

18 comments

  1. Patrik S /

    Good review mate ๐Ÿ™‚ The fact that much hasn’t changed doesn’t matter to me since I’ve been without a DBZ game since Infinite World came out for the PS2. I did have the opportunity to buy both Raging Blast 1 and Burst Limit but didn’t. So I will be buying Raging Blast 2 because to me, enough has changed ๐Ÿ™‚ Ofcourse more could be added, enhanced and improved and it wouldn’t even matter to me if it would take them 2 or 3 years to make the ”perfect” DBZ game ๐Ÿ™‚ They can always make smaller games for the fans to play while waiting for the ultimate DBZ experience. I guess I still need to wait though ๐Ÿ™ Oh well ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope Raging Blast 3 gives us the same excitement, thrill and joy that Tenkaichi 3 did ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m also waiting for a Burst Limit 2 ^^

  2. Someone. /

    Really? you’re using favouritism on a review?
    how mature.
    I didn’t really look for saibaman and Cell Jr. but I really cared for Cui, for Doore, for Cooler, Neiz, Salza and Mecha Frieza & Cooler to be in.

    None ever bothered wishing Tarble, and it’s not an excuse that he’s the brother of Vegeta. (which isn’t even a good excuse, so what if he’s? none of his forgotten episode got in)

    • In a lazy attempt at insulting me, you have both missed my point and your own.

      • Someone. /

        It doesn’t matter.
        your review is crappy anyway.

        • Someone. /

          And look at yourself, you’re a total loser by the picture, it’s clearly seen that you’re around 22-30 and you’re living in your parent’s basement.

          • 27. Financially independent. At this time of year I moonlight as Anti-Santa.

            An opposing opinion to yours, a bad review does not make.

            I would point far more accurate observations about you, but anyone reading your comments will have already presumed the same thing.

      • New Guy /

        I think your review was pretty accurate, but since I haven’t have a console DBZ game since Budokai 2, I WILL be getting this one. It’s scores above and beyond and Dragonball game I have played/owned yet.

  3. If you played RB1 on a higher lvl you’d understand that a lot has changed… much more than what changed between almost all other fighting game sequels ive seen… most of them just add characters.
    This one changed the gameplay so much that I seriously think that RB1 is downright unplayable after playing the RB2 demo

  4. What’s the difference between Raging Blast and the Budokai Tenkaichi games except for graphics? Total waste of money.

    The J-rock track isn’t all too bad. Compared to the musical score in this game, this is an improvement.

    How many games has it been? 3 Budokai games, 3 Budokai Tenkaichi games, Burst Limit, Infinite World, and now the two Raging Blast games.

    They’re just rebranding the same game with a number after it.

    “Raging Blast 3 will include more new characters including Korin, the Ox King, Roshi’s turtle, Baby Trunks, the dinosaur that chases Gohan, all of the Red Ribbon colonels/admirals, the North/East/West/South/Grand Kais, the North/South/East/West/Grand Supreme Kais, Dende, Guru, and Ghost Nappa.”

  5. Oni-Samurai /

    I’ve only played the demo of RB2, but compared to the demo of the first it’s a lot better in that I could actually win a fight by using my fists as opposed to using beam attacks. The graphics are much improved too, my main complaints are that the A.I. is still unrelentless and you have to button bash to recover from attacks. My fingers can’t take repeatedly hammering the buttons to recover and I really wouldn’t want to fork out money for a turbo pad. I’ve given up on the dragonball series for now, I own budokai 3, tenkaichi 2 & 3. I just can’t justify buying this (kind of like getting fifa every year) but I would say it is better than raging blast 1 and has a decent character roster, it’ll be a good buy for fans and if you haven’t brought a DBZ game this is a good place to start.

  6. TheGuyWhoMissesPunchingOtherGuys /

    Interesting review, mate. I always enjoy seeing other reviewers from the UK on the Internet. Something of a weak spot of mine. On a more personal note however, since I never got Raging Blast 1 and haven’t played a DBZ game in about ooooh….. 4 years? I’m interested in picking it up.

    Not too keen on the Kai voice acting though, I actually saw a few clips of gameplay (from oddly enough, your video gaming channel) and seeing all the new voice actors was a bit of a turn off.

    Still, I ain’t that shallow, I just want the game for the game and that’s all I intend for.

    Again, nice review.

  7. Hey, Someone. Can you shut the fuck up? I’m literally just browsing the net for reviews of Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2, but you are SUCH an annoying prick, I had to leave this comment. You pathetic pussy.

  8. Brocolli /

    Soo is this game worth getting? I played Tenkaichi 3 on the wii, and had alot of fun with it. Kept me and my friends playing a good while. Loads of characters lots of cool moves and abilities. Soo should I consider getting this or waiting for the supposed Tenkaichi 4 or next game?

  9. how comes ther is no accessories item majin seal

  10. i wanted to know if you can equip some of the items from the handicap on a regular battle other than battle zone?

  11. A Person /

    I think this game is awesome. I have read many reviews by other gaming sites and yours by far is the fairest. Others try to cut this down by saying nothing has changed, fighting is to easy and weak, and no story mode. Well I would absolutely hate it if there was a long story mode to this. I have watched the show for years and love it, that I know all the stories anyway and if I need to learn more, I would watch the episodes/movies. I want to dive right into a game and be able to play my favorite characters head to head without taking time to learn combos, to me its more fun that way. And the fighting can be frustrating and fun. I love this game and this game is only for HARDCORE fans, not people who just watch it occansiouly or never can enjoy it.

  12. koby /

    someone…..STFU

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