Hiya Cheesites. I've recently gotten my sweaty little hands on a copy of Dragonball Z: Buokai. Being the dbz freak I am, expectations were high, and to help other similarly obsessed fools, I'm providing my own little break up of the game to help you decide, and also to give you an idea why the comics will be delayed. Sorry for the crappy look of it, but I just did this all in notepad, and intended it for the forum, but it was too long. First off, the most important thing in any game;

Okay, I just liked the gif

Gameplay: After many months of Tekken, I was used to having a backwards block defense system, and suffered many an asswhoopin in budokai until I realised that you need to hold x to block attacks. And not just tap it. Hold that sucker down. While that may seem bad at first, it saves trouble for having to make a decision between medium block or low block (I'll get to this in a second), as x will block everything. The controls become pretty second nature after a while, but the ol' energy blast isn't used as often as I thought it would be, as the AI has a nasty little habit of reflecting your blasts right back at you. I tend to only use it in combos. Now, the reason you don't have any medium or low block is because there is no jumping or crouching. You're just aiming straight forwards. Now there's been a lot of whinging about the inability to jump or crouch, but let's be honest here, at the pace you're going (very, very, very fast), there's simply no time for jumping or crouching. When the battles get heated up, the last thing on your mind is trying to dodge. Uppercuts and kicks will usually send you or your opponent flying into the air anyway, and you zoom right up to meet them, usually kicking them to a different part of the screeen anyway. The lack of the jump really didn't phase me. I spent everything after the saiyan saga worrying more about not dying than trying to jump. Sidestepping is a bit of a pain, as you need to hold down x when you press up or down. Since there's no crouching or jumping, I don't see why they didn't just set it to up and down by default. Entering the 'burst zone' is a good gimmick, but a competition in who can tap buttons faster rapidly becomes a pain on the fingers (learned that one the hard way). One thing that personally really bugs me is that when you get knocked down, there's a periodical 'refuse to stand up' moment of time. You can't roll out of it, you can't press anything to get the goddamn moron to stand the hell up. He'll just lie there for about 20 seconds getting the shit kicked out of him. STAND UP FASTER YOU MORON and maybe I can win the freaking match. And while single player modes may be good, duel mode is always a blast. And throwing people through mountains = FUN in any language (again, I'll get to this later). Each fighter has 7 capsule spots that they can hold skills, etc in during a fight. This normally means that at any given time, you have 7 attacks you can use. Also, many of your favourite attacks have the same button combinations, which is perfect for people with sieve like brains. Like me. Much easier than having to remember 20 hojillion combos for each character. Of course some capsules can take up more than 1 capsule spot (breakthrough, for instance, gives you all that character's attacks, but takes up all 7 capsule spots as well), and others can increase your guard ability, or stop your ki from draining. The speed of the game is simply amazing. You're flying through the air, hurling kicks and punches at amazing speed. Some people said it was slow, but they must have some sort of reality defect, cause this game is plenty fast. One thing that's noticibly missing is a bid for power mainstay, the power struggle. If you fire off an energy blast (kamehameha, special beam cannon, final flash, etc) everything freezes and the other person has the option of either getting hit or holding the guard button. The option to fire beams at each other with, say, the person who can hit the buttons the fastest being the winner, would be a very welcome one.
All in all, an 8/10. It's missing some standard parts (jump, crouch), and other things I'd like to see (everything after the cell saga, for instance), but I'll be damned if it isn't great fun.

Graphics: Wow. Really. Just wow. It honestly looks like they've jumped straight out of the cartoon. There's some cel shading dealie going on or something, but it honestly looks just like the cartoon, except in 3d. I've heard complaints about jaggyness, but I didn't really see anything major to bitch about. Everything moves smoothly and as realistically as possible for a story where people hurl solid energy balls at each other. Plus when you do story mode, you get to live out the series again in epic 3d. That's gotta be worth something. There's some oddities. Kamehamehas are white, not blue. And sometimes characters will get these odd costumes instead of the ones you're used to them seeing. Vegeta in a red shirt and leather jacket? What the? Let's say, a sexy 9/10. The occasional weird colour thing gets on my nerves.

Modes: Well, you've got your Story Mode, which I primarily use to unlock hidden characters, and to be part of the series. Take THAT frieza, you son of a bitch. Along with a series of fights dispersed with cutscenes, there's the occasional mini game (hold Radditz still) to break up the monotony. World Tournament mode lets you fight in progressively harder battles to win money that you can use to purchase skills later. Of course, you can win a round by knocking your opponent out of the ring instead of trying to drain his energy. You'd think this was a good thing, as it would save time, but goddamn that AI knows the best ways to knock you out of the ring when you least expect it. Bitch. Once you've got your money, you can head over to the skills edit option and start building up your fighter. Using different combinations of the capsules, you could have a weak attack character that has high guard, a super fighter, or an ultimate death move character. Move the capsules you have to each fighter's custom spot. And you can also go to Mr Popo's shop to buy things, including dragonballs, but they're very rare. And after that, there's your standard practice and 2 player (duel) modes
8/10 for story mode, the fights can get a little frustrating at times
7/10 for world tournament. The goddamn AI kicking me out of the ring is getting on my nerves.
10/10 for duel. Fan-fucking-tastic. Exactly what was advertised (unlike some things, which I will again get to later). It wouldn't hurt to be more customisable like DOA2. Infinite health battles would be chock full of mountain throwing fun, but I'm quite happy with it. Maybe making practice mode 2 players would do the trick.

New: Mr Fucking Popo's Shiteating Skill goddamn Shop: Okay, after much playing of the game, I've finally gotten a feel towards it, and I'd like to make special mention of that fucker, Mr Popo. Do you suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Do you have an iq in single digits? Are you just plain a retard? Then you're going to fucking LOVE Mr Popo's shitheel Skill Shop. MARVEL at the extraordinary gameplay of going in and out and IN and OUT AND IN AND OUT AND IN AND OUT over and over and over and over and OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I typed all that out, no copy pasting. You know why? Because the patience it took to type all that was NOTHING compared to trying to get the skill you want at MR CUNTRAG'S FUCKING GODDAMN WHORE SHOP. For CHRIST'S SAKE! This has to be all in all the DUMBEST idea I've ever seen in a game, and I've seen a lot of dumb ideas. Why the FUCK didn't they just have a store where you could go through the list and buy what you want? I'd pay TRIPLE the EXORBITANT prices just to get my fucking dragonballs without having to go in and out of the fucking shop for a solid hour. No joke. A solid fucking hour. In and out and in and out. With the SAME fucking music and the SAME shitty voicing and the SAME shitty skills. Jesus FUCK. If I've already bought the skill, don't try and sell me the same one over and over again! I DON'T WANT IT. JUST GIVE ME THE FUCKING 3-STAR DRAGONBALL. Here's an idea fuckers, how about once you HAVE a skill, it won't show up in the store anymore? Wouldn't that, oh, MAKE SENSE? Of course, how silly of me. That's why you didn't do it. Probably too busy trying to figure out which version of the game to send to the ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY. While the japanese voices and music may be ear shatteringly bad, I can understand that at least they didn't fuck it up. But HERE. With this STUPID system....GHLARGH. I'd like to met the GENIUS who invented the skill system and shake his hand. So then I can tear his arm out of his socket and shove it up his ass, then stab his brain with his own fist. Hey dipshits, here's a little game playing tip for you, if something takes A SOLID HOUR with NO positive results, IT'S NOT A GOOD SYSTEM. Did you assholes TRY the game? Did you spring this on the beta testers? Because for the love of all that is good and holy, I cannot see how ANYONE would like this system. Thank you fuckwads for destroying any intention I ever had of completing the game fully. I was going to do the whole thing, you realise that? I was going to complete the advanced world tournament forty times, FORTY TIMES, so I could buy all the dragonballs and get the special breakthrough ability for EVERYONE, but nooooooooo. You had to have Mr cocksucking Popo's fuckstore of ASS. For fuck's sake! A FULL HOUR! Looking for ONE FUCKING DRAGONBALL. I was WILLING to look past the fact that you'd sold me the japanese version, because at least it was still dbz, but now, with this rage inducing shitty customisation system, I HATE you ALL. Listening to the retarded voice the japanese gave mr popo for a solid fucking hour. Oh god the horrors. I swear, somehow, someday, I will find a way to make you all very unhappy. SO HELP ME.
The freaking shop: I don't know a low enough number to describe my utter hatred of this shop and the complete disrespect of the "human being" who produced it. Negative infinuty to the power of infinity squared.

SOUND: Right. Here's where the game loses serious marks. I'd been egged on to the acquisition of the game under the lure of the AMERICAN voice actors providing the character voices, along with the AMERICAN music during the game. I start up the ps2 only to hear freaking Cha-la Head Cha-la. For those of you not familiar with the Japanese dbz, the music sickens me to the soul. While the dub viewers all know and love 'Rock the dragon', sung in that loud, grating masculine 80's rocker voice, Cha-la head Cha-La is sung in an effeminite cheery children's tv voice. It doesn't exactly gear you up for a great fight, more like a tea party with the queen. Okay, I though to myself maybe I'd just heard it wrong. It was really rock the dragon but my ears aren't working. I proceed to story mode only to be welcomed by the freaking Japanese announcer giving the details of the story with shitty little subtitles at the bottom. Yes, to my horror it was all there. Makankosoppo. Excessive use of the word 'Kuso' (I'm pretty sure it's shit, but I've seen it translated as damn, fuck, and in one part of the game 'aunt sallies'. Hearing vegeta scream aunt sallies wasn't exactly the most awe inspiring experience). All my japanese nightmares had come true. They'd given us the game in bloody japanese. And of course let's not forget my personal peeve with the japanese dbz. The woman voicing Goku. Honestly. You had her voicing him as a child which I can understand. You don't want to work with children. Their voice might break. Fine. But CONTINUING to use him when he grew up?! WHY DOES A GROWN MAN SOUND LIKE A WOMAN?! WHY?? The most powerful man in the universe at that! Yes, all the anticipation of hearing a loud burly 'KAMEHAMEHAAAAA' all went down the tube when that bloody woman screeched 'kamehameha' in the most disappointing display I've ever seen. Or heard in this case. And she rushed it too. Bitch. While some people may love the original, I seriously, SERIOUSLY hate that freaking cheery happy theme song, and that goddamn woman voicing Goku. And she voiced Teen Gohan (Great Saiyaman, not the gohan who defeats cell, who for some reason is labelled as teen gohan) as well, but thankfully I haven't unlocked him yet. That will be quite a spectacle I'm sure. And all the wonderful dub moments I'd come to love were butchered by her high pitched wailing. Jesus christ. Goku going super saiyan? Dub fans probably all remember "I won't let you get away with this", well say hello to "I will not let you get away with what you have done to me". Ooh. Biting. I'd hate to be frieza. Well, that moment was ruined. I'm not being a male chauvanist pig, I don't want women out of the workplace, and I'm not advocating those taliban veil thingies, but I do draw the line at HIRING THE BLOODY WOMAN TO VOICE A GROWN MAN. The graphics are excellent, but the voicing really lets it down. It's the aural equivalent of getting ice sprayed at you during sex. Then being rolled in broken glass and thrown into a pool of tabasco. And the music? Oh god the music. The dub dbz may have lots of recognisable, serious music (Vegeta and Cell's theme are good ones. You'll know them when you hear them), but this version has lots of cheery, 'let's do the alphabet!' music. God, it made me want to RETCH. The title screen? The options screen? Lord that music has NO PLACE in a dbz game. Or ANY fighting game. PERIOD. And don't even get me started on how retarded king kai sounds. Even more than the american. Yes, it is possible.
Sound: -400 hojillion/10. FUCK YOU Infogrames, and FUCK YOU whoever decided to release the japanese version in Australia

Rant Okay, honestly. What the fuck happened here? The english speaking head of an english speaking company decided that for a country of people who speak english that was founded by people from England, who no doubt ALSO speak english, the perfect version to release in our great wide english loving land is the JAPANESE one. Seriously. What. The. Fuck. At first I thought it was all one big mistake, but when I returned to the store, the salesman was under the impression that all copies were SUPPOSED to be japanese. That's part of the apparent allure. Well hello dipshit. One of the major selling points for me was that I wouldn't have to hear a goku with voice that could shatter glass. Jesus Christ you pigfucking cuntrags. If you were going to give us the goddamn Japanese version in the first place, then why hold the release date back two weeks from America, who got the ENGLISH version? Jesus fuck. The japanese version has been out for months now! Do you really expect me to believe it took you this long to cut out that little country symbol on the back and stick a little british flag there? And why not TELL us we were never going to GET the english version? It sure would have made me steer away from it. When you make one of the major selling points 'voiced by the actual english actors', you MAKE THE FUCKING VOICES THE ENGLISH SPEAKING ACTORS. I can't concentrate on getting my kill on when goddamn Happy McHappyton in the Happy land of Happiness is playing in the background. And I refuse to do Vegeta's final flash manouver because he just SOUNDS SO STUPID. FINURU FURASHURU? What the FUCK was that? God I hate you fuckers all so much. Why are you always intent on screwing everybody over? Why not release BOTH versions? Why not release the ENGLISH one, and if the english speaking people feel an overwhelming urge to hear it in japanese, they can order it? I refuse to believe that it was only possible for America to get the english copy. And Canada too I assume. And don't give me the bullshit about it being because of America's voltage or some shit. That's what adaptors are for. All that electricity would be taken care of by the time you got to the reading the disc part of it. And region encoding is ASS. The fucking disks are identical, you're just trying to scam me out of enjoying my fucking game. All the people responsible in this chain of stupidity need to be brutually murdered in amusing ways.

Why, damnit?: Why does it only go up to the end of the cell games? The back cover art has Majin buu and Bobbidy, and when you unlock part of story mode, young trunks is visible.

Overall: As an american, I would be quite overjoyed with this game. The graphics are great, the gameplay is fun, the action is fastpaced, and I'm sure the sound DOESN'T tear a hole in your soul. However, as an Australian, this is yet another kick in the teeth from stupid morons in their caves on mars. Duhh Australia? They speak japanese over there don't they? Since it has a british flag on the back, I'm assuming all my new zealand and british friends are getting similar shitty treatment. Which leads me to the conclusion of fuck you corporate assholes in america. Fuck you all in the face with a screwdriver. It could've been great, but they fucked it up. Way to go. I would have been happy with all the minor bugs if you'd just given me the goddamn english like you'd promised. But noooooooo, you had to go and put on the asshole pants
9/10 If you have the american copy.
5/10 for japanese. Yes. the ear butchering sound is just that bad, but I can't stop playing it.

New: The good and the bad:
The good:

  • Faithful dbz recreation
  • Lots of fighters
  • Cutscenes
  • Story Mode
  • Duel
  • World Tournament
  • Combinations between fighters are essentially the same, thus, easier to remember
  • Combos that destroy the entire arena, leaving a smoking crater
  • Throwing people through MOUNTAINS
  • Customising the fighters
  • The bad:

  • After losing world tournament matches, you get taken back to the main screen instead of the world tournament one again. (+40 seconds every time)
  • Obscene loading times
  • AI can pull off some ricockulous moves, and that's just the easy level
  • Combos that are essentially the same (the 'throw to the ground and pummel with energy' move every fighter has)
  • Combos that SUCK (Instant killquick; Throw in air, punch twice. Same for Killer Ball)
  • Why is sidestep so hard to pull off, since up and down do nothing anyway?

  • Selling the Japanese version in Australia
  • Mr fucking Popo's shiteating Skill shop
  • Trying to get all 7 fucking dragonballs 30 times from above shiteating shop
  • Obscene loading times
  • Obscene loading times, even for menu screens (sensing a trend?)
  • Pitfully limited available slots for customising fighters, especially when good skills take up more than 1 slot
  • Back!