Dragon Ball Z: Budokai PS2

“Dragon Ball Z: Budokai” is a classic fighting game based on the immensely popular anime and manga series “Dragon Ball Z.” Developed by Dimps and published by Bandai (later Bandai Namco Entertainment), the game was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2002. “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai” marked the beginning of the Budokai series and played a significant role in establishing a successful formula for Dragon Ball Z fighting games. Here’s a detailed overview of the PS2 game “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai”:


  1. Fighting System:

    • “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai” is a 3D fighting game with a 2D plane for combat. Players engage in one-on-one battles, selecting characters from the Dragon Ball Z universe.
    • The game features a straightforward and accessible control scheme, making it easy for both casual and hardcore players to enjoy.
  2. Character Roster:

    • The roster includes a variety of characters from the Dragon Ball Z series, each with unique moves, special attacks, and signature techniques.
    • Characters range from the Saiyan warriors like Goku and Vegeta to iconic villains such as Frieza and Cell.
  3. Story Mode:

    • The game’s Story Mode follows the main arcs of the Dragon Ball Z series, allowing players to experience key battles and events.
    • Players progress through the story, battling opponents and advancing the narrative with character-specific cutscenes.
  4. Tournament Mode:

    • Budokai features a Tournament Mode where players can engage in a series of battles against AI-controlled opponents to become the ultimate champion.
  5. Versus Mode:

    • Players can compete against friends in Versus Mode, allowing for local multiplayer battles.

Graphics and Presentation:

  1. Visual Style:

    • “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai” features cel-shaded graphics to capture the distinct visual style of the anime and manga.
    • The characters and environments are designed to resemble their counterparts in the source material.
  2. Cutscenes and Voice Acting:

    • The game includes animated cutscenes with voice acting, contributing to the immersive storytelling experience.
    • English and Japanese voice tracks are available, allowing players to choose their preferred language.

Reception and Legacy:

  1. Critical Acclaim:

    • “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai” received positive reviews from both critics and fans. The game was praised for its faithful representation of the source material, accessible gameplay, and engaging story mode.
  2. Legacy and Sequels:

    • The success of “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai” led to the development of several sequels, expanding and refining the formula introduced by the original game.
    • Subsequent titles in the series, including “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2” and “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3,” continued to build on the foundation laid by the first game.
  3. Influence on Dragon Ball Z Games:

    • The Budokai series played a crucial role in shaping the approach to Dragon Ball Z games. Its success contributed to the ongoing popularity of Dragon Ball Z as a gaming franchise.


“Dragon Ball Z: Budokai” for the PlayStation 2 is celebrated for its faithful representation of the Dragon Ball Z universe, accessible gameplay, and engaging story mode. The game’s success not only established a successful formula for Dragon Ball Z fighting games but also paved the way for the continued success of the Budokai series and subsequent Dragon Ball Z game titles.

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