Dragon Ball Z: Budokai PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Dec 3, 2002
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 72
  2. Negative: 10 out of 72
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  1. May 12, 2017
    4
    Let's get this out of the way right now: I'm not really much of a fan of the "Dragon Ball" franchise. Not that I dislike the series, it was just never my cup of tea. As a kid, I was part of the "Pokémon," "Digimon" and "Yu-Gi-Oh" boats, but I never found a huge interest in "Dragon Ball Z," or "DBZ," as some call it. That said, I fully believe that a fighting game based around the "DragonLet's get this out of the way right now: I'm not really much of a fan of the "Dragon Ball" franchise. Not that I dislike the series, it was just never my cup of tea. As a kid, I was part of the "Pokémon," "Digimon" and "Yu-Gi-Oh" boats, but I never found a huge interest in "Dragon Ball Z," or "DBZ," as some call it. That said, I fully believe that a fighting game based around the "Dragon Ball" franchise is a match made in heaven...at least on paper. While "Dragon Ball Z: Budokai" has the right idea, it just doesn't execute it well.
    Off the bat, the game really captures the feel of the show pretty well (basing this off of what little I've seen of the show, along with word-of-mouth from friends who watched the show). It really feels like I can watch these cutscenes and understand the plot of the show. I also appreciate how the game actually follows the different "sagas" of the shows, which makes it feel like it could be enjoyable even for people like me that didn't watch the show.
    Unfortunately, that's about where the positives end. Though it captures the feel of the show, it certainly isn't visually brilliant, and it's extremely easy (and rather fun) to just make jokes about the cutscenes being weirdly animated and poorly-acted. You'll also find yourself making jokes about the story and the dialogue, and worst of all, the gameplay is extremely frustrating. "Dragon Ball Z: Budokai" has all the potential in the world to be a really technical, exciting, competitive fighting game, but unfortunately, the game is weighed down by some really poor controls that fall somewhere between "bulky" and "unresponsive."
    It's clear that this game hasn't aged wonderfully and, unless you're a huge fan of the show or you really need a good laugh, you'd be a smarter person if you invested your time and money into a more interesting fighter. "Dragon Ball Z: Budokai" had some great ideas going for it, but unfortunately, it's a disappointing fighting game.
    Final rating: 4 out of 10 "Bad"
    Expand
  2. Apr 4, 2012
    7
    The story linearity is short for gamers that plays a lot in a day, for DBZ fans , consider this a punch in the face. Three important modes that will likely be in use often, the first one is the main story ( before mentioned ) , the other is the Duel one where you actually pit two players one on one and finally the best varied option is the tournament where it was used countless of times inThe story linearity is short for gamers that plays a lot in a day, for DBZ fans , consider this a punch in the face. Three important modes that will likely be in use often, the first one is the main story ( before mentioned ) , the other is the Duel one where you actually pit two players one on one and finally the best varied option is the tournament where it was used countless of times in previous DBZ games but hopefully Budokai's tournament style is the best option for those interested . Graphically Budokai is fine enough ( though this was the first and the last DBZ game to include those daunting graphics) , playability side is easy to pick in the first try . Consider this the superior DBZ fighting game, although is short on content. Expand
  3. Nov 8, 2011
    8
    Each fight in the game is harder than the one before it so hardcore gamers will like the difficulty. The fighting is fast so a lot of button mashing is required. It follows the Dragon Ball Z storyline very well. If you like fighting games, then you just might like this game.
  4. Mar 7, 2011
    8
    Dragon Ball Z: Budokai is a great fighter, with a great selection of characters, and a fun story mode, but is lacking in tournament modes and replay value, but has some pretty good multiplayer, if your a fan of the DBZ Budokai series and you want to see where it began this is a great purchase.
  5. NightmareVegetaKingVegeta
    Aug 3, 2005
    10
    This game is perfect and this is the first step of Budokai, and there are now Budokai 2, and Budokai 3. So The best of them is Budokai3, but if you like DBZ I think that you should have B1 and with Budokai 2. And have fun... I give it 10 Because it's the best of the best. See Yeah...
  6. DragonKnightofFinalFantasy
    Nov 28, 2004
    8
    This is a must buy for fans because of it's accurate story mode, tournments, skills, and the characters which are all voiced by thier American voice actors. Yet all the characters have the same button combinations for their skills (example: Vegeta's Galick Gun is punch 4x and a energy blast and Ginyu's Milky Cannon is 4 punches and an energy blast) yet some are slower and This is a must buy for fans because of it's accurate story mode, tournments, skills, and the characters which are all voiced by thier American voice actors. Yet all the characters have the same button combinations for their skills (example: Vegeta's Galick Gun is punch 4x and a energy blast and Ginyu's Milky Cannon is 4 punches and an energy blast) yet some are slower and some do more damage then others which is good . Another con is that some moves look identical to others. Yet it is still great to play, yet Soul Calibur II or Virtua Fighter IV: Evolution are both better purchases. Expand
  7. DragonFurbyZ
    Jun 14, 2004
    2
    This game lacks at least 1 powerful attack for each character. What about Android #19? Amatuer!
  8. SamC.
    Apr 2, 2004
    1
    I think that this game is boring ps i think that it is CRAP.
  9. TysonB.
    Feb 12, 2004
    3
    Looks terrible, sound terrible, and the gameplay is somewhat terrible. I heard Dragonball Z Budokai 2 Is going to be a lot better.
  10. AshMan
    Jan 14, 2004
    9
    Not as cool as Super Smash Brors melee, but it is pretty sweet. Gohan and #17 are the coolest.
  11. DaveH.
    Nov 26, 2003
    10
    The best dragon ball z game yet.
  12. Brennan_The_ShamanLester
    Nov 16, 2003
    9
    Go Goku!Great for parties!Fun for pretty much everyone!Nuff' said 4 the good things.Bad things now Lame-o graphics & some spec. moves are the same as others.
  13. B.Blaine
    Sep 16, 2003
    10
    Hee, Hee. . .awesome . . (faints from pleasure)
  14. Matt
    Aug 8, 2003
    10
    There will Be a Dragonball Z: Budokai 2 coming out this fall. I Can't wait for that! This is a GGRREEEEEEEEEEAAAATT GAME!!!!!!!!!!
  15. OwenE.
    Jul 7, 2003
    3
    Okay it is a great game and the music is amazing But i live in the United Kingdom, and this counts for prob all of Europe Why!!! Is the voices of budokai that are region 2 have Japanese voices and i heard the american version region 1 has the english voices Why! why!! why!!!! Explain! ! it pisses me off so much! that i spent the same amount of money to get a crappy japanese language that Okay it is a great game and the music is amazing But i live in the United Kingdom, and this counts for prob all of Europe Why!!! Is the voices of budokai that are region 2 have Japanese voices and i heard the american version region 1 has the english voices Why! why!! why!!!! Explain! ! it pisses me off so much! that i spent the same amount of money to get a crappy japanese language that sounds horrible and i have to read bad subtitles...its not just my game.. i know at least 4 of my friends who have it and its the same. so for me now to get english voices il have to buy a regional changer for my ps2 probarly a mod chip and re buy budokai an american version...what where these guys smoking? Expand
  16. StephanieI-A.
    Jun 9, 2003
    10
    THIS GAME ROCKS ALL YALL WHO THINK IT SUKS NEED A BRAIN CHECK.
  17. ChrisH.
    May 22, 2003
    9
    I rated this game a 9 because it is overall, a dragon ball z game, and it has intense and realistic gam play , but 2 reasons that i gave this game a 9 is because you can't jump i mean come on you can fly can't you,and that it doesn't include majin buu in it thats all ,peace out.
  18. IkabarúG.
    May 18, 2003
    10
    The best game ever!!! however, there is more story to be played! not only 3 sagas... where is majin boo? of Super sajain 3?
  19. BryonC.
    May 5, 2003
    10
    THIS IS THE BEST DBZ GAM EVER!!
  20. RichardI.
    Apr 24, 2003
    9
    First thing's first, this is the best DBZ videogame I have ever played. PROS: The graphics are superb, and the gameplay and control is great. You can use each character's signature moves and abilities. CONS: Since I AM a DBZ fan, it would have been better if it went up to the Majin Buu saga. You can't jump, or fly left and right, and they should've made it harder to First thing's first, this is the best DBZ videogame I have ever played. PROS: The graphics are superb, and the gameplay and control is great. You can use each character's signature moves and abilities. CONS: Since I AM a DBZ fan, it would have been better if it went up to the Majin Buu saga. You can't jump, or fly left and right, and they should've made it harder to beat. Overall, this game is worth every penny, and if you're a DBZ fan (and have a PS2) I recomend getting this game. Expand
  21. Goku
    Mar 4, 2003
    10
    This game rocks! its the perfect fighting game espiecely if your a die hard dragonball z fan.
  22. DannyX.
    Feb 16, 2003
    10
    It's cool and fun to play but hard to get characters.The hardes to get is the dragonballs. It is to easy to beat the game and it took me one day to beat it.
  23. QuamtarisB.
    Feb 12, 2003
    10
    This game is the bombed! It is awesome! It rocks! It bad to the bone! Will there be a Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2.
  24. RyanM.
    Feb 9, 2003
    7
    I'm a big dragonball z fan and i expected a lot more out of this game. I don't like how they didn't include the Majin Buu saga which is my favorite. The graphics are good, but they could have done a lot more with the adventure mode, which can be easily beaten in one night.
  25. EddieS.
    Jan 14, 2003
    10
    This game is awesome if your a DragonballZ Fan, I would not recommend this to anybody who does not like DBZ though. But snice I'm one this gets a ten.
  26. DBZBboby
    Jan 7, 2003
    10
    This is the best DBZ game out there and a great game overall.I realy hope that they make a sequel to this awesome game :) peace out.
  27. J.H.
    Jan 7, 2003
    7
    It's DBZ. That's all that really matters. A decent to below average fighting system. Tedious capsule collecting. A short, but fun story mode. Voice acting, solid music and earth shattering special moves wrap up the package nicely. But like it was said before, without the DBZ license, this fighting game would not be worth a purchase. Pick it up only if you are heavily into DBZ... It's DBZ. That's all that really matters. A decent to below average fighting system. Tedious capsule collecting. A short, but fun story mode. Voice acting, solid music and earth shattering special moves wrap up the package nicely. But like it was said before, without the DBZ license, this fighting game would not be worth a purchase. Pick it up only if you are heavily into DBZ... like me. Expand
  28. JohnS.
    Jan 7, 2003
    7
    I'm a dbz fan and a stickler for a good fighting game. i was torn. this is NOT up to par with even the first streetfighter game. it is very fun for a good while at least if you like DBZ. i have a lot of fun with it because i do like the characters. my biggest problem, you can't jump. i don't think i have to explain myself there. that like not being able to move left orI'm a dbz fan and a stickler for a good fighting game. i was torn. this is NOT up to par with even the first streetfighter game. it is very fun for a good while at least if you like DBZ. i have a lot of fun with it because i do like the characters. my biggest problem, you can't jump. i don't think i have to explain myself there. that like not being able to move left or something. its rediculous to not let the fighters jump, they can FLY for God's sake! let them just jump, geeeeez who came up with that anyway? no jumping, thank God you can pause the game cause im sure that was next to go on this idiots list. i'm surprised no one's tried to kill him yet! Expand
  29. JamesT.
    Jan 4, 2003
    10
    I love this game it has great graphics, fun gameplay... It's the greatest DBZ game I have played in a long time!
  30. [Anonymous]
    Dec 20, 2002
    10
    Superb - Funny, violent and entertaining, but what is with Hurcule being such a good fighter?
  31. Aznsky
    Dec 19, 2002
    9
    I think this game is still fun even if your not that into dbz and this game was a big improvement from gt final bout. and gt finaly bout is the wirst fighting game ever.
  32. TeddyBear
    Dec 16, 2002
    9
    This game is not the best game out there I can give u that but, this is the best one that Dragonball Z has put out and if you ask me I think later on it will get better for Dragon Ball Z. As far as game play its simple but never the less better then the other Dragon Ball Z games. I like this game and some of the "non DBZ fans" have loved it and now want to see the sagas. This game is a This game is not the best game out there I can give u that but, this is the best one that Dragonball Z has put out and if you ask me I think later on it will get better for Dragon Ball Z. As far as game play its simple but never the less better then the other Dragon Ball Z games. I like this game and some of the "non DBZ fans" have loved it and now want to see the sagas. This game is a must see and play. It has so much game play other then story mode and duel. Till then... Expand
  33. Ou-yung(VoiceofGoku)Suiwumn
    Dec 16, 2002
    10
    Being that I'm the voice of Goku, I absolutely love this game! If your a Dragon Ball Z fan, what are you waiting for? Go out there, steal from your parents and BUY THIS GAME NOW!!!! And don't forget to listen to my voice Mon-Fri 6:30!!
  34. DeadlyWarrior
    Dec 15, 2002
    8
    This games okay.
  35. Drag-onballbland
    Dec 14, 2002
    4
    Just put it this way; if you removed the dragon ball license. You wouldn't play this game, simple because there are far better 3d fighters on the market.
  36. GeorgeC.
    Dec 13, 2002
    9
    This is truly a good game for all the DBZ fan out there... DBZ might have be known to be a kiddy cartoon... well... American version censors alot, if ya watching the japanese version then u can c guts blowing all over the place... now DATS for kids... aint it? Stardust?
  37. ZiggyStardust
    Dec 12, 2002
    4
    Dragon Ball Z tends to be popular with very young, nerdy kids. If you fit into that category, you might like it. Most people should probably avoid playing this one though.
  38. Goku'sTrainee
    Dec 9, 2002
    10
    This Game has Excellent control and Quality. I like the Fast Pase set in the Story mode. I also like the cut scenes to. The Signiture moves look so awesome!!! Unlocking most characters will be the main goal for most fans. If this game were to come out for Xbox, alot more people would give a good rating. I love this game, and I think it is awesome how it got so much showtime even before it This Game has Excellent control and Quality. I like the Fast Pase set in the Story mode. I also like the cut scenes to. The Signiture moves look so awesome!!! Unlocking most characters will be the main goal for most fans. If this game were to come out for Xbox, alot more people would give a good rating. I love this game, and I think it is awesome how it got so much showtime even before it came out to america. All in all, I would say, If you get this game, it will be well worth it. Expand
  39. Acemebrotha5fingazyomamaVentura
    Dec 8, 2002
    0
    this is the best game i ever palyed in my life. why did i give it a 2?? CUZ thsis game is hott you can actually have sex during the game play!! can you believe it well u need game shark of course and a special combo to unlock and id say i beoive i can fly~~ i beileve i cna touch teh sky thsi si a hott gamwe!!! excellente my brotha five fingers jo wat~jo mama~~~~<^>
  40. ScorpionA.
    Dec 6, 2002
    10
    This game is awesome.. u can transform in the middle of the game (unlike GT final bout) and it's awesome.
  41. Nov 8, 2011
    8
    Each fight in the game is harder than the one before it so hardcore gamers will like the difficulty. The fighting is fast so a lot of button mashing is required. It follows the Dragon Ball Z storyline very well. If you like fighting games, then you just might like this game.

Awards & Rankings

#11 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2002
#75 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2002
Metascore
67

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. 70
    Non–Dragon Ball Z fans, however, may have a hard time not only grasping the quirky DBZ story, but also wrapping their fingers around the repetitious controls.
  2. Dramatic, hilarious and impenetrable by turn, it's a cold heart that won't be warmed by this one, but hardcore fight fans may find themselves irritated.
  3. A Dragonball fan’s dream. It is the first "true" American game based on the series, and Infogrames really came through on this one.