Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2

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Monk Ed
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Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2

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Postby Monk Ed » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:06 am

(Topic title will get broader as needed as/if discussion evolves.)


After this post I figured I should put my money where my mouth is and actually look to see if any game that's come out since Raging Blast 1 (which I played and was unimpressed by) satisfies at least some of the requirements I set for what I'd consider a worthy successor to Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Checking online, I saw Raging Blast 2 as the most promising, having an acceptable character/form list and feature list, so I bought it with a minimum of checking (and a memory of its demo) and simply hoped for the best.

And I am blown the fuck away.

This game... This game! With the exception of the character roster, this one seems like it has everything I ever dreamed I'd want in a DBZ fighting game since Budokai 3. In-game transformations? Check! In-game fusions with appropriate team members? Check! Move sets customizable not only per character but per form? Check! Gone are the days of separating "Goku (early)", "Goku (mid)", etc, into separate characters; now there's just Goku and you can customize his moves to be like any of those as you please or any mishmash between them as desired, which is exactly what I desired when I was playing BT3.

Galaxy Mode is giving me all I care for out of the single-player experience. I've played through the story of Dragon Ball enough times now to not care about playing through it again; I'm happy to just play through a series of battles that unlock more shit for me to play around with, and this gives me exactly that. You can't imagine the thrills I felt playing through Goku's Galaxy mode tonight up to the first boss battle (which was legitimately hard!), earning new supers and equippable items with every fight and having my jaw drop whenever I got a big one like an item changing the Spirit Bomb from the "Early Goku" version to the "Mid Goku" version.

All of this icing rests atop the substantial cake that is the same basic gameplay taken from BT3 (and Raging Blast 1) spruced up with yet more goodness. The control scheme has been rearranged in a way that I still need to get used to (old finger habits die hard and the combos are just similar enough to throw me off at times), but I think it comes together much better for the changes. BT3 sometimes felt like they were running out of places to put certain functions (seriously, you double-tap the dash button to perform a throw) but RB2 finds clever ways to group functions so that the controls are simpler in layout even as they've been expanded to let you do even more than in BT3.

The only change in gameplay from BT3 that stands out to me as a possible negative is the elimination of the Blast 1/Blast 2 distinction; in BT3 you had not only health and ki as you'd expect, but a third resource awkwardly called "Blast stock" represented as dots that would be replenished with time and were expended with certain moves ("Blast 1" moves, as opposed to ki-consuming supers which were designated "Blast 2") but, perhaps more importantly, were also required to transform or perform Ultimates. With this resource erased, everything now simply costs ki -- which makes transformations and Ultimates a lot easier to do and really messes with their balance.

But even this doesn't bother me too much because everything else that RB2 offers is just that much more important to me. I approach the fights in these games less as challenges to overcome (even though that's plenty welcome too) and more as storytelling tools or finger/reflex exercises. Even back in BT3 I put constraints on myself in certain fights (some soft, some hard) and saw the potential abuses of the system more as a way to make sure the story I wanted to tell would go the way it's supposed to* than as something I'd do by default. The first thing I did when I booted up the game was to go straight into versus mode and pick a series of battles telling my own little story about a downfall and return of Broly. :lol:

* "The way it's supposed to" meaning, with my character winning, not because I "have" to win but because controlling the character who should lose and letting the CPU beat me is boring.

Well, what a surprise this turned out to be -- I think I've found (most of) what I was looking for after all. It definitely takes a few steps back from BT3, and, don't get me wrong, some of those missing characters and forms and the removal of Blast stock are actually pretty big deals to me, but Raging Blast 2 just offers so much that I wished BT3 had, while still retaining most of what I liked about it.

Granted, it's early, so I might be overreacting -- this is just my first night with the game, after all. But wow does it show promise. For the time being, at least, I've been gleefully unlocking more and more customizations and characters and thus far I've been wowed several times with more than I thought I'd bought into with my mere $30.

Which actually fills me with a kind of dread, paradoxically -- because I feel like this will be the last time I will get anything this close to that ideal I've dreamed of. In fact, between BT3 and RB2, all the pieces have been introduced and all that would have been left would be for Spike to mash them together, or at least keep RB2's features and gameplay while expanding its roster (I do like SSJ4 Goku's design...). But instead, judging by its DB wiki entry, Ultimate Tenkaichi removed what I see as essential characters/forms (such as reducing Broly to just his Legendary Super Saiyan form), and I fear that that game was the last shot for any game resembling BT3 to this degree. What happened, Spike? :crybaby:

In the meantime, I expect (or at least hope) I'm going to have a lot of fun with this game.
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