|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Dimps||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
Theres something to be said about a franchise that never seems to lose the desire to retell the same story over and over. Its no surprise Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World handles the story mode the same way other DBZ games have in the past, by telling the adventures of the Z Fighters from the beginning of the Saiyan Saga all the way through the epic GT story arcs and beyond. Infinite World really offers no surprises for fans of the series. While most might find this a bit cumbersome, I, on the other hand, love when a great story is retold in different ways.
This is one way that Infinite World delivers in spades. Even though there are strong similarities to the first entry in the Budokai series, it really seems fresh after missing the past six Dragon Ball Z games on the PS2. Instead of just monotonous fights one after another, sometimes you will be faced with tasks you have to complete in order to progress the story mode. For example, fans know that Goku traveled Snake Way after his death during the battle with his brother Radditz, and here you can relive that part of the show, minus the journey to H.E.L.L. or the brief stop at Princess Snakes, and it doesnt take nearly as long as it did during the show. So, you wont find yourself cursing the television telling Goku to hurry up before all his friends die.
In addition to Snake Way, there are other memorable moments from the show that you can relive. Gokus training aboard the Capsule Corp ship on his way to Namek, chasing Bubbles on King Kais Planet, and even playing as Krillin trying to hold off Frezia as long as you can. While most of these are great for the fans of the show, its definitely possible that if someone new to the series picked up this obvious fighter, they would be more annoyed than gracious for the fan service. There are also some memorable moments that you are forced to relive that some might think are pointless and bothersome, like the inspired moment when Videl first learned to control her Ki to fly.
I do have one other gripe about the story mode to make. When you first begin, you play strictly as Goku. After you complete this extremely short aspect of the story, you have to go back through and play as various characters in specific moments of the story in order to move along. This becomes an extreme pain when you arent used to playing with certain characters and then have to visit the Warriors Room to upgrade their skills to even have a chance; it almost always seemed a pointless use of Zeni that I could have put towards something else.
In an attempt to balance this out, certain items can be used by all the characters. Fighters Body is one of the ability capsules you can get and level up throughout the game until it is maxed. Before each fight, you have the option to edit your skills and place this ability on whomever you have to control in that certain fight. This was a great way to level the playing field when using characters you would normally not use. The only time you have to worry about the characters is when it comes to their special abilities and tray slots. The tray slots are more for enabling extra abilities, but they are definitely something to be mindful of. The special abilities, however, are character specific, and once you have one ability leveled up to the max, you dont have to worry about it again for that character. But, it does take at least one fight of getting your senzu bean handed to you to figure out that a 100 point damage Kamehamea Wave doesnt stack up to a 1000 point damage Kamehamea Wave.
Speaking of the skill shop and various capsules, there is one thing that I adored, the lack of having to mix and match certain capsules together in order to unlock a specific character. Instead of this annoying system, you have to purchase the characters you want, the cool battlegrounds (personal favorite: Grandpa Gohans House), and even various costumes for the characters. Theres also an extra difficulty setting you can obtain, though I must mention a few hardcore Z fighters I know had some difficulty on even the regular setting. So, this is strictly for the quick-thumbed with an impressive memory for combos. One final thing you can purchase in the shop is Fighters Road.