-by Logan Witt
After a bit of a delay, I was looking forward to a change in gaming from music games and FPS titles with a good old fashioned Dragon Ball fighter. I was actually not disappointed; my expectations weren't through the roof, but I wanted something solid. That's what I got, and as a fan, I was treated to some interesting choices.
Yes, that is Pikkon up there, and he joins an interesting cast for the newest outing. Obviously, no roster can compare with the monumental offering from Budokai Tenkaichi 3, but some of the extras tossed in among the standard fair makes things interesting. And I gotta say, the inclusion of Hatchiyack sent me into a bit of a fanboy tailspin. Androids 14 and 15 drop in for a surprise appearance, too, though I miss Eighter.
The options for customizing items and super attacks return virtually the same as in the previous foray, which I found to be solid enough. The music is the standard fair, generic, driving guitar riffs mixed with a few techno elements; nothing really different, but also not terrible. Characters have to be unlocked either through completing levels in either Battle Zone or Galaxy Mode, the latter of which is my only bone of contention here.
Battle Zone is really simple, a ladder system of four or five fights per stage that get increasingly difficult. Between each fight you're brought back to the menu to recustomize your character if you feel the need to, as it's one loss and you're back to the beginning. Battle Zone seems like an attempt at an arcade mode, and it does okay.
The online mode is standard fare, nothing grand, but the matchmaking runs really smooth, so that's a plus. There are different modes, one to allow item-usage, another not, one for friend matches, and a world tournament mode, the same as in single player, but with people (obviously).
But Galaxy Mode, well, it's different. It's a little tough for me to explain, but it's a fairly linear stage-based mode for each character, with a couple of branching pathways, but there are only very loose story elements in one or two of the dozen or so stages. It's an interesting set of scenarios, but it's not really a "story" mode, and no matter how many times it's been done and redone, it's still something I've come not only to expect, but also to enjoy. That's the only genuine "problem" I have with Raging Blast 2, and one I didn't see coming.
Raging Blast 2 is a solid title, for sure. However, the lack of a real story mode and only a slightly enhanced roster left me wanting for a bit. For anyone looking for a decent fighter, try it out. For any fans of Dragon Ball games, give it a shot. But this isn't going to change minds or win over any critics. I will say this, though, it was more fun to play than the first one; not sure why, since there was little difference, but I did seem to enjoy it more.