Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World - PS2 - Preview
Superman may be more powerful than a speeding bullet, but only Gohan and Goku have what it takes to defeat the likes of Frieza. If those names ring a bell, then you already know the story – it has been retold in video games for the past several years (and was once shown daily on Cartoon Network). But like any soap opera, Dragon Ball Z is a tale that doesn’t want to be forgotten. With the latest chapter, Burst Limit, DBZ is off to a great start on PS3 and Xbox 360. PlayStation 2 owners shouldn’t feel abandoned, however, as they will receive one more DBZ tale this fall – Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World.
Taking place in what appears to be the same timeframe as the previous DBZ titles, Infinite World is unique in that it’s the first Dragon Ball game to utilize a third-person action game perspective. This isn’t a new format for the series and does not overtake the traditional side-by-side combat, which is still intact. Rather, there are new stages – brief missions, really – where you’ll have to enter a 3D world to complete specific tasks.
Among the missions are several one-on-one battles (they appear to dominate the game, as always), an unlikely shooter, and a timed assignment where you must run through several rings before the clock runs out. The rings are dispersed along the classic dragon-shaped platform that Goku once traveled across in the anime series. Taking cues from the Mario 64/Mario Galaxy rabbit-catching mini-game, Infinite World challenges players to capture Bubbles – the ape-like creature from the series. He runs around, squeaking and squealing like a chicken, and drops banana peels like some kind of trap-setting fool. Those banana peels create a slippery surface that, when walked on, will cause Goku to lose his balance, making it harder to capture the furry fiend.
However, the objective wasn’t that obvious at first. In all my years watching Dragon Ball Z and playing the DBZ games, I somehow forgot (or perhaps never knew) that Bubbles was the name of a character. So when the objective read, “Capture Bubbles,” I ran around the screen for two minutes, looking for transparent balls filled with air. If Bubbles could have read my thoughts and reacted, I’m sure he would have laughed uncontrollably.
Infinite World is aiming to be a game of variety, and with that variety comes some unexpected inclusions, such as a mini-game where you shoot bricks with Goku’s power. The concept is that Goku is trying to hone his battle skills by destroying a moving target. But the reality for the player is that you have a cursor (controlled by the left analog stick) and must aim and fire to take out the bricks.
The one-on-one battles might surprise some players in that they are a little slower and less hectic than the previous Dragon Ball Z games, apparently following in the footsteps of the PS3 and Xbox 360 offering. Combos are easy to learn and execute, especially with a command list available from the pause screen, and the fact that most combos involve button iterations, not a bunch of rolling motions. (Which have their place when done right but are not easy to implement.)
Musically and visually, Infinite World seems to be at the same level as the previous Dragon Ball Z games were for PlayStation 2. Each world is rendered in the classic environments of the DBZ universe, a few of which are visible in these screenshots. Some of the 3D stages lack background depth, but the one-on-one environments are still fairly deep and attractive. For the mission mode, the developers added a 2D map for players to run around and select their objectives, with story details occasionally preceding them.
Hitting stores this November, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World could be just the thing to keep PS2 owners happy until they’re able to upgrade to a new console. We’ll have more in the coming weeks, so keep your browser pointed to GameZone for the latest on DBZ’s newest adventure.