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.