Available: November 2003.
Developer: Dimps
Publisher: Atari

Answered by Naoki Eguchi, European Operations Manager at Bandai Europe

What new features appear in this sequel that are sure to get Dragon Ball Z fans pumped with excitement?

I believe no matter how absorbing, interesting, and original a game is, if the visual and graphics of the game are not captivating, of just a mundane quality, people would not grab a controller and actually play it. But I have to say, in this Budokai 2, you cannot help noticing the awesomely high quality of Dragon Ball Z’s 3D graphics. You will love it! We created an entirely new system to bring the game to life. Now the player can experience Goku just as he is in the cartoon series, or even “control him as he/she wishes”, so it’s really exciting.

As you know, the original Budokai was meant to bring the players into the world of Dragon Ball Z, so they could experience the story they know. This was pretty successful as such. However, this time, we are introducing a much more exciting new mode called Dragon World, where no specific story has to be followed and lots of freedom is allowed. In this mode, you are expected to be the one who creates the story. It’s your Dragon ball Z story, and nobody else’s! Budokai 2 has an irresistible attraction, and leaves you with the most exhilarating feelings you’ve ever had when playing.

Which characters can you fight as out of the 34 that appear in the game?

You will be able to use about 30 characters when the game is released. We even have new characters in hand that’ll be a great surprise to you. Moreover, there are various fusion characters that’ll appear during a battle. So you may feel you have more than 30 characters that you can use.

Can you tell us a bit about the new character fusions, and how they work?

Fusion of course means two characters fuse together into another character.
This can be done by pressing certain button combinations. Do you
remember the scene in the cartoon where Goten and Trunks were practicing ‘Fusion’? Well, actually, it’s not that easy to perform ‘Fusion’ as you may have noticed from the scene. It’s quite possible ‘Fusion’ doesn’t succeed during a battle, but this doesn’t simply mean it’s failed. In Budokai 2, you have to continue fighting until a weird creature comes into being as a result of the ‘Fusion.’ So this is like kind of a double-edged sword, if you like: that is, if you succeed ‘Fusing’, the power of a character is outrageously strong, but if you fail, you know ... I guess I don’t need to say this. It isn’t an exaggeration if I say the Fusion’s outcome is the key to a battle.

How is the new single-player Dragon Mode structured? Also is it story-led, and if so what’s the basic plot?

As the name indicates, the Dragon World mode is a mode where “the player can experience the world of Dragon Ball Z.” In this mode, the player is expected to collect all seven Dragon Balls hand in hand with Goku’s friends in the world. This mode also contains traditional RPG elements. We hope you’ll enjoy this mode, where a fighting game meets with a RPG. Moreover, there is no single story in this mode. Depending on who you fight with at a given point at a given time, depending on who you use in the mode, the story can change a thousand times. We want the players to create their own story with their hands! Every time you play the game, a different and entirely new Dragon Ball Z world awaits you.

Can you highlight some of the special moves that’ll appear this time around?

I can recommend one special move. All characters have their own highest level of special moves. It is absolutely the highest and strongest move. The one I can tell you here is “Videl's Close Call” by Videl. Videl and Gohan fight together and blast the opponent. All team members love this move.

What’s your favourite feature in the game?

Well ... there are two. One is, I’d have to say, is the graphics are greatly improved from the original Budokai.

The other is Dragon World where the player weaves his/her own drama. The characters that are created using “Toonshade,” produced exclusively for Dragon ball Z, made the game as hot as technically possible at every single level, including battle scenes and special game effects. Having been engaged in the production of Budokai 2, I was made to realize again that the pure shock a game can produce is not from logic but simply from the graphics and visual images that the game presents.

The Dragon World mode is filled with “ifs” which we couldn’t incorporate into Budokai 1. The mode can hopefully answer a lot of “ifs” DBZ-addicts may have: like “what’s gonna happen if I do this here?”, “what shall happen to Dragon Ball Z World if I fight a battle that doesn’t exist in the original cartoon?” etc. The mode could reveal a startling ending too. I could never be bored playing as it always turns out to be different. I can play a zillion times!!