Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 Interview

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 hits store shelves today. The follow-up to the popular Budokai Tenkaichi game, BT2 allows gamers to once again step into the role of their favorite DBZ characters, and battle it out. Through versus play and an incredibly in-depth story mode, it will be easier than ever to submerge yourself into the Dragon Ball Z universe. Recently I had the chance to interview Atari producer Donnie Clay, and ask him some questions pertaining to the Budokai Tenkaichi franchise.

Brendon Lindsey: Some critics of the first Budokai Tenkaichi game claimed it was too simplistic for true fighting game fans to be drawn into the game. What types of steps have you taken in the sequel to make sure even fighting game veterans can have a fun experience?

Donnie Clay: Each character has a ton of combos they can pull off now including aerial combos — if the player is good enough. I think the more hardcore fans will be pleased.

Speaking of hardcore fans, DBZ is one of the most popular anime series of all time. That being said, any game bearing the DBZ name is going to be under the close scrutiny of DBZ fans. Does that make it harder to develop a game, knowing that you have so many people ready to jump on any little fault they find?

It makes it more exciting to know that there’s this loyal core base of fans that are ready to either love you or criticize you for things you add or subtract from the game. We know that we can always do better, but I would rather have a group of fans that care about what we do with this franchise than to not have anyone care.

One of the new features added this time is the Evolution Z system. How exactly will that work, and can items and equipment really play that big of a difference in fights?

It’s relatively simple. You fuse items together in order to unlock other characters or special powers, and some of them enhance your fighter. The Z system is fun but not overpowering, which is how we wanted it.

With the game being released on the Wii, will it utilize the Wiimote in any way?

The Nintendo version of the game will take advantage of the unique game controller system featured with the Nintendo Wii to deliver a completely new DBZ fighting experience. Players will be able to attack with the remote controller and move characters as they like, using the controller almost as if it were a nunchaku. These controllers make Dragon Ball battles even more dramatic and exciting than ever before. To do a smash attack, for instance, hold down the attack button and swing the remote. To do a Kamehameha, twist and stab the remote while holding the Ki button. It’s just like being in the TV show.

You mentioned the TV show. Games based off of licensed material such as films, television or comics are notorious as underachievers. At the same time, there are several stellar titles out there, Budokai Tenkaichi being one of them. What do you think it will take for the stereotype to end?

Most games today are based off of some other form of successful medium of entertainment; original IPs are by far the rarity.

Well played. Anyway, right now the attack struggles are rather limited in that they only work in certain situations with certain attacks. In the future, do you think we may see attack struggles happen with a wider variety of attacks, such as rush vs explosion?

It’s something we have looked into but we don’t want it happening all the time as it does essentially stop the fight for a few seconds. Right now we are pleased with the frequency of how often it happens.

Did your team work with anyone who worked on the original DBZ material? Or were you pretty much on your own?

Well the folks over at Bandai are constantly in contact with people from Shueisha and Toei making sure everything is perfect, whereas I work more with the US licensor FUNimation.

I’m sure you guys have done your fair share of playing the game, so be honest: who’s the team champion?

That answer is so obvious! It’s me, of course.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions, Donnie. Before we let you go, I just wanted to ask one more thing: which DBZ character is your favorite, and are they also your favorite to play as in the game?

I always really liked the way Janemba looked in all his forms. He was a great mix of deadly and funny. I definitely like using him in the game as well.


Stay tuned to GamerNode in the coming days for our review of Budokai Tenkaichi 2.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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