Looks great, but gameplay epicly lags behind.
Back when Zarbon was alive he said, "Beauty is only skin deep." That is how I feel about DBZ Burst Limit, because the game is lovely on the outside but ugly everywhere else. Lets start the review.
The story is the same as the anime. The cutscenes are great, but that is about it. You don't feel like you are interacting with the story at all. The boss battles don't feel epic at all. The DBZ team could have benefited from watching some of the quick time events from Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm. Battles with quick time events seem to capture the essence of anime quite well. The only purpose to playing the story is to unlock drama pieces. I will get into the drama pieces shortly. And why and the heck does Atari/Namco Bandai have so much trouble with keeping Cell's voice consistent during gameplay. In the cutscenes cell's voice matches the forms he take, but the voices are still off during gameplay. When I first noticed that as I played the cell saga I was unpleasantly shocked.
The graphics is the only great thing about this game. The character models look great. The use of color and cell shading was perfect. To make a long story short this game is great eye candy.
Barry Burton said it best. Oh my god! The gameplay in this game is horrible. You would think they would follow a formula similar to budokai 3 and improve on it. However, they failed to do that.
The developers decided to take elements from the PSP Budokai games. Why is that bad? Here is why. The PSP versions of Budokai never had beam clashes. And the ultimates were no longer ultimate. In the ps2 version of Budokai 3, the ultimate attacks were unique for each character and did a nice job of keeping the feel of the anime. Some ultimates in budokai 3 actually destroyed the entire area you fought on. Seeing explosions from space after a successful ultimate was quite a sight to see. The ultimates on the PSP versions have no style at all.
The psp version of Budokai also lacked an attack mode similar to the dragon rush on the ps2 game. The dragon rush was a rock- paper- scissors game that involved knocking your opponent in the air and pummeling your opponent until the victim escapes or suffers the finishing strike. Some characters even had a unique finishing attack that you can add to your customization slots. I know the use of rock-paper-scissors isn't a good thing to some gamers, however it added suspense.
Now, lets move on the actual Burst Limit gameplay.
You can't customize your characters with different moves. You can only customize scenes called drama pieces. If you take so much damage or complete some kind of task, then the drama piece becomes active. It is not a special move, but a cutscene that exchanges words Dragonball Z style and enhances the character's ability in some way. The problem here is the fact that the cutscenes constantly interferes with gameplay. And there isn't any unique drama pieces for each character.
You can't power up in this game. What!! Instead you get a power meter. The length of the power meter depends on the super move you choose. Here is the problem. The power meter is too forgiving. People can spam special moves easily and the same goes for supers with short power meters.
Here is why powering up creates balanced gameplay. Powering up to store energy forces players to think about power management, because you get punished for over using your abilities in one way or another.
You can't teleport counter supers. What!! That is just stupid! In Dragonball Z, powerful attacks are dodged all the time. Just because it is a super doesn't mean it can't be dodged. Dodging supers creates strategy and openings.
You get tired after 3 teleport counters. What! Come on! That is stupid as well. There is a fatigue meter in the game. This feature is broken though, because one teleport counter drains a big chunk of it. In Budokai 3, you have fatigue, however fatigue only sets in when you take too much damage or depleted your energy after a failed attempt to use the dragon rush. In Budokai 3, you can teleport counter as long as you have enough energy to do it.
Strong attacks have too much priority over light attacks. It takes three hits from a weak attack to over power a strong attack. And this happens without charging the strong attack.
The replacement for dragon rush is a joke. All you do is randomly teleport and punch at high speed. It lacks variety.
There is something called the fatal blow, however there is nothing fatal about it. You just float away into white space after an explosion, which is the same for every character. Oh, the body is still there too. That doesn't sound fatal at all.
Transformations are there, but the transformations really doesn't change anything. In Budokai 3, transformations had a purpose because you can only perform certain super attacks at certain levels.
Finally, you can't customize special moves and attributes in Burst Limit.
In Budokai 3, you unlock character specific moves and add them to customization slots for each character. This paved the way for Budokai 3, because they made some really cool moves and enhancements. For example, Vegeta has a special transformation move you can unlock. This move activates when you lose a certain amount of health. Vegeta falls and then a cutscene occurs. The cutscene shows Vegeta letting the wizard Bibidi transform him into Majin Vegeta! And Vegeta's move set has attacks that are unique to that form!
There is online, but sadly it lags.
This game was a waste of 60 dollars. This game was only selling the name, because most of the gameplay elements were broken. The only plus was the look, but no one wants to buy a game with horrible gameplay.
If you have a PS2 and never played DBZ Budokai 3, then I suggest you pick that game up, because you will have a ball playing it and get more out of it.
This game deserves a 5.0 out of 10.0.