Story Line (3 out of 5)
Basically, this latest edition of the DBZ franchise for consoles is along all of the other story lines out there: you play out the hundreds of episodes from beginning to end throughout the "Dragon Mission" mode. Here, the game designers have taken the show itself and condensed it down into a mission mode where you will go through the Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z story lines. You will fight all of the same mega battles that they have in the shows, including Vegeta, Cell, Buu, and Frieza. For those that are fans of the show, you will get to watch a short clip before and after boss fights. But, for those that don’t watch it, or just aren’t that familiar with it all, you’ll be lost with these clips. Now, the bosses do get harder as you go along in the game, so make sure that you are using your money that your toon earns to upgrade your gear as often as you can. You play as Goku and you have to travel along the map until you come across minigames and battles with foes. The game itself is overall based on the show. So, for those that aren’t familiar with Dragon Ball Z, you either need to watch the show a bit or just don’t pick this title up. There really is no in between here. Without a bit of a background into DBZ, you’ll be completely lost.
Game Play (3 out of 5)
There are three different modes that you can play Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World in: mission, duel, and the Fighter’s Road. Of course, the mission is basically the story mode of the game, and it takes you through both the Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z story lines (which is taking about a hundred different episodes from the show and condensing them down into this story line). During the mission mode, you will travel around until you get into a battle. If you don’t like the outcome of a certain battle, you can always go back and reply it though, which is really nice.
The battles that you win will give you money, or Zeni, so that you can get the upgrades you need to fight the bosses. To do this, you’ll visit the Warrior’s Room shop and use the Zeni that you’ve earned to purchase what you want. Since the game gets harder, you’ll want to make sure that you are upgrading your gear as much as you can so that you’re prepared for boss fights. One part of this game that ruins your game play is that the boss strategies are really not that different. For example, you can basicall use the same strategy over and over and take down the bosses as you come to them. There is nothing different really that you can learn or practice to defeat a special boss.
As for the other modes, such as the Dragon Duel, you will have a bit more fun. This is the two-player mode of Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, and you can either play with a friend or play against the computer. The good thing about this is that you can actually choose from over 40 different toons from the game, you aren’t restricted to just one. You can also customize this toon with different power-ups from the Warrior’s Room or you can just use the base stats that the game sets for them.
The last mode is the Fighter’s Road, where you will fight against over 100 different foes – but you can only get to this mode after you have completed the mission mode. Good part about this mode? While you still guide one toon through the map, you can unlock new toons in the game and earn a ton of Zeni for yourself. So, for a secret level/mode after you’ve completed the first mode, it’s pretty cool.
Overall, the game is all about combat and fighting the enemies in the show. You will find that you’ll have a mass of different moves, attacks, and defenses for your toon, and you can buff these up in the Warrior’s Room shop as well. You will learn quickly the different ways to defeat opponents, and to keep an eye on your fatigue meter, as letting this meter reach full will actually stun you. The fights are really fast though, so you do have to be on your toes or you can find yourself losing really quickly.
The overall game play is pretty hard, and you can easily find yourself losing even if you are on the ball though, so practice is the key here. And, what really isn’t fair, is that the AI of the game will get harder as you go along. This makes the game almost too hard in some areas, and kids will get frustrated with this part of the game pretty quickly. You can set the game to different modes, such as "Very Easy" to help ease the difficulty a bit, which I would recommend at first. Now, the foes that you’ll fight don’t get easier, they are just the same as if you play in another mode. The main difference is that your health and the like will not deplete as fast and your Ki will recharge faster.
Mini Games (1 out of 5)
In DBZ: Infinite World, there are several mini games that will also allow you to go through some of the show with your toon. You’ll get to guide Goku in the "Snake Way", capture Bubbles the Monkey, and plenty of other fun areas from the show that won’t actually have you in combat. In my opinion, these are a great way to break up the monotonomy of the game overall, as you can easily take a break and play a mini game to get out of fighting all the time. But, the problem with them is that they are really simple and weren’t designed very well. So, you will find yourself getting bored with these mini games pretty easily as well. There are a ton of these mini games in DBZ though, so it’s hard to not get bored with them pretty quickly.
Warrior’s Room Shop (4 out of 5)
This is a great addition to the game and will actually allow you to purchase upgrades, boosts, and more. You can easily up the level of your toon’s skill with a few well bought items, and you will gain the Zeni (money) to buy them as you go through the game. Every battle will gain you some money, even if you lose, which is a good thing. Stronger Ki attacks, increasing your overall health, and the ability to recharge your health while you are fighting are all great items to buy in the shop, and as long as you edit your toon before your next fight, you can use these new abilities and powers to help you win.
Too Much Like Previous DBZ Games (1 out of 5)
Now, in my opinion, this Dragon Ball Z game is too much like Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. Maybe this is because these were both developed by Dimps. But, I would recommend DBZ: Budokai 3 over Infinite World since the latter doesn’t bring the great mechanics of fighting the battles as Budokai 3 does. Since Infinite World doesn’t offer these hard hitting mechanics, it feels more like a sequel to Budokai 3 which fans may not like as much.
Graphics (5 out of 5)
Here is where the game gets back up again. The graphics and anime work are just as superb as the other DGZ games that are out there so you don’t have to worry about any part of the graphics lagging behind. The lines are very clear, the colors are great, and visually, it’s just fun to play. The graphics are also extremely close to the show overall, (just like the other games out there in the DBZ line), so there are times that you will feel like you are playing out the show. This is great for DBZ fans, as you easily get to see what it would be like to live the show.
Sounds (4 out of 5)
Now, to me, this part is great – you can actually chose between English and Japanese when you play. This is awesome, as those that are familiar with the story overall will love the Japanese tracks. Those that aren’t familiar with the story will get confused though, so best to leave it on English. I just think it’s cool that you actually have a choice in this game and not just the base voice or sound bytes that are in all the other games.
Overall (2 out of 5)
Overall, for those that are fans of DBZ, you might want to pick up Infinite World. It’s normally priced pretty cheap, as compared to other PS2 games out on the market right now, but this doesn’t completely make up for the difficulty that the game presents to gamers. For younger PS2 gamers, I would recommend that you go with a different version of the Dragon Ball Z franchise, such as Budokai 3, as Infinite World is really difficult to play and learn and this only gets harder the higher you level.