Atari jumped on the Wii bandwagon early and released Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 along with the console’s launch in North America. The title was already on the PS2, but that didn’t mean that Budokai Tenkaichi 2 on the Wii wasn’t worth another look. The Wii version had a new feature, motion controls, and in early videos fans watched as a kid performed the movements for Goku’s Kamehameha. Since Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is really a game for hardcore Dragon Ball fans adding in the familiar movements seemed like a perfect match for the game. The problem is the mapped motions don’t feel like the characters and the same movements are used for all 120+ fighters.
While there is an image of a kid holding his hands out like Goku would for the Kamehameha, that isn’t exactly how you do the motion. The real movement is holding Z on the nunchuck and the B button while pulling the remote back and moving it forward. You don’t have to hold your hands out like you were shooting a giant blast of energy, in fact if you do so you might trigger Goku’s other special the Kaioken instead. Also players don’t hold both hands in the air to call a Spirit Bomb. The motion is actually a lot more simplistic you hold Z+B and move the remote off up until the cursor is off of the screen. That’s kind of disappointing, but the control scheme gets even blander because there are only a handful of movements for all of the special attacks and most of them involve moving the cursor off of the screen. The early videos over dramatized the gameplay and while you can play it that way it’s easier to stick to the movements that Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 tells you to do.
There are other instances of motion control used in the game, but most of them aren’t as functional. If you want to dash you have to shake the nunchuck instead of holding a button down. Dashing needs to be done to get out of harms way and too often it seems like it would have been easier to push a button rather than fumble with the nunchuck. Besides shaking the remote to send an enemy flying the motion controls didn’t add anything new to Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2. It’s still the same old game where you dash forward to do a rushing combo, charge up your blast meter and unleash some super moves. There’s nothing wrong with this if you’re a fan of the series, but gamers looking for a complex fighting system are going to be let down. If you are the type of gamer who wants to sit down and fight grab a few Gamecube controllers to play the game. It feels a lot more natural using buttons than shaking the remote. Perhaps DBZ would have been better if it registered players throwing punches similar to Wii Boxing.