Ah.... HD collections. The new black.
In this console generation, videogame publishers have found a way to make extra cash by releasing HD collections, counting on players' nostalgia.
Some of these HD collections have been done correctly, like the Metal Gear Solid HD collection, but some have been downright terrible, such as the Silent Hill HD collection.
The Dragon Ball Z Budokai games are not really regarded as classics though, but are immensely popular with the fans of the animé series.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 is regarded by many as the best game in the series and is included in the Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD collection, along with the first Budokai.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai is a one-on-one fighting game that lets you play through the timeline of some of the earlier Dragon Ball Z adventures in its main story mode. It also features a VS mode, a knock out tournament mode, a practice mode as well as an items shop where you can buy skills and of course, items.
In the story mode you can earn money by completing challenges to use in the item shop. You can also unlock additional characters to use in the VS and tournament modes by defeating them in the story mode.
Combat is handled by stringing together combos of punches and kicks as well as special techniques such as the "Kamehameha". Gameplay is a bit clunky though, with combos not always appearing when they should. The fighting system is also a bit shallow and gets quite repetitive.
The remastered HD graphics look good, even if the backgrounds are a bit barren.
If you're not a Dragon Ball Z fan, expect to get lost in the story as the cutscenes are very poorly done. Thankfully Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 makes up for all the original's shortcomings.
A collection of two halves
First off, DBZ Budokai 3 sports a nice cel-shaded graphics engine which looks great when upscaled in HD. The biggest improvement over the original however, is the improved combat system, making the fights much closer to those seen in the animé series, with more complex combos and abilities that gel together in a much more smoother fashion than the original.
The story mode is also a bit different in the sense that you can choose to different characters' stories from the get go, with open world areas to explore for your next fight or to find hidden bonus items.
The story once again follows the events of the Dragon Ball Z animé but is told much better than the first one. There's a lot of content here and tons of unlockables to find. Needless to say, fans will be spending most of their time with Budokai 3 in this collection.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD collection is an anomaly. Why include the very similar Budokai 1 and Budokai 3 and not the very different Budokai 2 with its chess board style story mode?
Budokai 1 is completely redundant in this collection. Why not include the Shin Budokai games found on the PSP?
I would only recommend this to fans of Dragon Ball Budokai 3 who long to play it and no longer have access to their Playstation 2 console.
At R500 though, it's a tough sell for what's in the package. I would suggest getting this second-hand or spend the money on Asura's Wrath instead (which is reasonably cheap nowadays anyway).
Score: 6 out of 10