A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast 2 is a fighting game based on Dragon Ball Z TV series that features over-the-top fight scenes. The game features no central storyline; instead, in Galaxy Mode (the title's main play mode), characters are tasked with playing through a series of missions that really just serve as opportunities for the gamer to test his skills in different combat scenarios. There's minimal blood involved. But this is a fighting game, plain and simple. The game supports unmoderated voice chat in the online fighting tournament mode, so parents of not wanting their kids talking to strangers should turn off this option by using the console's parental controls.
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What's it about?
Unlike the recently released Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag-Team, which boasted a story mode that allowed gamers to recreate the most-memorable moments from Dragon Ball Z's entire animated run, DRAGON BALL: RAGING BLAST 2 features no noticeable plot-ties to the the cartoon (save for the inclusion of seemingly every character to ever make an appearance on the show). There really isn't ANY story at all to be found within the title. Instead, each of the game's play modes creates a different set of rules and conditions for players to battle foes, with sparse intro's. Gamers seek to win a tournament, defeat an enemy under certain conditions, successfully pull off a required attack.
Is it any good?
Only the most dedicated, hardcore Dragon Ball Z fans will invest more than a few days-worth of play-time in Raging Blast 2. The game's play mechanics are beyond difficult to pick up. Learning to fly, pull off dash attacks, and simple energy blasts is easy enough. But a Dragon Ball game is all about recreating the anime series' drool-worthy mega-attacks. And unfortunately, due to the way attack types (punches, kicks, charge attacks, etc) are seemingly assigned to different parts of the controller at random, the cool moves require a level of button-pressing that is difficult to pull off. Worse still, you dont even need to master the attacks to play effectively! Gaining the upper-hand in Raging Blast 2 normally means attacking first (play defensively at your own peril), making this game a button masher's delight. Toss in a non-existent storyline, attack lists that appear to vary very little once the game's massive list of characters is unlocked, and some redundant level design, and Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 fails to measure up to the animated exploits of its heroes.
Online interaction: The game supports online fighting tournaments that allow players to battle against friends and strangers alike. Voice-chatting is also enabled. Parents of preteens and young teens might want to turn off this option by using the gaming system's parental controls.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss the game's themes of revenge and harbored grudges. Specifically, do they understand how the emotions of the heroes, whose negative feelings for fallen foes are used to recreate those villains, are manipulated by the central villain?
Why is it so hard for the good guys to let go of past grudges? Has there ever been a moment or situation where you found it hard to forgive someone for something they did? How did you end up moving past it, and what advice would you give to Goku?
Instead of fighting the reincarnated bad guys, what do you think might have happened if the Z-Team told the evil doer's "I forgive you," and walked away? Since the bad guys were fueled by negative energy, would they have been able to continue terrorizing Goku and his friends?
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