Dragon Dragon, Rock the Drag-on Dragooon Baaaaall Zeeeee
The biggest change were the basic mechanics of the game. Instead of Punch and Kick, you now get Rush(weak) and Smash(Strong) attacks, the Smash Attack being comboable from Rush attacks, and can be charged. Special moves got reduced to 3 per character, Back+Ki and Forward+Ki are the special attacks, while Up+Ki produces the Ultimate attack, which consume 5 stocks of the Ki bar. Pressing Down+Ki is the Transformation, if your character has one. This also means that the whole Capsule System was scrapped, thankfully, since you now get a full moveset from the outset. Regarding transformations, probably due to the PSP's limitations, you can only have one. Which means that when you pick Goku, you either pick SSJ1, SSJ2, SSJ3 or SSJ4, and you go from Base Goku to the form you picked. You still get a Guard button, and tapping it alongside the directional pad towards your opponent, makes you dodge their attacks and appear behind them. Lastly, there are new Burst Aura mechanics tied to the R Button, you can grant yourself invulnerability, chase attacks, sidestep faster, stunning attacks and enter a Super Armor mode. All these new mechanics... you must learn by yourself. The manual doesn't have any information about them, and there is no tutorial, maybe the game expects you to come from Shin Budokai 1? Regardless, you must learn this by yourself.
The story is terrible, yes, but what about the mode itself? Most "stages" on each chapter place you on a field, in which enemy units target you or cities. You fly around and when you make contact with an enemy unit, you engage on a 1 on 1 battle. You can also heal yourself, and the cities, by standing over them This mode is impossibly repetitive, they usually resort to having you fight the same enemies over and over again. Sometimes the enemies have Senzu beans which double as lives... so you must fight them again. Chapter four is the worst by far, each mission in the chapter has you fighting the same Meta-Cooler enemies, and in one mission, you have to survive 300 seconds of endless Meta-Cooler clones. The fights are not terribly hard, they are just terribly boring! Plus, every time you engage an enemy, they have to trade one liners with your character, then fight, and after there is another winner... another one liner. These dialogue bubbles can be skipped by pressing start, but they still take 2-3 seconds to load before you can skip them, coupled with how many times you have to fight the same enemies over and over again.... it's quite vexing.
The overall presentation is excellent, character models are bright, colorful and detailed, and they move just as they did in the Budokai series. Movement and action is very smooth, with rare instances of slowdown when using the Aura to parry certain beam attacks. The game offers dual voice acting, English and Japanese, I can't speak for the English dub, but the Japanese dub is spot-on. Music is all taken from the Budokai series, I never cared too much for the Budokai music, but it's alright.
Without having to endure such a tedious Story Mode to unlock everything, the game might've beeen more enjoyable as a whole, as the fast, smooth revamped gameplay is very entertaining. Not having a conventional VS CPU mode sucks, but there are plenty of Single Player modes to occupy your time.
7.5 out of 10.