Dragon Ball is one of the few so called Anime series which was able to gather quiet a large fan community in Europe and the US. The Adventures of young tail wearing So-Goku and his friends in the original Dragonball were so successful that in no time Dragonball Z continued the saga, this time with a grown up Son-Goku and his son Gohan, named after Son-Gokus grandfather (the game told me that – I wouldn’t have known that myself to tell the truth).
Personally I have seen perhaps half a dozen episodes of the original and the new series and wouldn’t call myself a Dragonball expert at all. What I catched of the story was enough to give me a basic idea of what to except although: Good super fighters battle bad super fighters about various issues but most of the time about finding out who is the better super fighter. Everything wrapped up in a package of naughty and not so naughty jokes about the everydays life of a super fighter. The End.
Although I’m quiet certain that various Dragonball fans out their will now hate me for my un-respectful view at the series but forgive me - nobody is perfect.
The comics, the animated series, thousands of fan articles and here is (another) game. The real Dragonball experts among you will know out that there has been a game for the PSone already but it being only a cheap ripoff of Streetfighter with Dragonball characters put in it only the most hardcore fans among you may have heard about it or even worse bought it. But please don’t mess this game up with Dragonball: Budokai a PS2 Dragonball fighting game still in development which has nothing in common with the PSone title (well except the brand of course)!
Did you call me a carrot?
The game starts where also Dragon Ball Z starts. Son-Goku pays a visit to his old master (a perverted man who collects naughty videos and magazines) and is happy to meet his old friends again after such a long time. He also brought his little son Gohan along to meet everyone – a terrible mistake as it turns out. All of the sudden an unknown warrior appears and tries to convince Son-Goku that Gokus real name is Kakarot and that he is a Saiyan warrior just like his brother Raditz (the stranger of course) and was sent to earth many, many years ago to cleanse the planet of the pitiful human race and prepare the invasion of the Saiyan. Goku of course doesn’t wont to hear anything about this so Raditz decides that he needs to find a worthy replacement for his brother and kidnaps Goku’s son Gohan. Things get completely out of hand when Goku’s ol arch-enemy Piccolo arrives only minutes later and suggests a truce to defeat Raditz with their combined powers. All that you have to do now is to find Raditz, save your son and the universe and find out if you can trust Piccolo. You are an unbeaten super fighter after all so where is the problem?
The Legend of Z
If something is good, why change it? Dragonball Z: Legacy of Goku plays like so many other RPG games for the Gameboy systems. Players of Zelda, Final Fantasy a.k.a. Mystical Quest and for god’s sake even Pokemon will feel themselves at home at once. The controls are self explaining and navigating through the various locations from the series will be no problem for anyone.
When starting Goku’s attacks and special abilities are limited. Besides his basic punch he can launch a chargeable ball of energy and he even has some flight tokens he can use to fly very short distances. Be warned that this tokens are extremely rare and that you can only carry a small amount of them at one time.
Graphics as always remind me of good, old long gone SNES games but the environments are rich and various and present themselves in bright, strong colours. Loading screens are screen grabs from various episodes and the developers even bothered to add a nice and quiet long intro consisting of actual episode material. Taking everything into account the graphics are really not bad for a GBA game.
Speaking about sound and music on a GBA gives reviewers always a hard time. Although the speakers of the little one aren’t that bad the limitation of space on the cartridges make things like spoken text or an orchestral soundtracks be features which have yet to come. But a game like Dragonball can be fun to play anyway – even if it only uses midi like backgroundmusic and a few soundeffects here and there. Nothing more possible, nothing more needed.
Dragonball Z is a fun little RPG game which will remind you of classic games like Legend of Zelda. The better graphics of the GBA improves the gameplay compared to games for the older systems. Generally you can say this: for Dragonball fans a “must have” and for everyone else a “worth-looking-at-it” title.