ANOTHER DRAGONBALL ARTICLE WILL?! Well I guess now is just the time… With the new arc of Super on its way, FighterZ season 2 hitting the markets and the Broly Movie raking in more money than any previous anime movie, it’s just a good time to be a Dragonball fan either new or old.
Most notably was the announcement of Project Z, a brand new Dragonball RPG set during the timeframe of the main series canon. So why does this even matter? The market is saturated with Dragonball right now, so another new game doesn’t seem all that special. Now, that would be the case if it WASN’T an RPG. In amongst all of the games this series has spawned, very few have actually been RPGs. Let’s face it – Dragonball clearly lends itself more to fighting games than anything else, so most of the back catalogue is made up of 2D or 3D fighters.
Of course there HAVE been a few Dragonball RPGs in the past, and that’s why I’m so hyped for this announcement! The first one I remember playing was Dragonball Z: Legacy of Goku 2; anyone familiar with this GBA classic will know why this had a Kamehameha-like impact on me! LoG2 was just rad! Taking the role of the main warriors of the Android and Cell Arcs, including Goku, Gohan and Future Trunks, you explored a fairly large world map going from place to place kicking the shit out of dogs (Now that I think of it out of context, that doesn’t sound right…), bandits, dog bandits, and of course the occasional android in a top-down perspective with some adorable pixel sprites of the main series characters! The most fun I had though was with the levelling system allowing you to channel points into strength, speed or energy. Of course though this being an RPG, you could cheese the system… And I’m talkin, real cheesy; like average American meal cheesy. I vividly remember that I grinded the HIFL out of Gohan until he was as strong as I could make him through peon enemies alone before the final boss fight, since obviously he would be the main fighter there, then just before I stepped through the last gate I boosted him even further with all of the permanent stat boosters I’d saved throughout the game. The little 11 year old Saiyan was suddenly more jacked than Arnie in the 80s and I walked over Cell like he was just another bug even BEFORE I had a chance to go Super Saiyan 2 and beat his ass with canon on my side!
After Legacy I decided I wanted to try another Dragonball series RPG, so took the advice of a friend and booted up Attack of the Saiyans on my Nintendo DS. In contrast to Legacy of Goku, that operates like an action game with enemies in the overworld, Attack of the Saiyans is more like JRPGs of old with the movement taking place in an overworld and battles being a turn based affair in a separate screen – These battles are the highlight of the experience with some amazing character art, and the attacks you dish out all being incredibly cinematic for a game that was out during the early stages of the DS’ life. With a story being a retelling of Z’s first arc, the Saiyan saga, all culminating in a final fight with series regular Vegeta. The problem with the game however was that the final Vegeta fight was piss easy – All this build up and you can walk all over him if you spent maybe 10 minutes grinding beforehand. Really takes the edge off, but at least leads to some unintentional comedy when the fight is paused for Vegeta to gloat about how much he’s dominating…
As you can see the history of Dragonball RPGs is pretty varied, but it’s hard not to be excited at the prospect of a new one – So far we haven’t been shown much of Project Z aside from some cutscenes and a promise of an in depth RPG experience; we don’t even know what sort of gameplay to expect just yet, but that doesn’t stop my little nerd heart from beating faster in anticipation! Or that could just be all the energy drinks and coffee… Either way I can’t wait to jump into another game with wholesome hero Goku and friends, because no matter how many times I see this same story I can’t see myself EVER getting bored of it!