Dragon Ball Z: Goku Gekitouden
Review by Vegita
"With action and graphics straight from the manga..."
Sound Effects: 8/10
Play Control: 7/10
Group Enjoyment: 5/10
Individual Enjoyment: 7/10
Gokuu Gekitouden, the second Dragon Ball game for the Gameboy, follows the storyline of Dragon Ball from the arrival on the planet Namek to the defeat of Freeza. Throughout the game you control Gokuu; his son, Gohan; Gokuu's best friend, Kuririn; Gohan's teacher and best friend, Piccolo; and Vegita, Gokuu's arch-nemesis. Using graphics straight out of the manga, this game aims to please RPG and fighting buffs alike! So, does it pull it off?
This game is amazing! The plot picks right off where Gokuu Hishouden left off. You touch down on Namek with Gohan and Kuririn, and travel on the screen from left to right (or right to left) moving from the camp where Bulma is to various locations. Meanwhile, Vegita and Freeza are traveling around on Namek as well, vying for the Dragon Balls so they can make a wish for immortality! The plot, to say the least, is dead on. The fights are beyond inventive, and the graphics are superb. EXCELLENT!
Actually, I couldn’t find any, except I wanted to fight as Vegita more. The little mini games are tedious, such as Gohan swimming underwater to try to find a Dragon Ball or flying away from Dodoria, but it’s really not so bad. The flying away from Dodoria is pretty bad, since if you fail, then you have to fight him…and he’s got a considerably higher Power rating than you (Gohan = about 3000. Dodoria = 22000).
Superb. Outside of battle, the graphics are small and cutesy, save for when you're in a conversation (everyone has lots of facial expressions). As for IN a battle, you get to see pictures of your character and the enemy shooting around, attacking, defending, etc. And it's all straight from the Manga, so how can you possibly go wrong?
If you've played the Gameboy, then you know that sound effects are not it's forte. This game has a good number, and they actually sound good! Punching, blocking, it all sounds good and somewhat accurate (except for the Ki attacks...I don't really know WHAT they'd sound like). My only REAL complaint about the sound - I think a ''whooshing'' sound would have been neat when your characters disappear (B button).
The music in this game is varied, from the driving music of a battle to the wierd, spacy music whenever there's a lull in the action. I like this music here, though. The battle music is a little cheesy, but the side-scrolling music is nice, and the Battle-Win music is pretty good as well. I wish each character had their own special theme songs, too...oh well, I guess you can't have everything.
Ok, let's be honest. There were only 2 Dragon Ball games for the Gameboy, this included. Then you have the fact that this one is SO different from the first one that it's ridiculous. THEN you have the fact that there has been no other game like it that I know of, period. Best of all, though, is this is an action RPG! How many of those ARE there? I mean, how COULD you make another game like this? Use Super Heroes? The battles have you and your opponent running around the area, fighting each other. The strategy comes in because you have to select what attacks you want to use before each round. Therefore, if you pick a series of punches, kicks, and ki blasts, then you have to learn to use them in that order, as there is no selecting or changing in battle. Think hard, think fast, and think strong.
The control of your characters is easy to figure out, and easy to work with. Outside of a battle, it's in the style of Super Mario Brothers (except if you press the A button while in the air, you will fly). In a battle, the A button makes you use the attack selected, and the B button either makes you block, or disappear (for strategy purposes). You can be an offensive giant, a defensive wizard, or just mess with your opponent's head. Great job!
You can get 2 people going head to head during the special ''Tenkai-Ichi Boudokai'' (World's Greatest Fighting Tournament), and have fun, but the story mode, overall, is much better. If you're playing solo, then the only replay value is going through using Gohan more than Kuririn (or vice versa), or seeing if you can max out certain attributes for each of them (Gohan's Ki, Kuririn's defense, Vegita's strength, etc).
For first-time players, the controls might seem a bit odd. Then the first actual fights might kill you. But once you figure out the strategy part to this game (as opposed to a straight-out fight), then you'll really come to appreciate and enjoy the game. The side puzzles are a refreshing and challenging break from the fights, too.
Let's just say that the ending, while not quite like how the actual series went, is good in it's own right. And it has it's own little bonus, too...go to the Boudokai to find out what I mean!
I can't imagine why anyone would dislike this game. Although the main character of Dragon Ball, Gokuu, is actually in the game for about 5 minutes of use, the game stands tall on it's own. This game is an excellent RPG with and action twist, and strategy interwoven into it. Good job, programmers!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/16/00, Updated 08/16/00
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