Review by presea_lover
"Stands tall as an example of what licenced games should be."
The Dragon Ball Franchise has not made a good name for itself over the years. The video game world has been subjected to a great many DBZ games, yet very few of them were even playable. Even the most recent of the Dragon Ball Z games have been largely worthless, simply because, though they might be technically competent, they just weren't any fun. At last, it seems that the creators of DBZ games have finally learned their lesson. Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure sets out to right every DBZ wrong, and succeeds wonderfully. This game is easily heads and shoulders above anything else with "Dragon Ball" in the title, and will undoubtedly appeal even to those who don't like Dragon Ball. Without further ado, let's get to the breakdown.
Beautiful, hand- drawn, watercolor- style art will great you as you start the game up. In the vein of Mario World, things are bright, colorful and detailed. A joy to look at, Dragon Ball: AA manages to capture the look of the original Manga perfectly. Dragon Ball fans are sure to be in paradise. There are a few load times here and there, but they are fairly short, and don't cause a problem. There is no slowdown that I am aware of. If there is, it's very slight.
The sort of satisfying blips and bleeps from games like Mario World are here, as are the grunts and "oofs" of games like Viewtiful Joe. The playable characters' voice actors do a good job of voicing the various grunts, yells, and "Kamehameha" sounds. I prefer the Japanese voices, but the English ones are just fine. There is no actual spoken dialogue, but, come on, this is a GBA game. The audio aspect of this game is excellent.
The story is the same as the original Manga "Dragon Ball," which takes place before "Dragon Ball Z." I've always liked the earlier parts anyway, before everyone can fly and destroy planets. The problem here is that the story is abbreviated, and presented rather poorly. Now, this isn't entirely the fault of the game designers. After all, they had a limited time to tell a 16- volume story, and they did manage to tell about 13 volumes of it. They don't quite complete the Dragon Ball story, and as a result, you don't get to meet every character in the Dragon Ball universe. All things considered, however, they did the best they could, and it averaged out okay.
The gameplay is great. Amazing. Awesome. Dragon Ball: AA plays like a mixture of Super Mario World and Viewtiful Joe. This combination works surprisingly well, with the platforming and jumping from the Mario games, and the punching and beat- em- up of a Viewtiful Joe game. I'm really impressed with how much fun it all is, and how high your characters can jump, not to mention that some characters can double- jump, or even fly!
You also have a great deal of control over your jumps, which helps you if you find you've made a bad jump. In the beat- em- up area, there is a combo counter which tells you how many hits you got, which contributes to your score. you can also create your own combos. In battle, you have a great many options, such as dashing, jumping, knocking enemies into each other, blocking, using special moves and high- jumping. These are the moves that are common to most characters. You start with Goku, but fear not, in time you can unlock more characters. Oh, and did I mention that there are actually three types of gameplay? The first type is what I have just described. The second type places you on a Magic Cloud, fighting evil from the air, and the third type is a fun fighting game, which is actually quite original and unique. In short, gameplay is awesome.
There's a lot to do and find, which is good, since Story Mode is very short. The good news is that the game is so much fun, you'll enjoy it even after you've hollowed it out. One of the best parts about this game is the ability to play as nearly every Dragon Ball character you can think of. There's a total of about 27 characters! How's that for giving the fans what they want?
In conclusion, this game will delight fans of Dragon Ball beyond belief, but will also gain the interest of those who have no interest in Dragon Ball. What more could you ask for in a licensed game?
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/09/07
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