Review by lzreye

"Another reason to pick up your Game Boy"

After finally getting the chance to buy this game used, I knew it would be a great addition to my Game Boy library. The scoring is based on the average of the six categories below.

Story 8/10
This is a great game and also a great Dragonball Z game. It begins with the 23rd (maybe 22nd) World's Martial Arts Tournament and ends with the death of Vegeta. This game features a little bit of the Dragonball Z storyline(hey, it does not matter, it is all in Japanese anyway).

Controls 10/10
Pretty much moving through menus. A selects, B backs out. A unique feature comes in blocking attacks. You can either take the hit, try and stop a insanely fast cursor oscillating on a bar (hitting it towards the center reduces damage to nothing) or trying to evade the attack by mashing the correct directional arrows fast enough.

Gameplay 10/10
All of your stats (I didn't figure out what they are for yet) gain with each battle or training. Also, some of the training is addictive (you will know what I mean when you start playing it.) The battle system takes place on a 5x5 grid, you attack damage and block difficult depend on the distance. Oh yeah, three modes of ''defense'', stopping a cursor on a moving bar, jamming directional arrows as fast as they give them to you, and taking the shot like a man. Also, the more you use an attack, the stronger it gets.
Example: If you successfully use K1 (the weakest attack) a number of times, you'll get K2 (a stronger attack). Same thing with the punch and the ''tackles'' for a lack of better words. You can also learn the Kaio Ken attack and Spirit Bomb. These miniature King Kai trainings can be practiced along with the travel down Snake Way. If you can complete Snake Way fast enough you can get up to 3 trainings and if it takes you too long you may only get 1.
This game follows all the great battles in the early Dragonball Z Saga as Goku only. Sorry for those who wanted more well rounded battles. All fights are using Goku...
Unless you use multiplayer (maybe tournament mode, not sure). But multiplayer and tournament can be played with a powerful character, once you beat the game, you unlock a password and also you unlock the enemies you defeated along the way. (My cartridge has a bad internal battery, so I had to play the whole game at once and couldn't check into the other modes.) You also get a password at the end, again, I don't know what it would be good for.

Difficulty 8/10
This game has both sides of the coin. Early battles are laughably easy. The hardest for your character stats would sadly be the Saibaman (especially if you haven't trained well at King Kai's planet). The boss fight with Vegeta when he enters Oozaru (that means he turns into a gigantic ape when exposed to the moon light). Like I said, you can only use Goku to defeat him so you won't have the much needed help of Gohan and Krillen (though Yajirobe does his part).

Sound 2/10
The music is pretty bad. I found all of the themes but one horrible. I suggest you turn down your speakers and maybe crank up some Rob Zombie instead. The one I liked was the boss theme against Vegeta. You'll know what I'm talking about when you hear it.

Graphics 7/10
The graphics are pretty good. With each attack and defense (even though I wouldn't call getting punched a defense...) has a cool still screen. The character pictures are actually recognizable and since you probably can't read Japanese, you'll have to go by these pictures to recognize the story.

Overall 8/10
Replay value isn't that great, go back and try and perfect the different trainings. The tournament mode may or may not be fun depending on your preferences and the chances are that you won't find somewhere nearby that has another copy of the cartridge to play multiplayer against, and even so I'd imagine that would get boring fast.
Anyways, I would definitely get this game, but I wouldn't pay more than $40.00 for a new one. Unless you are a Dragonball Z fan. Then you should buy it at whatever cost is necessary. Happy Gaming!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 06/02/03, Updated 08/06/03

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