Not long ago I decided to pick up something new for my DS, and happened across the new Dragon Ball Origins game. I’m a fan of the series, and what I’d heard of the game prior to launch sounded interesting, so I decided that it might be worth a shot.
The game follows the storyline of the original Dragon Ball series, with you controlling Goku on his adventures with Bulma to find the magic Dragon Balls. The TV series was good, so the game might not be too bad, right? I think we all know that a good basis for a game doesn’t always mean that it will turn out well. Read on for my full review.
The first thing you’re going to notice is that the game looks really good on the DS. The character design is spot-on with the anime, and even the backgrounds look great. The accompanying music is very upbeat and influenced heavily by the original score. These two elements are always important, and the attention to detail was not lost on me.
Since this game follows closely along the story of the original series, there’s a lot to be told. This is done through the use of cutscenes, with the usual text that must be clicked on to continue. Again, the graphics are great here, and you’ll occasionally catch bits from the original voice actors. Unfortunately, with so much story to tell, you’re going to find yourself watching these for a long time. Every level is accompanied by one or more such scenes, which can get a little old after a while. Sure, they’re fun to watch, but if I’m going to spend that much time watching videos, I’ll just pop in the DVD’s.
You spend most of the game controlling Goku though forests, caves and other terrain. Pretty much everything you do is controlled with the stylus, though navigation can be done with the D-pad. You’re also allowed to switch weapons with the L button. Combat mostly consists of a combination of tapping on the enemy and tapping on Goku. Occasionally you’ll slide the stylus across the screen as well.
My biggest complains with the game come down to two things. First, interacting with objects (usually large stones which you must push) is terrible. You’re supposed to tap on a block, however, I usually end up tapping wildly all over the block before the desired effect is achieved. The other is with combat. Something I noticed early on is that if the enemy is attacking, they generally can’t be harmed. This means if I’m standing behind or beside someone that is attacking, I can punch them all I want without them taking any damage.
Overall, Dragon Ball is a decent game, if you’re a fan. The long cutscenes and poor controls aren’t deal breakers, so long as you actually get into the story. If Dragon Ball isn’t your thing, you probably wouldn’t consider buying this in the first place, but if you were, I’d steer clear.