Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 9: A Hidden Gem

While I enjoyed it, this isn't the gem...
Way back when (in 2002), Webfoot Technologies tried to blend one of my favorite anime, Dragon Ball Z, with my favorite video game genre, RPGs. The game was called "The Legacy of Goku."

It had flaws, wasn't particularly difficult, and certainly lacked depth, but it was an RPG featuring Dragon Ball Z characters -- that was enough for me to overlook its flaws. And I really enjoyed what they did with the sequel (though I never did get very far in the third).

Last week while browsing my local GameStop (I tend to browse the GameBoy section in the hopes of uncovering the odd rare game on my list), I came across "Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans" for the DS. It was released in 2009 by Namco Bandai... and it was another DBZ RPG. The difference is that, this time, it was a more traditional party/turn-based setup.

That's right. Its almost as if you tried to fit DBZ into an older Final Fantasy game. It's still a touch shallow, but there is even more attention to detail with the story (which actually starts pre-DBZ), you can level up your characters to be quite different, there are equipables and power-ups and different types of attacks. The animation of the attacks is pretty, the enemies relatively diverse, and the battle system does have some focus on micromanagement/tactics.

Much better than expected.
I haven't finished the game, but I'm already adding it to my "favorite DBZ game" list, which otherwise is compromised of fighting games! If you enjoy either DBZ or old school RPGs, I strongly suggest this game. If you enjoy both, this game's only flaw is that it ends in the Saiyan Saga. It does start in the Dragon Ball series (before it became Dragon Ball Z), but I do wish the game had been popular enough to warrant a sequel/series to cover the entire show.

You can have three characters in your active party.

Question for the crowd, and it's mostly unrelated -- does anyone know of a good, old school RPG where you play the bad guy(s) or can recruit them reasonably early? I find myself wanting to play the baddies in this game yet know the only one we get is Piccolo, and he hardly counts. I prefer the way battles are held in this game, where all the sprites are on screen and it is a definite bonus when they/their attacks are animated.

That's it for now, I need some sleep. Managed to play RISK: Legacy again and open another of the secret packets, so I'm marking tonight in the win column.


  1. Re: RPGs where you can play as villains:

    Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - SNES - Bowser has roles as both villain and ally in this this, but the majority of the time is as a party member.

    Chrono Trigger - SNES/DS -I don't want to spoil too much if you plan to play it, but a main villain does in fact join your party. And there are multiple endings...mulllltiplllllle (I think 9 total in the awesome DS remake)

    Code of Princess - 3DS - Definitely not a traditional RPG, but a spiritual sequel to Guardian Heroes (3 plane brawler-ish combat with RPG levels and elements.) You can play the game as literally every enemy/character/ NPC in the game. Well, at least they are all unlockable. Some of them are really funny "You unlocked orphan child!" lol.

    I'll try to think of others, I know they're out there.

    1. I don't know how I missed this post! I've considered Mario RPG a few times, but haven't felt like hunting down a copy and console/setting up the ROM.

      Chrono trigger I've got for the 3DS, I'm just not particularly great at the battle system (I keep taking breaks and forgetting what's going on), and the last time I played I got access to the portal/warp area and immediately became overwhelmed. I'll eventually get back to it... eventually. And I know about the team member you're speaking of -- I look forward to getting there (you know, eventually).

      Code of Princess's gameplay doesn't look like something I'd normally enjoy -- is there much depth? I REALLY like the idea of being able to play every character. That actually is an awesome component and more games should do it.

      To add to your list, I believe Final Fantasy Tactics and FFT: Advance let you recruit villains at one point. And there's an indie RPG, "Cthulhu Saves the World" that is done in a very old-school (think early Dragon Quest) style that I've yet to play...

      OH! The best one yet -- X-Men 2: Clone Wars for the Sega Genesis! You can play as Magneto after you beat him! Totally worth it.

      Any more you can think of, I'd love to see!!