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December 11, 2012


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Dragon Ball Z Games

I've almost had it with this. The problem with Dragon Ball Z games seems to be this- We just get "Dragon Ball Z: Insert Name, With These Same Old Characters- With a Varying Roster- A Butchered Story Line, And One Or Two New Items To Use" these days.

Here's a concept I've been fantoying around with for at least 3 years now.


What's the difference between Hero Mode and Saiyan Knights?
Saiyan Knights is an actual massive RPG. Hero Mode is just taking Yamcha and giving him different hair and clothes.
In Saiyan Knights- you can edit your character extensively. In fact, Saiyan Knights is legendary for its choice- just about everything from Chapter Two back is steeped deeply in pure, unadulterated choice. You can choose your race-

Saiyan (Goku, Vegeta, Bardock...)
Sordsaiyan (Really evil, dark Saiyan race- Turles is suspected to be a Saiyan/Sordsaiyan hybrid, but there is no DBZ precedent)
Human (Krillin, Master Roshi...)
Divine Human (Tien Shinhan, Chiaotzu...)
Namekian (Piccolo, Kami, Nail...)
Tuffle (Baby, Doctor Myuu...)
Metamorphus (Frieza, Cooler...)
Majin (Majin Buu...)
Royal Ilf (Think Recoome- You may not realize, but you've seen them in the series before- they're sort of like False Saiyans in that they look like humans, as do Saiyans, but aren't either)
Android (Androids 16, 17, 18, 19, 20...)
(Name Pending) (miscellaneous alien race common in series; Cui is one, and so is Captain Ginyu, but their forms vary)

And various traits... Male or female, for one. If you're Namekian- you are automatically unisexual, but male-dominant.
Then you customize your character's person. The amount of attention to detail here is great- you have about 60 presets to choose from, and, if you still aren't satisfied, you can really get down and dirty and design your dream OC. Their are a plethera of faces, eyes, noses, mouths, facial traits, etc. to choose from. In a very odd turn, the developers even had a manga artist- not Toriyama- draw some of the eyes and faces, so if you wanted a character that more closely resembles that of a traditional anime, you can do that too. And you can edit even individual spikes of hair (if you have a character with spiky hair that is), their direction, and their length.
You can choose to be or train yourself to become a Majin Wizard and have affinity over Majin characters (if you aren't already one), or choose your Saiyan class- Low class scum, middle class, Saiyan elite, sentinels, soldiers, Namekian Guardian, Super, Metamorphus Destroyer, etc.... Then, depending on what you chose, you can then edit your power level, which has a wide range overall, but can get very specific if you choose particular races and classes.
In the one I chose, I had a Martial Arts-savvy human. The power levels ranged from 1 to 500. How high you set it at the start- for anyone- determines how fast it goes to the next level. If I chose 1, then I level up to a power level of 500 and then to 1,000 really quickly- although you do crap for damage early on and live most of your life running. If you start at 500, it takes a long time to get to 1,000, but you'll win most of your battles and not have to fear about running. If you have a brain, that is.
If you choose a Saiyan middle class, you can range from 1,500 to 6,000. Saiyan elite- up to 10,000 starting! The max you can have resides in Saiyan Elite and Metamorphus Elite, which is 10,000.
This is interesting, because you can choose to or to not have many powers and abilities. I chose my character to not be able to fly or shoot ki blasts to start out, but can compound his energy- essentially meaning my 'true' power level is about 100. Since I opted to not choose ki blast, I could learn how to manipulate my ki. That's part of the vast choice of the game, however- to choose how weak or strong to make your character. The weaker, the better down the line. And you feel far more accomplished if you teach yourself how to fly and shoot energy blasts- or learn from a master- rather than already being able to zip through clouds and shoot kamehamehas from the get go.
In other words, it's the difference between starting out in Dragon Ball and starting in Dragon Ball Z. I love 'starting Dragon Ball' and building my character from the ground up that way. When you're stuck on the ground and can't use long range attacks, you really do get a dopamine rush when you lift off the ground for the first time, and summon your first ki blast, your first kamehameha... It's more magical like that.
But if you want, you can start in the DBZ range. If you want to create a character who can crush a building with his or her thumb and use this character to trump the robbers, you're more than welcome to. You also confound your masters, and progress through the first through third chapters really quickly.

And then you can choose one of four "Major Planets" to start from
-Planet Earth
-Planet Vegeta
-Planet Namek/New Namek (towards the end)
-Planet Sodessa
...with 12 to explore in total- plus at least 2 dozen 'Moderate Planets' and innumberable 'Minor' or 'Lost' planets and moons, as well as space stations/colonies. And they range from very futuristic, Star Wars-esque (Planet Vegeta; Planet Taboron), to contemporary-ish (Planet Kuzuu), to medieval themed (Planet Kaioran) and farming planets (Planet Namek) as well as rocky worlds, water worlds, Sodessa- Dying-Namek-esque planet, which is still populated, on the verge of hellish implosion- and planet Earth, which crosses them all, minus the last one.
And when you choose that- you can choose to start in a particular biome- such as 'City', 'Small Town,' 'Woods', 'Desert,' 'Mountain,' 'Tournament', or other specific or general options. At which point, you can start your adventure- and yet still choose where to start!
Say you start on Earth, especially as a Human or Divinity, and choose city. You'll begin in West City and find yourself presented with three problems/events- a bank robbery, a small time tournament, or a burning structure. Each three carry different opportunities- if you become involved with the bank robbery or burning building, you'll be seen as a hero. With the tournament, as a martial arts prodigy. Depending on how strong you made yourself, you'll either fight and save the day, or run. In this situation, my character had a set power level of 25, which is what most strong normal men have- which includes the bank robbers, minus the strongman of the group, who has a power level of 35. If I run, I meet a police roadblock I can't get over, so I have to fight to live. It's from your fighting that witnesses first suspect you are 'something else' and your adventure begins.
But if you start in Woods, you, instead, might have to stop poachers or a raging T-Rex.
Of course, if you kill the robbers (and even police), crush the T-Rex's eggs, or help the poachers, you gain Evil points.
If you start on Planet Vegeta, especially as a Saiyan, and choose a low-class soldier, you will start by either accepting a mission to poach a moderate planet or entering a contest to win an advanced scouter.
On Namek, you might have to defend against a race of parasitic demonic sub-Namekians.
But Planet Sodessa offers the most immediate story out of all of them. This is a planet ravaged- by Saiyan oppressors, for one; by underground Sordsaiyan black magicians, for two; by radical weather, for three; by 18 hour nights and days scorched by 5 suns, for four; by lava flows and barren soil, for five. It's automatically a hard life, and you'll earn beaucoup XP early on. Also, there's a lot of tragedy and drama here that you'll find lacking on Earth, replaced with Dragon Ball esque wackiness and typical DB-styled plots; replaced with macho soldier/aristocracy life on Planet Vegeta that feels focused on piracy and Saiyan hubris; a slow-paced communal family-esque life on Namek that feels like something out of a Native American plot. On Sodessa, you get a deeper and more serious story than you might be used to in the Dragon Ball series, and it's a shame when it ends.

Each planet offers many opportunities, including which points you more easily earn. On Planet Namek, you earn Good points very easily, as if it's the only thing you can do. On Planet Sodessa, you earn Evil points almost by touching the controls. Planet Earth is generally good, and Planet Vegeta is generally evil, to lesser extents of Namek and Sodessa.
The changing of your appearance can affect others perceptions of you. This could be your clothes, your skin (green skin in a monastery, for example), but it's when you play with your aura and hair that it becomes most fun.
A funny achievement you can earn is "False Super Saiyan"- where you skyward spiky hair that is golden and you take up a yellow "Thin Spark" (not thick-spark, flame, light, or smoke) aura. If you meet Goku- or any one of the modern Z warriors- they'll comment about you either 'being' or (should you find a serious one, like Piccolo) looking like a Super Saiyan.

None of this in Hero Mode. In fact, the only thing you can do in any form is "False Super Saiyan"- but don't expect an achievement or stunned looks for it. In fact, you really can't do a proper one, as the only hair you have that could be used for this looks like lopsided Super Saiyan hair.

That being established, let's move on. Hero Mode of Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi is a pathetic attempt to do nothing, really. If there ever was a 'Perfect Version' and 'Pisspoor Version', these two are it. Hero Mode gives you no choice but to use someone else's fancharacter in their adventure and leave you no fun to spare.

The famous kung-fu fighting alien race made famous in Dragon Ball Z. Overall, this option yields the most and best results, and probably the best character customization. As a Saiyan, you can become a Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, 3, 4, even 5! You can become an Oozaru, and just about any power can be yours. At the end of the day, this race will offer you the most fun- although you'll face many problems in game should you go with this one. Still, on planets full of humans and Royal Ilfs, you will blend in automatically- if you lose the tail.
The Saiyans are galactic space pirates, and the game makes good use of that stereotype. Saiyan culture consists mostly of destruction and war, and Saiyans excel at oppressing themselves. A character in DBZ- Tab his name was- said it best. "We try to discourage tourism on Planet Vegeta." For good reason- Saiyans are closer to apes in mindset than humans are, are love killing outsiders, effectively making them rather racist in their disposition. That's what they want you to think. The Saiyan military, aristocracy, and pirate force dominate the planet, under Frieza's wing, and ruthlessly keep saiyans in vitrio for combat. But not all Saiyans are programmed to be creepish hate-mongers, and real bonds to form between them. In fact, the Saiyan race is known throughout the galaxy for its race-wide communal camaraderie. You have strong squads- attack one, you attack them all.
Saiyans are also known for the ability to become stronger after being wounded- the greater and more life threatening the wound, the greater the power increase. This has led to something of a cult forming on Vegeta, a cult dedicated to harming themselves or putting themselves at the cusp of Death for the sake of becoming stronger...

This race never made in into the series and is totally non-canon. Turles is suspected to be a Saiyan/Sordsaiyan hybrid because of his darkness-oriented personality, but he does seem a tad bit too business-man like for the role. The Sordsaiyans are outcasts even amongst the saiyans, and are best known for their black tails covered with razor-sharp hairs that only a Sordsaiyan can touch unharmed. The Sordsaiyans make even Vegeta look like a pacifist, and revel in suffering. Supposedly, Saiyans and Sordsaiyans split in their ultimate evolution thousands of years ago after an alien wizard- Bibidi- cast a major spell on the Saiyans in a failed attempt to control them. Bibidi left, but the spell remained, and those under its grip relentlessly attacked their fellow Saiyans. The Saiyans trumped, and exiled the Sordsaiyans to the underworld of any planet they appear on.
The Sordsaiyan's energy is extreme and utterly black. Their auras are identified by being black, and their 'sparks' can cut, effectively making any aggressor injure themselves when trying to attack a Sordsaiyan with his or her aura raised.
Sordsaiyans don't share the Saiyans' collective ability to gain power after injury because of Bibidi's spell. Sordsaiyans that learn the Majin spells, however, have overcome this.

Numerous on Earth, Humans are a relatively war-like bunch who still manage to live in peace. Each and every human on the planet has the capability to unlock vast wells of ki from within themselves, but only through great training or having it unlocked for them by someone who has the ability to tap into their soul.

Divine Human
Human descendants of divinity roam the planet, their ki great, and show the path humans may be able to take should they adopt a lifestyle dedicated to expanding ki.

Namekian (Piccolo, Kami, Nail...)
The normally unassumingly peaceful race of green-skinned, antennae-donning, unisexual peacemakers are still a fighting force to be reckoned with.


Metamorphus (Frieza, Cooler...)
Majin (Majin Buu...)
Royal Ilf (Think Recoome- You may not realize, but you've seen them in the series before- they're sort of like False Saiyans in that they look like humans, as do Saiyans, but aren't either)
Another homo-sapien esque race residing in the galaxy, Royal Ilfs are common among many planets, and are commonly mistaken for Saiyans; Humans, inversely, are commonly mistaken for Royal Ilfs.

Android (Androids 16, 17, 18, 19, 20...)
(name not yet chosen) (miscellaneous alien race common in series; Cui is one, and so is Captain Ginyu, but their forms vary)

The greatest aspect of the game is debatable, but for me, it's the ability to actually explore your worlds. Because this is the first console release of a DBZ RPG, this is also the first time we get any real adventure. The Legacy of Goku games (I, II, and Buu's Fury) already set a precedent down for future DBZ RPGs- although the vast majority would exist only on handheld consoles- in that exploration would not be forgotten. But this is a console and PC release, essentially meaning this has to capture the spirit of free-roaming RPGs without giving us a lackluster combat experience. After all- exploration, leveling up, and all, Dragon Ball Z is all about action. Dragon Ball Z isn't a turn-based series by any means so it would be a foolish move to introduce that on what is already shaping up to be an epic RPG.
What is the best way to do this? Tenkaichi. The Budokai Tenkaichi series is often seen as being the best fighting games in the series, so it only made sense that the combat system of this game would strongly resemble their style. The only difference is that this game gives you the chance to fight either in the "Tenkaichi" camera mode, a 2D-to-Over-the-Shoulder experience, or a "First person" mode, where you're now in the eyes of your character! To help streamline the experience, the game goes in between the Budokai Tenkaichi series and Ultimate Tenkaichi in having 'melee' range and 'blast' range- you can still fire energy attacks in melee range, but this range is suited more to hand to hand combat. Also, there are fewer to no cutscenes separating the ranges, making it feel a lot smoother.

You can leave the Fight altogether as well, but you'll be warned when you do- and your opponent can easily chase you down or goad you into returning. In fact, you can do just about anything you can do in the Fight mode in the Roam Mode as well- and that includes continuing the fight from a longer range. Your enemy can fire off a ki blast or two- or a freaking planet buster- to continue attacking you, or throw long-distance pressure-punches. Basically- the fight ain't over 'till it's over, and if you or your opponent leave, know you will return one day to finish the job.
Which brings us back to the size and scope of this great game. If you leave a fight with a rival or villain and manage to escape or walk away, you might not meet that opponent for a while- the rival/villain/opponent might even leave the planet entirely and you two do your own things. But, after a while, you might eventually come back into contact with them. At which point 'Round Two' begins. This can continue endlessly, in fact, until you either kill your rival/villain or befriend/convert them- both being hard to do, but both offering vast rewards.
This only adds to the scope of the game. It really feels like a rivalry when you fight a rival, end with you or the rival as the victor, leave, do stuff for a month, and then meet each other on Yadrat, or Hercule City to for a rematch.
But something else that enhances the scope of the game is the sheer destructability of the worlds. There's an achievement out there- Galaxy Destroyer- where you destroy every planet in the galaxy. That includes Earth, Vegeta, all of them. For the first time, environments don't regenerate after a cutscene of you blasting a hole in the ground, and buildings don't shatter like glass just because you skirted the railing on the roof. While they do regenerate, it takes wishes to do this, not time or cutscenes- meaning, if you destroy a city, it's gone 'till you wish it back. It feels even more like Dragon Ball Z in that damage physics are more realistic- crashes are fantastic, explosions are beautiful, clashes do real damage to the environment, and when you power up- look out!
Normally, when powering up in a DBZ game, your character has an aura and some electrical bolts in that space. That's what you get in the bare minimum of Power Output. You can use the thumbstick to alter how much power you put out when powering up- the more you put out, the less energy you take in (until the maximum, when you gain energy at the slowest rate). However, there's a payoff. The more energy you put out, the bigger the light show. Rocks and mountains defy gravity, lightning dances and sometimes lashes out at others, craters embrass out from under your feet, and gales blow in everyone's faces. Inversely, if you're humble and opt to increase your power more quickly, you can simply raise your power with no aura and no light show at all. Either way, you gain power- a balance may have been pulled off, in the vein of "for maximum intimidation, you have to lose some power." Which didn't happen in DBZ. Ever. When characters shook mountains, valleys, and planets apart, that meant their power was growing, never shrinking. So why should that be different in the games?

And best yet! You're rewarded for making a light show!!! Some characters back off from a fight or lose their nerve if your performance is good enough. In fact, most normal humans and Namekians, off the bat and from the start, will run away the second rocks start rising. If you play it safe and just increase your power with no effects, you can trick opponents (that can't sense energy) into thinking nothing of you. With an item, you don't even move into a power up stance and tell your enemies that you're powering up. That allows for even more stealth- they don't even know you powered up!
However, you can also learn to suppress your power- if you get this ability, the light shows don't impede how much energy you take in!
And of course, if you make yourself a False Super Saiyan....
Sometimes, such as in Goku's case, raising your power only makes them more eager to fight you, or doesn't phase them at all. It's unpredictable, actually. One major villain will retreat, even at the cusp of getting the last dragon ball, if you scare him enough- which isn't much. Another one, weaker actually, will actually berate you for showing off.
And about the Dragon Balls- if the villains get all 7 dragon balls, they can summon their own wishes, which could be increasing their power, restoring their armies, or something even more sinister... And when one does get all 7, you have to fight them for it. Sometimes, especially with Tyrant villains, they separate them, giving a single Dragon Ball, or a few, to a small group of elite warriors. So imagine fighting the Ginyu Force and Frieza every time they get the Dragon Balls. It's actually not repetitive- and considering what villains can do with them, you have incentive to fight. It just might take another wish to undo their abilities, using time you don't have. And, while a true year doesn't have to pass, in game-time, a year does. So you can't use wishes whenever you want. So if the villain wins for once, and does summon that ultimate evil wish, you're screwed for a Z-year.

I'd pre-order this game the second of the announcement./fan rant.

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Devious Comments

priteeboy Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Way, WAAAAY too much text :faint: There are college-level essays that don't need this much content :faint:

I'll just put my two cents in and say the only ones I played were the first three main fighting games, even though we only had 2 and 3 (which were more entertaining anyway, the first one we borrowed off a friend all those years ago was still in Japanese. I think they didn't bother making a translated version :O) Only one I enjoyed even remotely was 3, and that was mainly because you got to see the planet blowing up when you performed one of the larger combo attacks 8-) Otherwise they're a pretty crappy string of games that just milk a popular cash cow :moo:
Kimihro Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
LegendarySuperman Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your Journal. Use it :icongtfoplz:
I know, I know. I just figured I'd have more... interesting... responses here.
LegendarySuperman Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
tacosteev Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist
Yyyeah, like that.
Pakaku Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
Uh, cool?
onlyelisha Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student General Artist
I thought this was going to be a, "what's your favorite game!" kind of thread.

I was wrong...

so very wrong.......
What is your favorite, though?
Mine remains Budokai Tenkaichi 2... rivaled with Legacy of Goku II.
There was also this one SNES game, Dragon Ball Z 2 I believe...
onlyelisha Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student General Artist
I always liked Ultimate Battle 22 and Budokai 3 the best.
tacosteev Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist
The dragon ball game for the GBA was super fun. Does that count?
HappyDuckCreator Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
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