Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

foe_en_s4_b22.jpg

Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (DS) artwork

Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (DS) review


"Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a funny game - at a time when Toei Animation has begun broadcasting Dragon Ball Kai, a remastered version of Dragon Ball Z with the number of episodes cut down from 29 to approximately 100, Attack of the Saiyans actually increases the amount of storyline proper. Stretching from the end of the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai (World Martial Arts Tournament) from the Dragon Ball series up to the climatic Goku vs. Vegeta fight in the titular Saiyan..."



Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a funny game - at a time when Toei Animation has begun broadcasting Dragon Ball Kai, a remastered version of Dragon Ball Z with the number of episodes cut down from 29 to approximately 100, Attack of the Saiyans actually increases the amount of storyline proper. Stretching from the end of the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai (World Martial Arts Tournament) from the Dragon Ball series up to the climatic Goku vs. Vegeta fight in the titular Saiyan invasion arc, the storyboard fills out the actions of multiple side-characters during that time period; in particular, the spiritual journeys of Z-Fighters Krillin, Yamcha and Tien every time the crew goes through more training to face another impending threat.

If that sounds confusing, do not be surprised: Attack of the Saiyans takes part halfway through Dragon Ball, which can throw off many non-Japanese gamers who only saw Dragon Ball Z. Fortunately, in the first proper RPG entry since 1995 and the only one to reach English shores, both heavy-name RPG developer Monolith Soft and the translators have made the beginning of the game fairly easy to follow by providing plenty of background in the dialogue. Divided into fifteen chapters and a prologue, the Dragon Ball portion takes up approximately the first half of the game, and that time is used well in developing the characters and building up the game's setting.

One of the most engaging things about AotS is a single element out of its turn-based battle system: when an enemy in battle attacks you, it goes through several frames of animation to perform its technique. By pressing one of the face buttons, the character who is receiving the attack can block against it, reducing the amount of damage he takes. Known as Active Guard, just about every attack in the game can be blocked. It is a simple addition to the standard RPG battle, but it is also a very nice touch in keeping the player focused.

However, much of the remaining battle mechanics are fairly cookie-cutter, starting with random battles (of which up to three party members can participate in, out of a total of six overall, which includes Goku, Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, Tien and Yamcha). You have your basic attacks, items, running away, and Ki attacks (aka. magic). Something seen most prominently in varying forms from the Final Fantasy games is a Rage Gauge: as characters are attacked and deal out damage, this gauge rises up. When it fills out, the character goes into Sparking Mode, wherein they can use Ultra Ki Attacks, or they can combine Ki attacks with another character in Sparking Mode to make a Combination Attack.

Fortunately, the EXP required to level up are minimalistic, and I rarely felt the need to grind through-out the game, with a balance being struck between balance time and advancing on in the story. Aside from the aforementioned issue with too much conversation, the play length is also designed well, with most of the well-designed dungeons being around three to four screens long, and plot points are zipped through fairly quickly outside of one annoyingly long arc in Chapter 8.

That said, what I really liked about the game was the additional element of ‘Capsules’, which is basically an extra equipment type that assigns an effect to the whole party. Some of them allow you to cross over hazards on the map without taking damage, such as a poisonous floor, while others have in-battle applications, like blinding all enemies at the start of the turn or increasing the power of a Combination Attack. For individual characters, they can also equip two ‘Accessories’, each with their own varying effects ranging to both in and outside of battles, and with close to a hundred Accessories, the strategic value of these is mind-boggling with what can be done.

Atmospherically, the game is a mixed-bag. While the melodies composed by famed Xenosaga composer Yasunori Mitsuda lifts the game up with its assorted mix of up-beat and sombre tunes, the graphics has its highs and lows. A bright, colourful take on the classic anime style offers delightful scenery for the eyes in the towns, forests, and mountains of Dragon Ball World: this is in contrast to going through many of the game’s dim caverns and underground ruins, their pallid palette of greys and browns lacking any sort of feel to them.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans delivers a decent package. While it is nothing special, it does its job at entertaining, and I personally never was really bored with the game. As the Japanese release coincided with the Saiyans arc in Dragon Ball Kai, it sounds safe to say that a sequel is imminent, one which hopefully overhauls the battle system a bit to make it more unique while still staying true to the Dragon Ball series, and should offer more exotic locations with a Namekian interlude, as well as doubling the amount of strict RPGs released in North America. It is a disappointment, however, that a specific meme is not represented here. The original Japanese release of Dragon Ball Z had Vegita’s line in reference to Goku’s power level as being over eight thousand, but it was changed in the contemporary American translation dub done by FUNimation to over nine thousand. In this case, the English release of Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyains stays faithful to the original line.

7/10

Rating: 7/10

darkstarripclaw's avatar
Community review by darkstarripclaw (February 25, 2010)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by darkstarripclaw
Papers, Please (PC) artwork
Papers, Please (PC)

Papers, Please is mercilessly satirical with its subject matter, taking place in a fictional backdrop of Second-world countries. Some of it is blatant, with the various propagandising, to the more insidious. As a Customs Inspector, you are responsible for processing several applicants a day, whether foreigners or Arsto...
Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure (3DS) artwork
Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure (3DS)

While Rhythm Thief is an obvious collection of musical mini-games, the game is also part point-and-click. While going around Paris, you get treated to a decent bit of recent French history, some of it coming into play as the game's story runs itself out. Phantom R's nightly occupations, stealing unique items from museu...
Altered Space: A 3-D Alien Adventure (Game Boy) artwork
Altered Space: A 3-D Alien Adventure (Game Boy)

The game dumps you off in a small room, expecting you to travel through several rooms in many different possible paths until you find an elevator or teleporter that takes you to the next level. The game takes an isometric perspective, with developers Software Creations having also created the isometric Solstice ...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Advertise | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.