Dragon Ball Legends Review

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It’s time to look at a recent app game that was getting a lot of hype when it was coming out. Finally, Dragon Ball was getting a big fighting game that would take the world by storm. It felt like this was a long time coming. After playing the game for a while, I can definitely say that there is more to it than a lot of other titles. It still does have some limitations of course and is rather slow paced as you can expect from a game that will try to drag itself out for a few years, but it’s a solid way to spend some time and continue the story from Super.

The plot follows a Saiyan named Shallot. He has amnesia which is always a convenient plot device since this way he can start off rather weak and grow stronger as the game progresses. He doesn’t know what is happening, but fortunately Beerus is here to explain. There is a big tournament going on that spans all of time. Fighters have been brought over from every era in order to participate. The intent is to see who the strongest of all is…in theory. Actually, Beerus is being forced to do this by an unknown villain who has kidnapped the Supreme Kai. He wants us to figure out who is pulling the strings, but honestly that sounds rather difficult if this guy decides not to enter the tournament. Don’t focus on the plot too much I guess. Shallot is on board so he will now team up with Bulma from the original Dragon Ball series as well as Jaco to try and win this thing.

The reason why the OP Super versions of the characters were not brought into the mix is because the villain is apparently keeping tabs on them so Beerus doesn’t dare approach. Of course, you may be wondering why they haven’t just shown up yet anyway as they one shot everyone. So far we have only been running across guys from Arc 1 of DBZ so surely they wouldn’t be much of an obstacle. The in universe reason may be that the place is simply so massive that you can have a bunch of battles going on at once, but out of universe it’s just that the game wants to trickle in the characters arc by arc. I hope they speed it up a little though because it feels like otherwise this will be one of those games that dies out long before it hits the final arc.

Part 1 just ended earlier today so I’m not sure how long the wait will be until Part 2. Hopefully it’s just a short wait so then the game’s plot actually will be able to move. If it’s like Fire Emblem Heroes then we can expect a new chapter every 2 weeks and since each part is 7 chapters then we’ll finish a part roughly every 4 months. That’s quite a bit of time so hopefully it is a little quicker than that. While the plot may not be very believable it is a fun one so I’ll give the game some props there. I’ll also give it some more for making Shallot an actual character as opposed to someone with no actual name that has no real personality. He even talks a bit as the game does include a bit of voice acting. (To be precise, Shallot talks a lot, but you hear him once in a while)

Shallot is a decent enough character even if he is pretty rude the whole time. He’s constantly yelling at everyone and can’t seem to really grasp the concept of power levels. Since he couldn’t even beat Nappa at first, what makes him think that he can take on someone like Beerus? There’s being confident and then there’s just putting up a weak front. His Zenkai Boosts are fairly good though as he went from Raditz level to Zarbon in a single part. Maybe by the end of the second part he will be up to Final Form Frieza or something. That would definitely be neat.

We also have the rival character who shows up for a bit. He’s an interesting figure who is more of a specialist than a fighter. He can teleport and use various magical spells to complement his sword based fighting style. He ran off though and I don’t recall his name at the moment, but I’m sure that we haven’t seen the last of him. There is also Dark Shallot who shows up near the end. It seems that he might be the future version of the normal Shallot so that will make for a fun match. He’s considerably stronger than the heroic version which is to be expected, but fortunately Goku put him in his place. Since this is Super Goku he should be leagues stronger than any of these fighters.

The graphics are pretty good and the game certainly put a lot of effort into them. The opening cinematic is excellent and wouldn’t look out of place in a big budget title. The gameplay animations are smooth and the character models are on point. Meanwhile the soundtrack is a little weak, but hopefully they will add more tunes soon. Mobile games don’t tend to have a lot of them, but I’d certainly like to see that.

Then we come to the gameplay. It is your typical tap fighter, but with a few extra gameplay wrinkles to make it more unique. You are given some cards during the battle. They come in 4 types, punches, ki blasts, special attack, and status change. They are fairly explanatory, but once you get hit by the punch or ki blast you are stuck in hit stun and must eat a full combo. Each fighter has 100 energy so if you get hit by the first combo and they have 3 more cards with energy totaling less than what they have left you must eat 4 combos in a row. You can potentially beat an opponent in one shot like this. Most fights are 3 on 3 so use your strategy here. Do you want to use your combo right away or save it until the final fighter? Then you’ve got burst rush which is essentially a one hit KO attack in most circumstances. You only get 1 per battle so use it wisely. Then you’ve got dodging and character specific abilities which don’t need cards. There’s a lot to master here so try to get used to it all. I definitely find the gameplay pretty fun. It’s probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to a true 3D fighter on the mobile since there is no control stick to use.

Your character levels also matter quite a lot here. Each character can go up to level 1000 and at that level your attacks do massive damage. There is almost no way for a weaker fighter to beat a stronger one if the gap is wide enough and your levels stick with you online as opposed to other games. At the moment I am 10-0 online, but most of my opponents were bots. Supposedly that issue was fixed today so I imagine my win rate would drop if I went back. Maxing out anyone will take a long time unless you pay since materials and Zenny don’t just grow on trees. Of course if you play the game enough then of course you can speed up the process.

As far as the game modes go you have the main story and PVP. You also have mini stories that follow the DBZ anime without the OC character (Up to Nappa at the moment) and daily missions you can complete for extra energy and characters. There are also Adventures where you send a character off for a few hours and they bring you back items in return. Then we have actual Missions where you get rewards for completing objectives. There are even more modes in store for you but that’s the general premise. When it comes to replay value this game is basically infinite but of course it can also be easy to burn yourself out if you play it too hard. Now that I’m caught up with the story I’ve dialed it back a bit like with Sonic Forces. That game eventually died completely but this one should at least live as much as Fire Emblem Heroes until the story is over. I just check in every other week to play the latest story although in Dragon Ball I’ll try to at least keep the daily streak alive for the items and keep sending my guys off to train to get the easy level ups.

Finally, I have to give the game some props for how they handle reused fighters. In Fire Emblem Heroes it’s annoying to get an old hero because it is basically worthless. You just have to trash the fighter for a few feathers, but you need 20000 to actually have something to use them on. Here the copies help to limit break your character. It’s possible that once the character is maxed then the copy won’t be of any use, but at least I feel like it’ll be a long while before that happens. There are also many parts of the game that I still don’t understand and likely won’t, but people who love to find out everything will have a blast studying this game.

Overall, Dragon Ball Legends lives up to the hype of being one of the big mobile games. I’d certainly say that it does a much better job of that than Sword Art Online did. (Review pending) In that game’s case it was simply a little too ambitious. Dragon Ball is definitely a title that I would highly recommend. There is a lot to do here even if the story is fairly early on and with the Broly event starting today this is your perfect chance to bet on your luck and hope you get him. As there aren’t many characters right now the odds of getting the one you want is pretty high. (I got Broly on my daily draw)

Overall 8/10

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