The sequel to the fairly well received Dragon Ball: Origins is here and offers up yet another chance to beat up dudes with Goku and his pals.
Another Dragon Ball game? How many balls does a Dragon have? I don’t know if I want to find out, but if you’re a fan of the anime you’re probably rejoicing. If not, you probably don’t know what a “kamehameha” is. Unfortunately, this game doesn’t give you a reason to care.
Dragon Ball: Origins 2 picks up right where the last one left off, with Goku flying around looking for Dragon Balls. There’s no Z in the title of this game, so right off the bat, we know that it’s not a fighting game. Its marketed as an “action adventure”, but “boring exploit” is probably a better description. In order to acquire some balls, Goku must battle against various foes, including the dastardly Red Ribbon Army. The combat in this game is your standard beat em up fair. You can punch, kick, and kamehameha your way to victory. You can select between two styles of fighting, choosing either to use your fists, or a power pole to down your foes. I had fun doing this for around 10 minutes, at which point my interest began to severely wane.
The game never really presents any challenge and there aren’t many combos to mix it up. It doesn’t really matter whether you choose to use your fists or the pole. There’s isn’t a difference. There are a couple of cool defensive moves that need to be employed while fighting the bosses but other than that, there’s no need to formulate a strategy. Just kill whoever’s the closest to you. The only saving grace is that this game allows you to choose whether to use the stylus or buttons to control your character. However, that’s kind of a moot point considering the combat is so boring. There are opportunities to play as other characters, but they aren’t different enough to offer relief from the tedium. There’s also a survival tower mode which pits you against all the games bosses, but I never had any desire to face off with them again.
The graphics in this game aren’t helping much either. It is very colourful and the models are very true to the anime, but its very jaggy. Even though the characters are viewed from a distance for almost the entire game, they still look unrefined. When you compare this to other games on the DS, like one of the Zelda games, you can see a real difference in quality. I’m not really a stickler for graphics and I definitely place them second place to gameplay, but when I’m not having fun playing the game, I tend to look around at the graphics. Having stellar visuals wouldn’t have helped this game much anyway, but that’s no excuse. The music in this game is decent and there is a little bit of voice-work, which definitely is great in the cutscenes, but it doesn’t happen too often.
Unless you’re a die-hard fan, theres no reason to pick this one up. The combination of boring combat and sub-par visuals add up to a bargain bin purchase at best. Its just too repetitive and there’s absolutely no replay value. If you want to find more about the origins of the Dragon Ball characters, pick up the first game in the series. You’ll thank me later.
Gameplay:2.0, Graphics:5.0, Sound:4.0, Innovation:2.0, Mojo:2.0 Final: 3.0 / 10
Reviewed by Mike Baggley | 08.03.10