There have been many Dragon Ball games over the years, and one universal truth exists: they seem to get better as time goes by. Early efforts on the SNES, Mega Drive, PlayStation and Saturn left a bad taste in the mouths of series fans, but lately Bandai Namco's Dragon Ball Xenoverse sub-series has redressed the balance neatly. Although the Xenoverse titles aren't available on Nintendo 3DS, the folks at Bandai Namco decided to take the freedom of Xenoverse and fuse it with an RPG to create an exciting new product in the form of Dragon Ball Fusions for 3DS.
The journey starts with you creating your custom fighter, but you first have to select the race of your character: Earthling, Saiyan, Namekian, Offworlder, and Alien. Each race has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, with Earthlings being the perfect balance of offense and defense. After deciding upon the race that best represents your style of play, you then personalize your avatar by choosing their facial features, hairstyle, and voice from a limited selection of options.
While previous Dragon Ball games have enjoyed retelling the events of the Dragon Ball manga and anime, the narrative of Dragon Ball Fusions is an original tale that carries with it the charm and humour you have come to expect from the series. The story of Fusions opens with you and your friend, Pinich, gathering the dragonballs and making a wish for the ultimate martial arts tournament. The eternal dragon, Shenron, grants the wish and so begins your Dragon Ball Fusions adventure.
Progressing through the game's story is done by meeting and talking with various Dragon Ball fighters from the numerous story arcs and fulfilling the demands necessary to advance to a new area. As the story and side-missions are completed, you will battle and recruit fighters in an effort to assemble the most powerful and formidable team for the upcoming tournament. You can recruit iconic Dragon Ball characters from the original Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and even Dragon Ball Super. Even characters exclusively found in the movies, like Broly, can be recruited to your team. Any lifelong fan of the Dragon Ball series should find it gratifying to see so many characters get recognition.
Recruiting a fighter to your team does take a little effort, however. Firstly, you can only recruit fighters that have a star next to their Level-Rank. During battle, you will need to use your Zenkai attack against opponents with the star. Defeating said opponent with the Zenkai attack will persuade them to join your team.
Enrolling new fighters not only strengthens your team, it is also a necessity when it comes time to advance the main story. In order to progress through the narrative, one must acquire a specific amount of energy in order to gain access to the next area of the game. You earn energy by winning battles; but by scouting new members from the different playable races, you will increase the amount of energy you can store for each race. Recruiting members of different races will provide you with the energy type that corresponds to their race, and aid you in reaching the required energy level to advance. Acquiring energy necessitates a moderate time investment, and can feel like a tedious task.
The battle system of Dragon Ball: Fusions is brilliant and highly entertaining. Battles are waged in an arena of sorts, where each team is aligned on opposite sides. Once the battle begins, you are free to move your characters anywhere in the designated combat area. Making use of a turn-based battle system, there is some strategy at play here and you should consider all possibilities prior to launching an attack. Depending on how the opposing team is positioned, it is possible to knock challengers into each other and inflict quick damage to all the opposition. Conversely, you can also knock enemies towards allies to create a short chain of combos.
One must also take note of how close an enemy is to the boundary of the battle arena for it is possible to knock a foe out of the arena, and in doing they'll receive extra damage. Furthermore, since the game uses a turn-based battle system, knocking an adversary out of the arena will reset their move back to the starting point, thus giving you a battle advantage.
Each character can perform a basic melee attack, an energy attack, or a special attack – these include skills like the Kamehameha and Galick Gun. As you battle and inflict damage, you will fill a gauge that will allow you unleash powerful attacks, including the Zenkai attack and the Five-Way Fusion technique. The Five-Way Fusions technique will fuse all five of your fighters into one super warrior, allowing you to annihilate the opposing team with ease.
Depending on the strength of your team and the level of the opposing force, the length of a battle can range quite significantly. Some battles can be won in just a couple of minutes, while battles with high-ranking enemies will take closer to 10 minutes. Since combat feels like was watching an episode of Dragon Ball, chances are you won't begrudge the long battle sequences. Even though the 3DS is getting a bit long in the tooth these days, the visuals still look impressive.
After winning a battle, you will gather energy, earn experience, and acquire new skills to teach your fighters. Much like a Pokémon game or any RPG, you can only assign a set number of special attacks to a fighter – so you'll have to think about which skills will prove beneficial during combat.
Forget the disappointing video game adaptations of the past, Dragon Ball has finally come of age on consoles. Dragon Ball Fusions fuses fan service with an enjoyable story and battle system to create a fresh Dragon Ball video game experience, with the only blot being the sometimes tedious energy aquisition process . If you are looking for a new and original Dragon Ball title to play on your 3DS, your wish has been granted.
Good. Picking it up for sure.
Does the game feature stereoscopic 3D? If not, perhaps we'll see a Switch port of it sometime in the future.
Wow. A Dragon Ball game getting a decent score. I was pretty disappointed with Extreme Butoden, but this looks really nice. Is it coming out in Europe?
Seems like something I'd enjoy playing. Europe?
Oooh! I'm waiting for this game to come out here in the UK, it's out soon isn't it? From the videos from the rest of the developed world I've seen playing it, DBF seems to be amazing fun.
I didnt know this was an rpg until last saturday when i saw a video on in the store. Totally buying day 1.
I heard this was good! I still need to try it.
@TantXL 17th Feb
Its been out for a little while here in the States and Ive been on the fence about getting it looks like I will be going and grabbing a copy of this know ., Thanks for the review..
@Gauchorino no 3D. Disappointing because there are a lot of scenes that would be cool with some 3D visuals.
Still a fun game. Solidly mediocre and boosted significantly by the license.
Well, I've not played the game but I definitely like the overall visual style and presentation they've went for here. It looks really cool and potentially a lot of fun.
I only wish I had the money to buy a 3SD and a bunch of cool games like this for it.
Still imaging what this game would be like with a Tenkaichi battle system
Never even watched a single episode of Drangonball Z but this has peaked my interest, a similiar thing happened with the Bleach games on the DS and I ended up loving those.
@Damo And somebody knows if the game will have some extra free contents for those who buy the game in the launch day, at same that they did in the japanese version ?? And some kind of on-line functions ??
If yes, then it will be a day one purchase for me too
It's a good game but the censorship is stupid. Why did Nintendo suggest they replace swords with sticks in a T rated game?!
I have really enjoyed this game so far. It's cool getting to find different fighters to build your team with. Though collecting energy is very tedious at times when trying to open portals.
@GameOtaku But in the screenshot number 5 there are a character using a sword and this review said "USA version" . . . I'm from Europe and I thinked that Sword censorships was just a internet fake, specially since I saw that image in this review...
Please, don't tell me you are a USA gamer of this game and you have sticks instead swords This must to be a fake...
Hopening Europe version will come without sticks...
@Ichi-Tan NA version really does have sticks. I doubt the EU version is going to be any different.
Yep we really do have sticks instead of swords and it was Nintendos idea.
The best feature of this game ti me is the idea of an enjoyable story! They have sold me on this one! When I get some free time I'll pick up this game and give it a whirl.
The game was fun enough to keep me interested in buying it and replaying it from scratch now that I broke my 3DS with an american eshop version.
Inazuma and Dragon Ball together can't be a bad thing.
I would love to see this game on switch
I literally just ordered it about 5 minutes ago, I've been waiting to play this game for a while. I'm the only one choosing a namekian instead of a saiyan or an earthling lol.
@Freelance @GameOtaku Thanks for the info !!
Sounds good, maybe I might pick it up
@GameOtaku @Ichi-Tan I heard it was Bandai's actually. Why would Nintendo care when several of their IPs have swords? What I heard was that Australia didn't like the swords so it was changed to sticks, and BanNam decided to leave all English regions like that 'cause they are (probably) too lazy to make a new version with swords.
That sounds plausible enough to be true.
The way I heard was they conferred with Nintendo on getting a T rating and they suggested censoring swords.
I'm not convinced yet, because in almost all the other reviews this game gets significantly lower scores, but I'm not ruling it out for now.
Anyway, does anybody know if the original japanese voices will be a feature of this Western release? In Budokai Tenkaichi games they did.
It's not like a good Dragon Ball game is especially rare. There have been some excellent games in the past such as the Budokai, Budokai Tenkaichi (Sparking in Japan), and Legacy of Goku sub-series.
Anyway, it's not really my kind of game, but I'm glad it turned out good for those of whom are interested.
@Ichi-Tan Not that it changes much, but they are wooden bokken not just sticks. Most animations make it look questionable but others move you can definitely tell its not just some lazy stick image.
I understand. . . I decided not to buy it for that and my eyes goes to Mario sports superstars, but bokkens is a martial arts weapons and they really looks like very similar to swords.
Thanks you so much for clarified to me this !! Now I thinking on Dragon ball fusions again But now I have doubts between this and Mario Sports superstars. Ha ha ha !!!
@Roam85 Not surprising, sadly. The 2DS is too easy to develop for. I wish they had never made that thing. "BUT MUH EYESITE"
I do hope this influx of "no 3D" 3DS games gets ported to the Switch in droves, though. That's the only good that comes of that (besides good sales numbers, I know...).
I've had a lot of fun playing this game! It made me interested in Dragon Ball so I started to read the full colour manga which fleshes out the characters I meet in the game. Game-play is really fun, too. Fusing is insane and fun and only fits with Dragon Ball. I wanna fuse Freeza badly.
Sticks!!! Fu*$ that!! You could had another bamtendco, but you blew it!!!
2 Dragonball games on 3DS now? Great, now I can grab my Dragonballs and Rock The Dragon in public... Wait, that didn't come out right.
@Moon Xenoverse 1 and 2 are pretty great
I don't recognise some of the characters in the banner and screenshots. I know Trunks, Vegeta and Raditz obviously but who are those super saiyans? New characters or has Goku and the others powered up again?
@Bass_X0 You don't recognize Broly or Pan?
Sure I know Pan. I've not seen the Broly movie though.
@Bass_X0 That's actually "Karoly" though, he's the fusion of Goku (Kakarot) and Broly. The character with blue and green hair just appears on this game and is made by a maxi fusion (fusing 5 characters). The maxi fusion's appearance changes depending on the character that chooses the option and it has that specific apperance when the character that makes the fusion is an earthling.
Is the Multiplayer Co-op or head to head. Im very interested in this one all of a sudden with its RPG elements
This is the most surprisingly awesome 3DS game I have ever played. Granted I am a Dragonball fan since ten years old. If you like Dragonball this is a must own. If you like turn based RPGS, this is a must own. The visuals are amazing for 3DS, and there are 4 large open worlds you can fly around as you wish. The crazy thing is there is NO FOG in the open world. You can fly all the way to the top of the sky and look down and see EVERYTHING. 9/10 for me.
@Windy It's pvp. It's a really fun game specially after investing some hours, when you have access to more characters and techniques.
@roy130390 well it looks like a solid RPG in single player anyway. Plus I saw that Amazon was selling it to Prime members for 22.99 so i ordered it. It will go on my backburner since im going through Dragon Quest VII and Dragon quest VIII right now. Plus I expect to be playing Switch by Saturday with Zelda. Might be a while before I get to dragon Ball. Im a little bummed there is no 3d cause it looks like it would have look great in 3D. Dragon Quest VIII looks great with no 3D but i wish that had 3D also.
So much good stuff all coming out at the same time. Im also looking forward to RPG Maker Festival on 3DS in July. I pre bought it from Amazon with my Prime membership account for 31.99. Great deal! Keep on Rockin 3DS!
@matiasu I feel pretty much the same you do about the 3D its almost a deal Breaker if Stereoscopic 3D is not included. But ive picked up Dragon Quest VIII and this DragonBall game in the last couple week and im glad i did. They both look great even though no 3d. If you have an Amazon Prime account or know anyone who does you can get DragonBall for 22.99 and Dragon Quest for 32.99. Both excellent deals. You can also sign up for a free month of prime to get those discounts. I highly recommend if you like RPG's
picked this up today on the e-shop at %50 off and wow im glad i did. i know nothing about dragonball or the characters but the game was on my radar when it came out then i forgot about till i saw it on sale in the eshop. even tho i dont know anything about dragonball, i love rpgs and anything turn based, and this is even better than i expected. fun turn based battles, cool graphics and sounds, and overall a blast to play and from reading the reviewers comments here, things will get more fun as i advance thru the game. havent been able to put it down even with my huge backlog of games! 9/10 for me so far and might even go higher depending. awesome rpg game.
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