Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans
Does the game stand out among its JRPG competitors?
Posted 3 years ago By - Joe Law
Seems like there’s been a rash of Dragon Ball games released as of late. Most recently, a new roleplaying game from Monolith Soft and Namco Bandai came out which centers around the tail end of the original Dragon Ball series and leads into the entirety of the Saiyan Saga. But how does it stack up? We’re about to find out.
Attack of the Saiyans is a fairly typical, turn-based JRPG. You can have up to three characters in your party and they each have their own unique skills and attacks. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of variety as to who you can put on your team. It’s hard not to optimistically hope for a larger cast, including some of the B-List Dragon Ball Z characters like Yajirobe and Chiaotzu, but the only characters you can select from are Goku, Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, Yamcha, and Tien. Yup, basically everyone on the cover of the game is playable within.
There is also a specialized combat system that uses the game’s Rage bar. It fills up whenever you deal or receive damage. Once your Rage bar is filled, you can use special tag team attacks with your other party members. While this may seem pretty cool at first, in all honesty, it’s been done better in other games. On top of this, in Attack of the Saiyans, there is no simple combo menu you can view. Instead, you pretty much have to guess by selecting a special ability for each of your characters and hoping they trigger a tag team move. A filled Rage bar can also be used to execute super moves, but you don’t get the ability to use one until pretty far into the game.
The one plus the game has going for it, however, is its length. There are about 86 chapters and each chapter takes anywhere from ten minutes to thirty minutes to complete. Even if you estimate using the low end of that range, that means you’ll get a good solid 14 hours of play time which, in the end, is a good thing since this game has very little replay value after that. If what you’re looking for on the DS is something that’s going to take you a while to beat, then this game will be your best friend.
Graphics & Sound
There are those who believe that expecting a lot from the graphics and sound in the DS is a bit futile, but I disagree. Games like Kingdom Hearts 358/2 prove that DS software doesn’t have to look terrible.
Attack of the Saiyans, however, fails to utilize either cutting visuals or any kind of decent sound. The game instead opts for a more old-school feeling RPG, using still frame images and 32-bit looking sprites. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when the game is a typical JRPG, in a sea of JRPGs available for DS, it would have benefited from a more standout, unique art style. My biggest complaint with the graphics is that not all of the NPCs and characters you interact with have character portraits, and all you see is their text dialogue.
At $35 CAD, Attack of the Saiyans isn’t a must have for DS owners or even JRPG fans in general. That’s not to say that the game isn’t worthwhile, but if you’re not a Dragon Ball fan, there are plenty of other, better, JRPGs on the DS. If you are a Dragon Ball fan, however, and really dig the turn-based role-playing genre, than this game is definitely worth the loot.
If you are a huge fan of Dragon Ball and equal parts JRPG fan, you can’t go wrong with this game. It’s a competent JRPG and offers a ton of portable role playing content. That said, if you aren’t already a fan, this is one game you can safely avoid.
+ Takes a fairly long time to complete for a DS game.
- Good deal of NPCs lack character portraits.
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Release Date : 2009/11/10
System : Nintendo DS
Publisher : Namco Bandai
Developer : Monolith Soft
Category : Role Playing Game
ESRB : E10+
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
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8.7 / 10