Dragon Ball is a series well known for it’s long fight sequences. Some may say too long, and when referring to the anime they would be right.
The popularity of the manga caused the animators to fast track the series, so fast they rand out of source material. To slow down the pace of the anime the animators drew out the fighting sequences, causing the long drawn out fights the series is so infamous for. So it’s no surprise the a majority of the games created from the Dragon Ball franchise are fighting games, the latest being Dragon Ball Raging Blast.
While Raging Blast clearly falls into the fighting game genre, it is an atypical example as it must also stay true the franchise. As such the main portion of the game known is the story mode known as “Dragon Battle Collection”. This mode allows the user to play through the entire Dragon Ball Z story, including some of the movies and even some what-if scenarios. When you start the game every other battle is already unlocked leaving you free to decide where to start your fights.
Show Off Your Skills in World Tournament
Another part of the game, which should be no surprise to fans of the series, is the “World Tournament”. In the Dragon Ball franchise the World Tournament has been a reoccurring theme which allows fighters to show off their skills, and to prove just who the greatest fighter actually is. The next part is called “Super Battle Mode”, which is where the game resembles it’s fighting game cousins. Here the user can fight through challenges of differing rule sets including arcade, survival, and time attack. Finally, in this day and age, no fighting game would be complete without an online component. Raging Blast is no different, and actually has a rather robust online component, allowing you to play in a variety of ways with either your friends, or complete strangers.
In typical fighting game fashion the game has many unlockables. Stages, characters, and alternate costumes can all be unlocked for your fighting enjoyment. You can also unlock new movies for your favorite characters, and then customize their move sets to create your ultimate ideal version of a character. The game also has a museum where you can unlock and view information about the Dragon Ball franchise and the characters in the game. As a final added bonus Namco has been releasing free downloadable characters or skins every few weeks to add to your roster.
The gameplay and controls of Raging Blast are quite enjoyable. The gameplay accurately portrays the Dragon Ball series, and the controls are rather simple allowing anyone to pick up the game and quickly master the controls. Once your Ki gage is full, special moves are initiated with a simple move of the right thumb-stick. While it makes me miss the complex sequences other fighting games use to initiate special moves, it definitely allows for anyone to enjoy the game.
Long Load Times, Awkward Cut Scenes
Unfortunately the game also suffers from some poor design choices. Covering up the far too frequent load screens with a simple game doesn’t change the fact that there are way too many load screens. Battles tend to feel uneven as most of your enemies have larger life bars than you. In “Dragon Battle Collection” mode a pitched battle can be quickly thrown off when a cut scene interrupts the action. Finally, while being able to start anywhere in the story in “Dragon Battle Collection” mode may sound great, I found it really hard to pull myself into story mode since I wasn’t actively playing through the story to continue unlocking it. I could move on when I pleased, negating all draw to do just that.
So in the end, Dragon Ball Raging Blast is a well built fighting game who simply suffers from poor design choices. Fans of the series will certainly have fun playing through their favorite scenarios. Plus they don’t need to be a fighting game expert to enjoy it. However those looking for a pure fighting game may want to look elsewhere.