One of the big non-Nintendo released Game Boy Advance titles released in 2002 was Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku, a game that showed just how rabid fans of the Dragon Ball Z animated series can be. The GBA game was only slightly better than mediocre, and looked like it was somewhat rushed to fill in the gap as soon as Infogrames/Atari scored the license. Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II builds upon the brand and design established in last year’s original, but the development team improved almost every aspect of the first game in the series, with a much larger quest with loads more variety, enhanced graphics and audio, and tighter action during battle sequences. The storyline still assumes you’re familiar with the Dragon Ball Z brand, so newbies might not feel as welcome as those who’ve followed the anime throughout its multiple sagas. But even without prior knowledge of the series, players can still enjoy the extensive, enjoyable adventure.
Note: IGN Insiders: Find all the Nameks, beat the adventure and open all doors with this detailed guide.
- Twenty hour quest
- Five playable characters
- Cartridge save (three slots)
- Only for Game Boy Advance
The original Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku was situation-by-situation conversion of what’s known as the Saiyan saga of the Dragon Ball Z storyline…not an extensive series by any means, which might attribute to how short the original game was. In contrast, this sequel is based upon three different sagas, more specifically Trunks, Android, and Cell. Now, if you’ve never followed the Dragon Ball Z series this might not mean a whole lot, but what it comes down to is that Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II takes situations from several dozen episodes of the Dragon Ball Z cartoon and replicates them in an adventure that will take gamers a solid 20 hours to complete.
Though the game features RPG elements like hitpoints and leveling up, The Legacy of Goku II is more of an action adventure game similar to The Legend of Zelda series. Players will wander from location to location performing specific tasks that will open up areas to get further into the storyline; battles are definitely of the action variety, since players will have to master hand-to-hand and distance combat against a variety of beasts and characters from the show, with each defeat giving a set number of experience points that will, eventually, bump up that character a level and increase his abilities during future battles. Certain locations are actually blocked physically with a numbered barrier; players can’t destroy these barriers until the character is at the level of that specific number.
Though the game begins with players controlling Gohan, but eventually there will be six characters to control during this quest. It’s this ability to swap between characters which livens up the adventure’s variety; each party member — aside from specific character special attacks — controls and plays pretty much identically through the game, but they are powered and leveled up independently from one another. Players can collect strength and power capsules that can be given to any of the party members, so it makes the game more personal since players can build up their party the way they want. Specific areas can only be accessed by changing control from one character to another…but these situations aren’t as frequent as it feels they should be.
As far as presentation goes, Webfoot Technologies definitely poured much more effort into strengthening the adventure design established in the first game. The original Legacy of Goku tried to mimic the big-head Japanese RPG genre, but it came off incredibly rigid and rushed, and didn’t do much to utilize the GBA’s graphic or sound capabilities. For the sequel, the same development team reworked the first game’s engine and improved virtually every aspect of the design. The environments are much more vibrant, the animation’s more energetic, and the battle engine features better focus on collision detection that makes encountering enemies a lot more fun than tedious. The Mode 7-style map sequence where players fly from location to location, while seeming slightly out of place, is at least a sign that the developers made an effort to utilize the GBA’s hardware capabilities in the development. Even the dialogue between characters is easier to follow thanks to better designed text windows featuring the specific character profile.
And the quest is a lot more fulfilling this time around, but due to all the references connected to the anime, it’s made more for the fans of the series. Even when the game’s come to an end, there’s a few more secrets to uncover, but players will have to power up each of the characters in their party in order to unlock it. Still, the payoff is worth it, but again…only fans of the series will truly appreciate what’s beyond the end.
|Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II
|Exclusively on||Game Boy Advance|
|Release date(s)||June 17, 2003|
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