Here is a selection of unknown (or almost) games dedicated to the work of Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball.
Dragon Ball is a series that never dies. After more than 30 years, Akira Toriyama’s manga is still on the crest of a wave and with the announcement of the new Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi is preparing to bring back to the market one of the most loved fighting game series by fans, as well as yet another adventure of Goku and co.
But if today even less ambitious projects like Dragon Ball: The Breakers come down to us, there was a time when many Dragon Ball games were confined to Japan. So today we want to tell you about the most particular ones, in a collection of Dragon Ball games that you may have never heard of.
Dragon Ball Online
The Dragon Ball Online character select screen
You may have heard of the first on the list if you’ve been following us for a while, given that Dragon Ball Online we covered it in a special about games dedicated to the universe of Akira Toriyama that have been cancelled. However, it makes sense to do a little review here too, because the project is one of those that has had important repercussions.
The MMORPG active in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong between 2010 and 2013 is in fact the direct predecessor of one of the most successful tie-ins linked to the adventures of Goku, or the Xenoverse series. The beta of Dragon Ball Online has been active for three years and wanted to lead to the creation of a sequel to Dragon Ball Z well before Dragon Ball Super could even be thought of.
The story was set in a very distant future, over 200 years after the adventures of Goku, and featured the protagonists of the Time Patrolmen in charge of stopping those who wanted to change the past to avoid upheavals in the present. Patrollers obviously played by the players through the first character editor in the history of Dragon Ball, with the presence of three races: majin, namek and earthlings now completely mixed with the Saiyans.
If you know Xenoverse you can imagine the structure of the campaign quite clearly, also because it was here that villains like Towa and Mira made their debut. Unfortunately, the project was closed well before the official publication and for this reason, few people in our area know of its existence.
Battle Stadium D.O.N.
The Battle Stadium DON roster
A Super Smash Bros with manga characters. Battle Stadium D.O.N. it is not a game dedicated only to Dragon Ball, but with the Shonen Jump super license it also allowed you to have access to the main characters of Naruto and One Piece. We therefore had the first 5 members of Luffy’s crew, as well as obviously their captain; Naruto, Sasuke and 4 more of Masashi Kishimoto’s most famous ninja; finally, we could control Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Trunks, Piccolo and three super villains from Dragon Ball, namely Freeza, Cell and Buu.
The mechanics were the classic ones of Smash-style fighting games, but with a particular victory condition: charge your health bar to the maximum before everyone else. Battle Stadium DON was released on GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2006, but since then it has remained confined to Japan and is unknown to most. Not that it was a masterpiece, however: Famitsu had evaluated it with a 26 out of 40 which placed it just above the sufficiency.
Dragon Ball: Dragon Daihikyō
The box artwork of Dragon Ball: Dragon Daihikyō
The first Dragon Ball game for consoles. The only Dragon Ball game made without the involvement of Bandai first, and Bandai Namco later. Among the many records of the unknown Dragon Ball: Dragon Daihikyō there’s also that of being released on a console that probably none of you know: Epoch’s Super Cassette Vision. By the way, the game wasn’t even an RPG or a fighting game, but a simple shoot’em up where Goku slalooms with his Speedy cloud between waves of energy while hitting enemies with his extendable stick.
Dragon Ball: Great Demon King’s Revival
Dragon Ball Great Demon King’s Revival had a very unique game system
After Dragon Ball: Shenron’s Secret, a classic scrolling fighting game for the NES that was released in the United States without any reference to Akira Toriyama’s manga and with a generic kung-fu expert protagonist, in 1988 it was Dragon Ball: Great Demon King’s Revival to tell us about the series in particular. This game released on the Famicom only in Japan was a strange mix of RPG and card board game. The formula was very successful at home, but this was not enough to get any of the 5 games released over the years on the NES and Super Nintendo to the West.
Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden
One of the quizzes from Dragon Ball Z: Gokuden, here translated into English with a mod
The same fate has also befallen another series with particular mechanics. The first Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden arrived in 1995 on Super Famicom presenting itself as a role-playing game where you have to pass several quizzes: to do so you need to respond as faithfully as possible to what happens in the history of Dragon Ball. In short, if you hadn’t seen the anime or read the manga it was difficult to go on.
The sequel, which covered the events up to the battle with Freeza, also had several endings related to some wrong choices, which could lead to negative situations or real game overs.
Dragon Radar Mobile
A promotional image from Dragon Radar Mobile
Let’s face it: who among us hasn’t wanted Bulma’s orb-finding radar? Who hasn’t fantasized about locating the Dragon Balls to ask Shenron for a pair of women’s panties? Ah no, sorry, that was only the wish of that pervert Oscar.
Apart from everything, however, in 2007 Bandai had decided to indulge our compulsive craving and had started selling the Dragon Radar Mobile, an LCD handheld game that was the same shape as the device developed by Capsule Corporation. The game had two different modes, which used an internal accelerometer to fight, search for orbs or challenge friends. A definitely nice product, which over the years has been re-proposed in several variations and which you already knew existed if you saw our special on the strangest games dedicated to Dragon Ball.
If you haven’t run to read it, we invite you to do so; if, on the other hand, you had already checked it out, tell us in the comments below which games on this list you had already tried for some reason and which ones you had never heard of.