I was thinking about how I should start this article, but then I remembered that I’m taking about Dragonball, the franchise that needs no introduction. I’m sure that you’ve owned at least one of the dozens of games that they’ve released over the years. My favorites were the ones in the Budokai Tenkaichi (Strongest Under the Heavens) series. They aren’t the best fighters around, but admittedly it’s really just for fans. It seems to me that the games make marginal progress for every new release, but I still want more. By pulling from the roots of the franchise and by taking care of the small details they can take the series to a new level.
Don’t Leave Out the Origins
What I don’t want is another Dragon Ball Z game. Before Dragon Ball Z there was just Dragon Ball, which is where the story started. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t know about it. In comparison to DBZ being milked for all it’s worth, Dragon Ball has pretty much been ignored. Sure, lately some of its characters have been in games and they even made a live-action movie, but that’s just not enough. The characters are some of the weakest in the roster and the movie… I don’t like talking about it. Of all three series, Dragon Ball had the more unique characters than the rest. More time was put into developing them, rather than having them scream for six episodes. They need to give Dragon Ball a major role in the new games.
Stop Being Cheap
It has become a standard for you to be able to boost your characters’ stats in the Dragon Ball Z games. Even with this, you would still end up always picking the Goku or Vegeta or any of the top-tier characters. We need a system where you can take a weak character like this and through enough work and customization make him go toe to toe with this. This way everyone can pick their favorite character and let the match be decided by effort and skill. Not by picking Goku all the time.
Use the Game to Tell a New Story
One of my favorite new features in the games was the “what-if” scenarios. Basically they would tweak the storyline to help keep the story mode fresh. They have mostly done the what-if battles by pitting characters against others that they have never fought before. How about we take this further and make a new villain? They could do a whole chapter in the story mode dedicated to this and after completing it the player is rewarded with a new OVA starring said villain. This would encourage people to buy the game and see the movie exclusively before it’s released on DVD.
Be More Sophisticated
A lot of people will say that DBZ games are buttonmashers. That isn’t entirely wrong. The combat could use some work. The developers should study the mechanics of other popular fighting games like Tekken and Street Fighter. Also they should take a look at moves being used in the show and bring them into the game. Every character who has done a significant amount of fighting in the franchise should have a distinct style in the game. To make the most of these styles you will have to learn to utilize combo sets and how to react to different types of attacks. Maybe then the game would be taken seriously in the fighting game community.
Who here is a fan of the franchise? Any suggestions on how to make it better? Leave them in the comments.