Dragon Ball Prints Money, but These DBZ Games Are Crap

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#1: Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku

While I'm told the sequels to The Legacy of Goku range from serviceable to even enjoyable, the first of its kind should not be forgotten. While UB22 and Taiketsu are as awful as they come, they still function. Albeit at a base level, the games do fulfill what the developers set out to accomplish. Sagas is a stunning achievement in coasting, but it might be fun after 20 beers. Even the pathetic Dragon Ball Z: For Kinect can register a kamehameha sometimes. The original Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku is a game that either does not function as intended or functions as intended and is a digital venture into the theory behind Chinese water torture.

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku starts off more promising than many of the other games on this list, forgoing the idea of immediately rewarding the player with a bad experience as established by previous Dragon Ball Z games. It instead opts for an action RPG setting where you guide Goku through the Raditz and Frieza arcs.

While this all sounds actually okay, don't be fooled and keep your head on a swivel as The Legacy of Goku contains potentially harmful levels of tedium. The melee combat in the game consists of physical attacks with such untenable range and hitboxes that it feels more akin to something like Might and Magic or, more accurately, Hydlide. Yet the game does not accept it would function better as a blobber. Instead, it has the sheer gall to demand you participate in real-time battles as though everything isn't determined by the whim of whatever line of spaghetti code that checks HIT or MISS when you attempt to use a punch. Focusing on melee attacks makes the game near impossible to play.

The solution then, you may be thinking, is to use energy attacks. And you'd be right. There's one you get fairly early in the game called the solar flare. The solar flare is the blind idiot god of The Legacy of Goku. Everything from the wolf you fight in Area 1, up to and including Frieza at the end of the game, have to answer to the solar flare. There will never be a moment in the game where “hit it with the solar flare” is the suboptimal choice, and you get the solar flare in the first leg of your journey. It is an unfeeling, primordial force; one that the player can wield entirely as they see fit, free of all consequences and responsibility.

The Legacy of Goku is a conceptual air ball. The blueprint for this game is one of the cleanest alley-oop's a design team could have asked for, and yet it was botched at every single possible opportunity. This is why it takes the number one spot on this list. The solar flare invalidates the entire existence of The Legacy of Goku to the point where it no longer counts as a video game. It's a creatively designed data entry program.

But, what is the alternative? Return to the melee combat and inch your way through moving traffic on the highway of The Legacy of Goku? This is the true nature of Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku, and it is a grim mask of death. It's the casino where you always win, or where you always lose. You have no middle ground, no recourse to any kind of higher power, nothing to ground you in reality. And then it just ends.

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Published Jan. 30th 2018
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