Why It’s Time for a Hardcore Dragon Ball Fighter
In recent years, the quality of Dragon Ball games has been decreasing. Many Dragon Ball games have been released with super simplified gameplay and gimmicks (cutscenes, motion controls, character creation, etc) that do not truly entertain or intrigue gamers. These games don’t require much skill to play and appear to have only been made to sell the Dragon Ball franchise. The continued release of these types of games is shredding away the excitement of Dragon Ball fans. It’s time for the release of better Dragon Ball games. Most Dragon Ball games have not been the most technical fighters in the past, but I think it is time for this to change. A hardcore Dragon Ball fighting game could reignite fans interest in the series and attract many more gamers. Below are my reasons why it is time for a hardcore Dragon Ball fighter.
The Show is Over
Honestly, as a big Dragon Ball fan; the show has never been over for me since I have stacks of Dragon Ball videos in my closet, watch Dragon Ball fights and scenes on YouTube, and, ultimately, still think about Dragon Ball. Still, I think Dragon Ball game developers should realize that the show is over. A new movie was recently released, but there are no new episodes being aired on TV or anywhere else (to my knowledge). Game developers should also realize that many Dragon Ball games have already been released. Since no new episodes are being aired and there is a long history of Dragon Ball games, many fans are not going to be truly excited about a new Dragon Ball game just because it is a Dragon Ball game. Now, it’s going to take more than the sight of Goku transforming into a Super Saiyan to sell these games and make them appealing.
Dragon Ball Fans are Searching for Something More
Discussion of the future of Dragon Ball games has put Dragon Ball fans in the midst of confusion, frustration, hopelessness, and war. Dragon Ball fans have been getting into long arguments with each other about what types of games should be released next. Some say there should be a new Tenkaichi, some say there should be a new Budokai, some say there should be a Dragon Ball RPG, and some say we should give up. Many people have been taking different sides of this argument, but most agree that there should be some sort of change in the Dragon Ball game series.
Many fans feel like Dragon Ball game developers aren’t listening, but the recently released games have been different (even if it wasn’t in a good way). First, there was Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi. This game was very different from the Budokai’s and the original Tenkaichi’s. In Ultimate Tenkaichi, instead of controlling characters in side by side or 3D environment fighting gameplay, you just press a few buttons and watch the characters fight in cutscenes. Next, there was Dragon Ball Z for Kinect. The concept for this game didn’t sound bad, but many Dragon Ball game fans didn’t desire a motion controlled game or take it seriously. Also, the game didn’t turn out too good anyway. Now, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is going to be released with team gameplay. But, after playing the demo, many fans and myself do not think that this game is going to be good because the controls seem very simplistic and uninteresting.
A lack of complex controls and game mechanics seem to be the main problem with all three of these games. The games were not designed with compelling and fun controls and systems that could entertain gamers for long periods of time. These games were designed for fans that are perceived to be “easygoing” gamers and diehard Dragon Ball fans (that will buy anything DBZ no matter how bad the quality or boring the game is). This is why a hardcore Dragon Ball fighting game should be made. Hardcore Dragon Ball fans should be able to play a hardcore Dragon Ball game that expresses how hardcore the Dragon Ball series is. Goku didn’t do 1 push up and go fight Freiza on Namek, Piccolo didn’t train Gohan by roasting s’mores and telling camp stories about how he tried to kill his dad and take over the world, Master Roshi didn’t order softcore magazines, and Vegeta didn’t use some miraculous machine to raise his power level without training (….Before GT).
Fighting Game Genre/Scene
Many fans have suggested that a new Budokai or Tenkaichi be made, but I think the Dragon Ball game series may need more than this to reawaken and thrive. New Budokai and Tenkaichi style games have already been released. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit was the new Budokai and the Dragon Ball: Raging Blast games were the new Tenkaichi games. Something that is even more new and exciting should be created.
Over the past 5 years, a trend has been occurring within the fighting game genre. This trend is the reemergence of classic fighting game series such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Killer Instinct. The thing that mostly all of these reemerging series have in common is that their games offer complex and entertaining fighting systems. These complex and entertaining fighting systems motivate gamers to spend hours, weeks, months, and years playing these games. Gamers become deeply interested in figuring out the different game mechanics and improving their skill. An announcement of a new update or sequel excites these gamers because they may find some new mechanic or character to explore, learn, and experience. They also find long-lasting entertainment from competing with each other online or in person. Some gamers even become motivated to compete at major tournaments like the Evolution Championship Series and test their skills against the best. Wouldn’t it be very fun and exciting to watch someone win a Dragon Ball fighting game tournament with a funny character like Yajirobe or dominate the competition with an overpowered and cheap Freiza.
A Dragon Ball fighting game with a complex fighting engine could excite a lot of fans. Even fans that don’t usually play hardcore fighting games could become very involved with this type of game. A hardcore Dragon Ball fighter could be capable of truly expressing the series through its characters’ complex and unique moves and the challenges that the game offers. In this game, Goku could be designed to give players the sense that they are really controlling Goku. His different strengths and abilities (and possibly vulnerabilities) could be analyzed from the show and transitioned into the game. And Goku’s strengths, abilities, and vulnerabilities would be different from Vegeta, Piccolo, Gohan, Broly, and other characters’ strengths, abilities, and vulnerabilities. This type of uniqueness and portrayal of the show could entertain any Dragon Ball fan. This Dragon Ball fighter would also be capable of attracting people who do not watch the show. A complex Dragon Ball fighter would expand its audience, raise interest and excitement, entertain fans for long periods of time, and begin a great fighting game series. Dragon Ball is the type of show that is very capable of becoming a great fighting game.
It has been a dream of mine to play and/or create a Dragon Ball fighting game with a really good story mode and complex fighting system. I think that the game should have a system that highlights the difference between fighting from long-range and short-range. When fighting up close, characters should have various attacks that they can use to start up combos and send their opponents flying around the screen. Characters should have attacks that can be executed at different ranges that allow them multiple ways to get the advantage over their opponents. Long-range battles should heavily involve special moves, ki blasts, and tricks (e.g. The after image technique). Goku and Vegeta should be able to launch various blasts at each other and have the iconic Kamehameha vs. Galick Gun power struggle that players can control (maybe this can involve power level raising). I also think that this game should have a unique evasion system. When being flooded with ki blasts and special move attacks, characters should be able to find ways to maneuver around or away from attacks by running, dashing, jumping, teleportation, and other evasive moves. This evasion system could be very useful for a character like Hercule that does not have the ability generate ki blasts (and will probably spend a great deal of time running away).
The complex fighting system of this game should be accompanied with a story mode that teaches players the game’s systems while they experience an adventure within the Dragon Ball world. As I mentioned before, the Dragon Ball story, characters, and battles are very suitable for a hardcore fighting game. If this game is developed well, it can truly express the series and allow fans to experience Dragon Ball in a way they have not experienced before. Once a hardcore Dragon Ball fighter has been released, the sleeper will have awakened and Dragon Ball fighting games will be the prince of all saiyans once again.