Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle – Review

Epic battles, super-powered heroes and villains, dragons, balls, magic beans and a massive roster of characters. That’s right, this is a Dragon Ball Z game. Specifically, it is Bandia’s new free-to-play puzzle/action/board game, Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle for  Android and iOS. If you are a fan of the Dragon Ball Z anime or manga, then you are going to love this game. If you aren’t, then maybe this game’s cool systems could convert you.

Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle is broken down into 2 main sections: quests and events. Events are time sensitive rounds that can pit you against specific characters or journey through storylines from the Dragon Ball Universe. These change all the time and can give you access to a powerful character. Quest mode has a unique storyline involving the Dragon Ball history being messed up. You need to team up with Future Trunks to beat all the bad guys and save the day. If you decided to download this game hoping for a cool story then, I’m sorry but ou should probably keep looking. The story is a flimsy chassis for the game underneath.  Although if you downloaded it for some over the top anime fights, decent game mechanics and to see pink aliens fight green robots, then you are in the right place.

Battles in Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle work like this:

  • A range of coloured ki orbs appear on screen
  • Tap the coloured orb and try to chain as many together as possible for maximum damage
  • Match the colour to the character type for bonus ki and some health recovery
  • Use the rainbow ki to continue your chain
  • Take advantage of neighbouring ki orbs to perform bursts and maximise your ki
  • Match enough ki and your character will perform a super attack for massive damage

So you know how to put up your fists and duke it out, but what are all the different ki types and colours?

Well each types ki colour is:

  • Str = Red
  • Phy = Orange
  • Int = Purple
  • Teq = Green
  • Agi = Blue

That is the basics, but setting the right team composition is important as well. Each character has its own link. This means that they will get a boost when they are fighting next to specific characters. For example, pair Krillin and Yamcha together and you will activate the Z-Fighters link making them both stronger. Each round in a battle has 3 active characters and you can drag and drop the order to trigger link abilities and decide who is going to defend specific attacks. This is because each type has a strength and a weakness. Str < Phy < Int < Tech < Agi < Str. By utilising strengths and weaknesses, you can deal some wicked damage while also protecting your very valuable health. Before entering a level you can equip support items that will help recover health, reduce an enemies strength and loads more. But how do you find these items?

Each stage in Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle is displayed on a board. In order to progress towards to final boss, you must choose one of three randomly generate numbers. Each number represents how many spaces you can move. You will want to choose the number that net you the benefit you are after; this could be a ki boost for the level, and item, zeni (money) or perhaps nothing as you set yourself up for next turn. Throughout each board, there will be enemies to battle and certain spaces that will just deal damage. Once you engage an enemy a fight will begin. This is could easily be a really annoying ‘role-to-move’-like mechanic, but having the choice of three places to move at any one time helps to mitigate the chance of not wanting to go to any of the space. If you do end up landing on the damage node for each of them then you probably should have planned ahead better.

Now you know how levels and battles work, but how do you make your characters stronger?

Training, this is Dragon Ball Z of course. There is nothing that can’t be made better with a little training. By using training items you can boost your characters EXP, but you can also use not needed characters to strengthen other. Be aware that they will disappear once trained with. I can only assume you either eat them Buu style or they are absorbed Cell style.

As well as training you can also awaken characters to boost their stats and rarity. Currently, there are 4 different rarities SSR, SR, R, N. The more S’s you have on a character the stronger it is. This will also change their type to a super version of itself e.g. Super Teq.

And that is the game. Win fights, gain experience and level your heroes, train them for even more experience, complete story quests and events, gain more heroes and rinse and repeat. Is it a good game? It’s a great game.

The combat, for example, is much deeper than you may first think. Planning the correct team for a specific level can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Ensuring you guard attacks by using characters that are strong against a certain type will save you from so many dire situations. Planning the exact order you are going to attack in order to maximise the ki orbs collected will ensure you do great damage. Sometimes letting one character do a bad attack so another can do a super. There is a lot to play around with and it’s all Dragon Ball Z characters so if you are a fan of the series then you are going to love it.

“But what is the free-to-play model? Do I need to spend silly money to have fun?” I hear you whispering frantically amongst yourselves. The simple answer to this is, no. You can spend real world money on Dragon Stones if you really want, but you can enjoy the game without them. Dragon Stones let you buy character packs, unlock more roster slots and recover stamina quicker, but you can also get them by playing the game normally. Also with regular events giving players the chance to obtain new characters and the constant accrual of friend points (the free way to summon new character) players don’t actually need to spend any money. And this is great. The option is there, but it isn’t super aggressive and keeps the game balanced.

I really like this game, it’s got great depth and rewards playtime and clever strategies over spending money. I hope they continue to develop the game and it get’s some more modes like PVP and some sort of alliance/clans. Recently, the developers added in missions, the events are like clockwork and new characters are being added all the time; I can see good things in the future for Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle.

 

This article was originally published on http://www.gamertime.co.uk but unfortunately, that site no longer exists, so I’ve republished it here.

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