“Kameha…me..ha?” – “Oh, You’re Done… Already?”

I have no clue why Adult Goku is on the box. He isn’t even in the game…

My jaunt with Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure has just come to an abrupt end tonight. Being somewhat familiar with the show, I had thought that there was at least another half hour of play time left, yet I find myself sitting here unexpectedly staring at credits, signaling the unwanted end of the game.

Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure runs through almost 70% of the anime series, consisting mostly of Goku running through certain season highlights streamlined into multiple levels. A healthy design choice is how the plot is worked into the game, which is thankfully delivered through short text boxes, skimming over the 200+ hour series in a matter of seconds. Instead of dumping story on the player, Dragon Ball AA wastes no time pushing story aside in favor of game play. Coming off as a very casual affair, which, as most hand-held games should be, Dragon Ball AA is exactly the kind of game I was looking for. There is no learning curve whatsoever, requiring only the use of the D Pad and A and B buttons to navigate towards the games general goal: The right side of the screen.

Dragon Ball AA is a nice mix of single plane, 2d beat-em-up type game play and a very bare bones fighter. Enemies re-spawn throughout each level, asking only for a passing interest from players, while they endeavor to reach the level’s end. Most are easily dispatched by yammering on the B button, causing Goku to whip out a sweet, and ultimately repetitive combo. Goku’s life bar can be upgraded by finding certain items, which seems to work well with the games slightly progressive difficulty. In the same item dependent fashion, Goku’s “Kamehame HA!” bar is strengthened, unleashing an increasingly powerful blast stream (if you want to call it that) with each upgrade. It usually takes about five minuets time to bolt through each level, always ending with an augury boss fight and the reward of saving.

Plowing through the “fighting game” boss fight sections is a mundane, simple experience, involving yammering, yammering, and more yammering. Each fighter has a defensive block meter, which is, seemingly at random, chipped away as you aggressively spam the B button. Upon losing the block meter, the opponent is completely open to fists of fury, which, as you should come to expect, ends up being the same combo you use through the rest of the game. The unfortunate downside to these fights is how minimal they are, sadly making them incredibly easy to exploit. I ended up spamming Goku’s power attack over and over again, jumping here and there to avoid a (GASP) surprise attack. This is how I ended up passing the end boss, Piccolo, who upon offering a laughable challenge, was an opponent with almost too much life-bar to chip away from.

Finishing the game unlocks rewards, such as new items, mode specific features and characters to run through the game with. Oddly, especially for those who know anything about Dragon Ball, unlocked characters seem to rip through the game far better than series star, Goku – A huge contrast to how almost everyone in the show is portrayed.

I had quite a bit of fun with the game, habitually popping it on every other day, and never finding myself disliking any time I put into it. Dragon Ball AA really is a great casual title for the on-the-go type player, and those who have little time to invest in a core game. I was a little upset to find the game was on the easy side, which is something I believe the developers took note of too. By the end of the game, I just ran to the right as fast as I could, avoiding any and all obstacles. In what seems like a design afterthought, forced fighting sections, ushered in with a giant exclamation mark, seem to break up any attempt at blowing through each level. Regardless, upon figuring that most of the game is avoidable, passing the game becomes an even simpler task – Unfortunate to be sure, as the game really is a blast to play.

Underneath the Dragon Ball exterior exists a pretty neat 2d adventure… an advanced adventure at that (I’m such a geek). Anyone jamming on the game shouldn’t expect a time sink, or attention demanding game play. Quick sessions with the game prove fruitful, while the almost perfect progression of difficulty keeps players entertained enough to see the game through to the end. The bright pastel colored atmosphere seems to display really nicely on the GBA screen, mixing well with the fluid sprite movements and overall cheery tone of the soundtrack. The cheap asking price on used markets should be enough to convince any potential buyer with confidence. I feel the game should be in any and all GBA libraries, especially those with a knack for 2d beat-em-up preferences. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Dragon Ball or not, Advanced Adventure is sure to please anyone with an interest in 2d games.

Buy the game on Ebay!

Now… on to Ketsui!


One Response to ““Kameha…me..ha?” – “Oh, You’re Done… Already?””

  1. […] the passing of this game tonight, I decided that putting up a VGM track from the game was a nice commentary for my ritual, […]

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