Monday, June 13, 2011

Dragonball Z Legend of the Super Saiya-jin, Part I - Saiyan Saga

This is the fabled "Dragonball Z RPG" for the Super Famicom, and I'm playing it.

My friend Morgan was right when he told me that this game is bad. It's really bad. This game is so bad that the soundtrack consists of three songs. It's the worst RPG I've played since Tecmo Secret of the Stars. This post, however, will rock, given some luck and a couple pints.




The opening scene is Raditz flying. Indeed, that isn't Vegeta, though he sure looks like Vegeta from this angle. This is also the position that Vegeta is typically in when he beds the ladies. He'll fly up to the ceiling and back repeatedly just because sex is more fun if he pretends he's fighting. I bet he has the scouter on when he does it, too. Considering he's spent his entire life engaged in combat, he probably needs something to tell him where to put it.

The game begins, as Gokou and Piccolo take on... Blue Saibamen, refugees from the Blue Man Group stage show. Basically all of the random enemies in the first 40% of the game are different-colored Saibamen.

A glimpse of the combat. This game uses cards to determine the strength of a character's turn. The one "star" ball is the weakest, while Z is the highest. The top ball is attack, the lower ball is defense. Clearly, in this shot, Piccolo has attack and defense topped out while the Saibaman has a lot of nada. In theory, this is kind of a cool battle system, but in practice, the luck of the draw isn't the most fun game design. The game gives you waaaay too many bad cards, forcing you to basically waste turns. Z/Z cards like this one are seen once in a blue moon.

The overworld has spunky, happy music that gets annoying very fast. There's also all of one battle theme in the game, and it too is happy, spunky, and wildly inappropriate. There's also an interior theme which is nondescript and quickly forgotten. Then again, I understand it if the designers of this game didn't have time to make more than three themes for it. I mean, they probably had to get back to more important things, like raising their Tamagochi and chasing girls around while wearing no pants.

I'm keeping an eye on you, Japan!

Kuririn totally begs off about helping Gokou and Piccolo take on Raditz, and flees for the hills. If he really wants to help Gokou, he'll stay home and help Chi Chi raise the kid. Gokou doesn't have time for that stuff! He has to train!

This game has Dragon Radar as an item, which is awesome... and thus far only at all useful at the very beginning of the game to find the kid in question, Gohan. I'm guessing it'll come into play again on Namek when our heroes are hunting for balls, though.

Know what would have been really useful to the sexually frustrated Kuririn, especially on Namek? Hot Girl Radar. Wait, no. It wouldn't have helped, because there were almost none on the planet. It would have only detected Bulma and possibly Zarbon.

Ya know, if I had Hot Girl Radar, it would probably explode as soon as I took it to my university. One click and it'd be all "f this" before exploding in a shower of electric sparks.

Isn't this the farmer that Raditz killed? ...My God! ZOMBIE! GET THE SHOTGUN!

Gokou takes off to find Raditz. Presumably, Raditz kills the farmer after this. How does the timeline go? It's so confusing! All I know is, Raditz landing in the rural farmlands and killing a farmer is about as insensitive to the population as going to Germany and goose-stepping in public. Not only is goose-stepping illegal there, it can spark a real furor.

Gokou reaches level 2! This is an even bigger cause for celebration than that one time that he had sex.

Speaking of sex, our hero ends up in a cave.

Here's Raditz. Does Gokou realize that he too may be a bastard, being from the same family?

For fans of DBZ Abridged who aren't clear on the power levels at this point, it should be noted that Raditz' power level is One Raditz.

The battle is joined! By the way, that awkward stance? Every enemy in the game stands like that. I'm not sure if they're getting ready for battle or getting ready to pass a kidney stone.

He KICKS GOKOU IN THE BALLS! "Why the balls, man!" says our hero.

Now that Gokou has been ball-kicked, John Connor will never be.

But wait! I return, better prepared, and let loose with special attacks.

Of course, here's the biggest one...

YEAH! SUCK IT, RADITZ! SUCK IT!

No! NO! Really? ......NO!

Piccolo has a super-attack of his own! Gird your loins, Raditz!

...are you serious bro? I mean... really?

Either way, I finally manage to defeat Raditz... but it turns out he's just a Saibaman in disguise. Okay, that makes no sense at all. Why couldn't it just be the real Raditz and have him retreat outside? Ah, whatever.

Here's the real Raditz. But guess what? Fighting him now, there would be no way to win. Of course, the game doesn't tell you that, it just lets you waste your time trying. No, first you must do SIDEQUESTS~!

The first involves saving Mr. Popo, the most offensive character in the history of anime, from a bunch of aryans. Er, Saiba Men.

Uhh... no thanks, Mr. Popo.

In any case, that gives you the card you need to actually win this fight. Raditz is invincible to all attacks until it's used. So basically, the real fight with Raditz is one that you either win in one shot or don't win at all, depending on if you have the card. Bizarre.

After Gokou traps Raditz, Piccolo has to use his super-attack for the one hit KO.

Luckily, the game spares you from the whole situation with Gokou letting Raditz go, and we get the condensed version of events: Gokou grabs his tail to immobilize him, Piccolo shoots both of them with the Demon Ray, fight ends. Why couldn't Piccolo just fire from a different angle, one that wouldn't kill Gokou? Maybe aim for the head? Who knows. Scientists have spent many hours trying to figure out DBZ, and it has never ended well.

SHOOT THE DAMN BEAM, PICCOLO! THERE'S NO TIME! TAKE THE SHOT! TAKE THE SHOT!!!

I'll say this on the game's behalf: the animations are good. And with that, Raditz and Gokou are dead. Luckily, death is a mere speed bump in the world of DBZ (for good guys, anyway), and Gokou will be back. Raditz, on the other hand, will never be seen again despite his potential as a character. Him being Gokou's brother was about as unnecessary as a wife is to a politician, and he might as well have just been a Random Saiyan Goon.

With that, the Raditz scenario is finally over. Young Gohan's emotional scarring continues as he goes from losing his dad to getting beaten up by a green monster (played by James Marsters in a tour-de-force performance).

Vegeta is on the way, Nappa in tow. They think it's hilarious that two of the four remaining members of their race just got killed.

Next thing we know, we see Tien and Yamcha training at Kami's Lookout under the watchful eyes of Kami, Popo, and... Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, The Drill Sergeant From Full Metal Jacket: "TIEN AND YAMCHA YOU WORTHLESS PRIVATES! YOU HAVEN'T BEEN RELEVANT SINCE BEFORE DBZ EVEN STARTED! IT'S SO NICE TO SEE YOU NOT BEING DEAD, YAMCHA! AND WHAT DO YOU NEED A THIRD EYE FOR, TIEN? YOU LOOK AT ME FUNNY AND I WILL GOUGE OUT THAT THIRD EYE AND SKULL-FUCK YOU!"

Let's hear it for Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, everyone! Our heroes sure needed a good pep talk. Stay positive!

 Meanwhile, Gohan must do battle with Piccolo. Gohan is older and more powerful, at this point, and the fight isn't too bad. I like how the game just totally skips over Tien and Yamcha (and friends) training. It's clear who DBZ's B-Team is.

 Whoa! Look at the 'tude on Gohan! He's like Sonic the Hedgehog with all that sassiness.

 Meanwhile, Gokou is looking for... haha, really? King Kai is a god? Ha ha ha... hyuck... yeah... ha ha, okay.

In a scene right out of Mario Galaxy, our hero crash-lands on King Kai's planet due to the gravitational pull from King Kai's beached whale like physique.

What follows are a bunch of minigames that make little sense and aren't at all fun, as you boost Gokou's power in exponential amounts by jumping to and fro while a naked ape dances in the background.

At the end, a drunken King Kai breaks a bottle, points it at Gokou, and threatens to "cut a bitch". It was an unpleasant situation, and Animal Control had to be called.

Gokou takes out King Kai without much trouble, broken bottle or not. It helps that since he has the body mass of a walrus, King Kai is nearly immobile.

Whoa whoa whoa! Don't panic, the game says this after every fight. King Kai isn't really dead. ...is he? King Kai? KING KAI!

Damn it Gokou, he's dead. He's dead and you killed him. You might be able to get a reduced sentence by pleading juvenile rage, but either way you're screwed.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Shenlong gets summoned and resurrects Gokou. Unfortunately, this ressurection is on taped delay, so Gokou won't actually return until next Tuesday.

Nappa and Vegeta arrive, and mass destruction ensues.

Much guffawing and evil laughter is had as they sail on over to fight our tragically underpowered heroes.

Piccolo and Gohan are the first characters you play as, but Kuririn is soon found. From there, you need to find the other characters before engaging the enemy. Assemble the B-Team!

Interesting to note their BP (battle power) ratings which as far as I can tell are pretty accurate to the show. The weakest is Chaozu, whose main claim to fame is being Tien's anchor-baby. Anything for that green card, eh Tien?

Next up I make sure to get the card that summons Yajirobe to stop Great Ape Vegeta (if Vegeta goes to that form you're screwed unless you have this card).

 But was the card worth it? There are some things that cannot be unseen.

This seems like a good time to mention that Yamcha somehow isn't dead in my game. Did you know that he dated Bulma? It was a rocky relationship from the very first day, though. The schism began when the classy Yamcha said, and I quote: "We've been dating for hours now. HOURS. When are you going to start making with the Mouth Love?"

Gohan starts yelling in Klingon.

This summons Gokou. Since I finished the training fast, I get him right at the start of the battles rather than mid Nappa fight. This helps hugely, but it won't bring back Yamcha. Nothing can do that now... nothing except rubbing Bulma and making a wish.

What's that? Yamcha STILL isn't dead? Well, that's a shock.

Gokou effectively makes the rest of my characters look puny at this point. One thing worth noting is that only the characters who act in a given turn are actually targettable by the enemies. So leaving all of your weaker characters out of a turn is often a good idea. I let Gokou and Piccolo handle things, for the most part.

Nappa time. Since I left popular children's toy Chaozu out of the battle, he/she/it hasn't gotten killed by Nappa.

Whoa! There's the little tyke, getting some pot-shots in! Aww! Get 'em, you adorable little rapscallion!

Before long, Nappa falls. This fight wasn't bad at all, though we had a close call when Gokou chased after a nearby ice cream truck, barking like a dog.

As a parting shot, Nappa kills Piccolo. And the team continues to dwindle... luckily, Piccolo can just regenerate. ...right? Right?

Next up, Vegeta Vs. Gokou. The battle of the century, now with 10% less rad. For my money, gang, the two best fights in the entire DBZ series are the two Gokou/Vegeta battles. Especially the second one during the Buu Saga.

Gokou starts off by himself in this fight, and he has to hold Vegeta off until the others arrive. Or he can just solo Vegeta, which is entirely possible given that his power level keeps climbing for some reason. As for Vegeta... well, Nappa was five Raditz, while Vegeta is fifteen Raditz. This is important to note.

I chose to spend the entire solo fight charging a Spirit Bomb at massive MP costs. You can also be in Kaiouken while doing this, which makes the bomb more powerful. All things considered, this is kinda cool.

Gokou is charging. Vegeta is still in normal form and giving Gokou a good thrashing the entire time. This is exactly how Gandhi would have fought Vegeta!

Late in the fight, Vegeta breaks out the Gallick Gun, incorrectly named here as far as I know. Unfortunately there's no way to re-enact the awesome beam tug of war in this game. As a result, Gokou takes the hit, then...

...fires back with the Spirit Bomb! Yep, in this, Gokou is the one to throw it. Matter of fact, he pretty much solos Vegeta while the B-Team and even the Semi-A-Team sit around and do nothing.

BOOM! And this Spirit Bomb is fortified by the Kaiou-Ken, so it's particularly beefy.

No, not quite, game. Either way, the battle is won. You'd think there would be another battle with Great Ape Vegeta after this, but there isn't. If you're unlucky, he'll transform into the Great Ape during this fight... but it's nothing a Yajirobe card won't fix. Yajirobe can also perform circumcisions for a small fee (or large, depending on the circumstance). Reserve yours today!

The good guys spare Vegeta, in what might go down as the biggest mistake since Tom Hanks spared that German soldier. Or will it?

With that, our heroes (except Gokou, who is in the hospital) take off for Namek. This trip through space is bound to be a fairly long section of the stor-

And we're there. The cool thing is, you can bring any characters who didn't die in the Nappa/Vegeta battles. Meaning, if you were especially careful, you can have most of the cast for Namek (besides Gokou and Piccolo, who are automatically taken away until later). Tune in to the next episode as I take on the next saga of the story.

On a final note... at some point power levels get too high to count in Raditzes. For instance, Dodoria is twenty Raditz, while Zarbon is 0.3 Freeza Penis. Freeza himself at max power clocks in at twenty Freeza Penis.

Eventually that unit (hyuck) of measurement becomes outdated, and it changes again. Android 17 is two Buu Turd, and Dabura is ten Buu Turd.

Read Part Two HERE

Read Part Three HERE

8 comments:

  1. Who thought that a card battle system would be a good idea in a DBZ game?

    Alright, it's not like the fighting games are any good either...

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  2. Do you really think the farmland contains only one farmer? I mean, the DBZ world makes no sense, but come on...

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  3. Looks more like Yamcha throwing the spirit bomb to me!!

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  4. I like the idea of leaving your weaker allies out of a turn. The card thing is pretty FF1. And since I never saw DBZ, I'm actually learning how the plot goes...from this game, which may or may not be canon. You can email me with the details.

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  5. Well worth a reread! Every line of this is awesome. You were in a zone for this series.

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  6. I know this game isn't that good but I really liked it. This is actually the first game I ever emulated back when I was a kid, playing as the whole cast on Namek was pretty cool, what with having all of them survive. Also the Namek theme is pretty cool.

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    1. We're probably about the same age, because the first game I ever emulated all the way through was DBZ: Gekishin Freeza (the second NES RPG). I got to this one as soon as I found it translated, which I think took a while. The Freeza RPG is also my favorite DBZ game overall and the only one that held my interest even before I had it translated.

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