Saturday, September 9, 2023

Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Part 15 - The 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament

I'm still doing these? I'm still doing these. The latest (and 2nd to last) DLC for The Best DBZ Game is the only one to actually go outside the realm of DBZ. The first couple DLCs were based on movies that could be "Dragonball Super movies" or "Dragonball Z movies" depending on how you want to measure them. This, though, is a retelling of the last few episodes of the original Dragonball series. Since Gokou is older in those episodes and there was a time jump, lumping them in with DBZ works for me.

Cutscenes fill us in on the reign of terror of King Piccolo.

It's crazy how much damage this one crazed Namekian could do on Earth.

He even beat down Tien! Nowadays one may scoff at such things, but at this time it was a big deal.

We get one (and only one) fight as Kid Gokou. It's a quick brawl with King Piccolo and there isn't much to it.

Eventually Gokou wins with a flying headbutt that impales King Piccolo (not sure why he didn't just regen but I'm not paid to ask questions).

But wait! Before he keels over, King Piccolo gives birth to an egg-spawn, Piccolo Jr. Also known as the Piccolo we all know from DBZ.

My God.

I love how in this fictional universe, cable news is actually there to report news and do journalism, rather than function as a propaganda mouthpiece for the Military-Industrial Complex.

Dammit! I'm trying not to get political today! Deep breath, deep breath.

Three years passed, during which King Piccolo's egg-spawn grew up into a full-sized adult... and Gokou went through puberty. The less said, the better.

It's been a while since any of this crew saw each other, as they gather for the 23rd World Tournament. It's actually the first time some of them have really gotten any airtime in this game.

Oolong and Puar basically have the same superpower, shape-shifting. Except Oolong is a "shapeshifting mischief-maker" and Puar is a "transformation specialist". Not sure what the difference is but at least Puar sounds professional. Neither of their abilities are as powerful as Bulma's legs, which make me want to get down on my knees and praise the sun.

Roshi of course proceeds to hit on Bulma like the thirsty AF guy he is. Well, this instantly puts to rest any lingering questions about whether he and Launch are banging. Anyway, let's get to some gameplay!

Gokou shows up and nobody recognizes him! Not sure what he's been doing for 3 years. Just pubertying I guess.

Note how they identify Chaozu as "Tien's companion". I guess they no longer feel like they have to address him as "Tien's roommate" so that's good.

Kuririn is very happy to see his former arch-nemesis, beginning the heartwarming best friends arc that lasts for the entire series.

Alright lady, keep your hands where I can see them!

Chi Chi wanders in and seems to know Gokou. Problem is, he doesn't know her. Kuririn is astonished that Gokou has spoken to an actual girl.

We then learn that Gokou is going to face her in the tournament! My God! ...I really hope that fight is playable.

There are off-camera qualifier matches to even get a spot in the tournament. All of our heroes win theirs... besides Chaozu. Of course.

Who could have done this??

...probably most of the fighters there actually

Turns out it was the diabolical Mercenary Tao, one of OG Dragonball's more formidable foes. This one's Tien's fight.

We finally get control of Gokou and can explore a very small town area. It contains... HOT DOG.

He can't fly yet, so you have to ride the Flying Nimbus to sail around town. It's actually AWESOME and I don't think this is ever a thing in the main game.

You could make a whole afternoon out of just sailing around town on this thing, collecting orbs (skill point currency) and killing time.

Next, Launch is apparently telling everyone what she's into. And this is the innocent version of Launch!

You can take The Crew out for food, which causes them to get totally blasted with all kinds of stat powerups. This lasts for a few minutes and should help with the first few fights. I like how the early parts of this game (this, and early main story) have low enough stats that things like food can make a difference.

The nefarious Yajirobe, who reminds me of that Goemon guy. What's he doing here? Lurking. S'what he does.

Neat glitch here, as two Mercenary Taos show up in the arena waiting area. Seems to happen every time, too.

Another fun glitch: Play Bardock's DLC and switch to this DLC from there (instead of switching from the main story or another DLC). Instead of playing as Kid Gokou for the first fight, you play as Bardock. Since he's a way higher level, you can run over King Piccolo like a diesel truck.

We get a flashback fight to the last time Mercenary Tao and Tien locked horns. It didn't go well for Tien.

This means you still have to win this fight, but he'll trounce you in cutscene after. One issue I've had with this game in general is the way must-lose fights still have to be won (before losing in the cutscene) which often doesn't make sense. For example, Bardock defeating Freeza in a fight before Freeza wipes him out in cutscene.

Tien's TRI-BEAM is really awesome and unique. Nothing else in the game looks like this. Really wish we got to play as Tien more often, so I'm glad they included him here.

Tien of course loses in cutscene. Still, a ton of fun to play as this guy.

"Failure to lay a hand on Mercenary Tao" my ass! I landed 3-4 full-force Tri-Beams on that bastard!

Easy, Chaozu isn't dead, bro

...not yet

The announcer bellows forth that the tournament has begun! He's also the referee who counts people down, and inspects ring-outs to determine if they are indeed out. He also announces the winners, and calls the play-by-play. As far as I can tell, he does literally all of the jobs at this thing.

Wait, did I say ring-outs? Yep, you can lose matches by ring-out, a first for this game. Can't WIN by ring-out though, for no apparent reason. It doesn't matter either way because you can only be ring-outed at low health anyway, so it's more or less similar to a normal loss. "No items allowed" could be a big handicap, but I never needed to use any items in this DLC regardless so I actually forgot it was a rule.

Mercenary Tao does a Terminatorvision scan of Tien.

There's no way Tien has a power level of 1902

Another good fight as Tien, and this time the outcome actually counts. Dodon Ray is another good attack, quicker but less potent than Tri-Beam. Solar Flare SHOULD be really good (stuns your opponent for a few seconds) but I found it to be spotty in terms of how often it actually worked.

Heh, Solar Flare is "spotty". Like... sun-spots. I'll show myself out.

Next we get Gokou vs Chi Chi. She's really mad and he has no clue why.

They cutscene-only which is really unfortunate. I was looking forward to actually battling her. Turns out she met Gokou when they were kids and he promised to marry her when they got older, then sodded off and forgot all about it. Here she is as an adult (or at least a late-teenager) STILL upset about this random kid from years ago who probably didn't actually know what marriage was.

Get a life, Chi Chi.

In any case, she insists that Gokou fight her for real so she can get out her hormonal teenage angst. If she accidentally kills him, she might be able to get away with it via the "juvenile rage" defense.

Gokou throws one punch in her general direction and the force (...not even the punch, the air from it) sends her flying back about a hundred feet and out of the ring.

She's like, dead. In full Yamcha Pose and everything.

After she wakes up from the coma, our heroes talk it over and Gokou agrees to marry her after all, even though they barely know each other.

At least the audience loves this. It's like Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth all over again!

Only if you were raised right, Gokou.

Next, the arrival of Piccolo Jr, the one we all know and love. Except here he's evil!

He squashes Kuririn in a cutscene. This fight really should have been playable. Surprised there are zero fights as Kuririn in this DLC. Also the cutscene fights are starting to seem like a bit much. Where's the action? The DLC is short enough without having half of it be in cutscenes.

To be continued.

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