Following the long standing tradition of calling for remakes, today we’re going to explore the GBA series Dragonball Z: The Legacy of Goku. Kamehameha!
This post may come off a tad dense to anyone not familiar with this game series or Dragonball. I try to explain it well enough for those familiar with games, but who knows.
Quick note: Recently (as of writing [1/16], not posting) Kinja updated, and now I can’t use any text features. No titles, no bold, nothing. I apologise for this inconvenience.
·What Is It?·
The Legacy of Goku games (LoG, LoG II, & Buu’s Fury) are isometric top-down, real-time, Action RPGs developed by Webfoot, and published by Atari for the GameBoy Advance, released in the early 2000s.
·Why is it Great?·
Well... okay, here’s the thing: The first one is actually pretty terrible. It had some good ideas and that’s about it.
The decision to focus solely on Goku hurts the story, badly, and that’s before you get into the changes they made/had to make, or bullshit “side quests” (like helping a small boy win the affection of a neighbor while a dangerous psychopath holds your son captive).
The combat, if you can call it that, is TERRIBLE. It is overtly difficult, but mostly because it sucks- not due to any challenge.
There is no real levelling up. I mean you gain levels, but just to gain more HP. I’d say the only two good things in the whole game are:
1) The pre-Start screen cinematic is the original American opening (sans “Rock the Dragon).
2) When the “Kamehameha” attack is fully charged, an audio clip of Goku saying it plays.
So yeah, not a great game.
Legacy of Goku II is a marked improvement in comparison. For starters, it’s actually a fun game in general.
The story hues closely to the source- for the better- and even includes a few movies. The decision to let you play as multiple characters vastly improves the story and pacing.
Combat is viable, though not perfect. Side quests are still a little absurd, but also interesting.
Still light on RPG elements. You gain stats, but you can’t allocate them yourself.
Buu’s Fury has the best RPG elements.
In combat, a block button was introduced that, until this point, I never realised was so necessary.
Gear has been added, with different items for Suit, Arms, Legs, Head, and Accessories granting different buffs and/or debuffs (ex, weighted arm bands and boots will boost EXP at the cost of speed).
Every level-up now grants points to be allocated to Strength, Power, and Endurance. Basic for an RPG, yes, but more than enough for a handheld. All-in-all, the meatiest of the series.
So, on the whole, the series is pretty good. Definitely worth a playthrough, provided you completely skip over the first one.
·What it Needs·
Better side quests.
Here’s the thing, we can keep the overhead, Pokemon-esque view. Or get rid of it. I don’t care, either one works.
The goal here is not to create a GTA: Dragonball with everything Sagas should have been smashed into every good part of Xenoverse. That’s an unrealistic pipedream.
The goal is to remake LoG into a decent console Action-RPG. Well, three really.
Let’s break the game(s) down.
|GRAPHICS|: Now, I actually like the art style of these games. This should be like Pokemon remakes- i.e., the jump in graphics from Gold to HeartGold- but slightly more drastic (since we’re moving to consoles.
I would also like to hue more towards Toriyama’s original designs. That sounds confusing so think of it like this: Dragon Quest (Akira Toriyama’s art, but 3D and cell-shaded), but chibi-fied (larger head & eyes, smaller body).
Once again, I know more fans would prefer either a direct translation of DBZ in 3D and cell-shaded, or a full-3D textured, normal-mapped, “real” style, but we’re remaking Legacy of Goku. Not creating the DBZ game fans wetdream over.
|GAMEPLAY|: The OrigTrig worked with a D-Pad, two face buttons, and two shoulder buttons. We have all that plus two more shoulder & face buttons, and two sticks. So, the controls have to change a bit. I’m thinking...(PS, I’m doing face in XBOX, shoulder in PlayStation)
·B= Basic Ki Blast
·A=Special Ki Attack
·L1/R1= Cycle Through Special Ki Attacks
·L2= Super Saiyan/Namekian (games 2 & 3)
·D-Pad= Quick Select Assigned Item
Got it? The Z Store from Buu’s Fury would be present in all three games, along with level-up points, and coins would burst from fallen enemies because video games. Speed would be added as a stat that can be leveled. All special Ki attacks (Kamehameha, Masenko, Big Bang, etc.) will also be able to be upgraded.
All dialogue will be fully voice acted. Certain key moments from the series, that wouldn’t make sense to do with gameplay, will be done with in-game cutscenes.
An in-universe/made up reason will be given for why enemies’ bullets/rockets/projectiles actually do any damage. (Like, “oh, they’re using Gravitonium” or something else as stupid-yet-acceptable)
Basic combos will be a thing (XXX, XXY, YYY, YYX, XYX, XYB, YXB, etc), and charging attacks will result in more powerful ones.
·GENERAL·: One of the greatest things in the Dragonball universe is the Earth. The Eurasia/Pangaea super-continent is so beautiful and varied. We’ve seen the American Southwest-esque deserts and generic grass lands in plenty of DBZ games. What makes this series so great is the ability to fly all over the world to new locales. From the rolling high hills (inspired by Chinese paintings) of Goku neighborhood, to the hustle and bustle of Apple Store haven West City, to Jungles and Tundras. Not to mention all the distinct districts, villages, towns, and areas in between. This is the best reason to bring the series to consoles.
Also, gear should make a return (maybe not so much straws), though to be purchased, rather than randomly popping out of fallen foes.
·Who Should Make It?·
I dunno. Webfoot showed a great growth in their time. While I’m not sure how well they can do 3D, it would be sweet to see what I described on 3DS.
I don’t really know who SHOULD, or even COULD, make this game. Despite my incessantly long post of what it needs, the base game hasn’t changed much at all. So whoever can make an action RPG that feels sorta Pokemon-ish but clearly loves DBZ and manages to be true enough to fans, accessible enough to newcomers, and fun enough to everyone should make it.
Just not Dimps. Leave them to fighting games.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this below. ^-^