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Dragon Ball Z: Legacy of Goku II

Score: 95%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Webfoot Technologies Inc.
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG


Graphics & Sound:

The second leg of the DragonBall Z series has made its way onto the GameBoy Advance. DragonBall Z: Legacy of Goku II takes place just after the Garlic Jr. Saga (that would be the start of the Trunks Saga) and goes all the way to the end of the Cell Games. It allows you to take control of Gohan, Goku, Trunks, Vegeta and Piccolo as you face many enemies from the series.

The isometric view and tile-like feel of DragonBall Z does a good job of convening the look and feel of the DBZ world. Although I have to gripe some about the fact that trees or other objects make it difficult to see your enemies at times and can sometimes lead to unnecessary deaths. This is forgivable when you realize that these objects allow for even more varieties of villains, like ninjas sneaking in the bushes waiting for you to pass their line of sight.

The music is similar to that of the show, and allows you to get into the game while going through an enemy dense area, but I found a couple of times where I actually had to turn it down just to be able to concentrate. The sound effects don't have that wide of a range and consist pretty much of one or two hitting and punching sounds along with some whooshing and energy weapon explosions. But even though there aren't a lot of different sounds, it doesn't seem to get as annoying as other games.


Gameplay:

As I said before, DragonBall Z: Legacy of Goku II starts off soon after Goku has defeated Frieza on Planet Namek, which is where the previous game left off. You start off in control of Gohan, (that would be Goku's son for those of you who are not initiated into the DBZ way), who has spent the past year waiting for his dad to return, as well as fighting the evil Garlic Jr. Gohan is awakened from a dream where he is fighting Frieza by a feeling of dread. It appears that Frieza has survived. The Earth's Special Forces meet up at the site of Frieza's landing only to see him and his cronies defeated by the Super Saiyan from the future, Trunks.

The story progresses from there almost word for word to the show, and all of the major plot points are in the game. As you move forward, you gain control of Piccolo, Vegeta, Trunks and Goku. You will go up against Androids 19 and 20, then 17 and 18, all before Cell makes his big appearance. But it all leads up to the final showdown against Dr. Gero's most fierce android yet. Cell is a being that has the combined strengths of the galaxy's most formidable fighters, including all of the characters from the game.

You will also be charged with several other side quests that aren't required to finish the game, but fleshes it out a bit and gives you something to do when you get bored with bashing enemy after enemy in the attempt to go up a couple of levels. These quests include looking for Golden Capsules, lost Nameks and investigating a security leak at Capsule Corp. Heck, even Frieza's brother Cooler makes a guest appearance.


Difficulty:

As far as difficulty is concerned in DragonBall Z: Legacy of Goku II, if your character is at a high enough level, then you won't have a problem plowing through the bosses and enemies. The problem is getting to such a level. You will find that most of your time is spent going through the same areas over and over again attempting to level up as much as possible before you head off to face one of the Androids. Overall, the difficulty is pretty well balanced. Most likely you won't be ready for the boss when you run up against it the first time, but if you increase your level a couple of points, you will probably not have too much trouble getting past that stage of the game.

Game Mechanics:

The control scheme of DragonBall Z: Legacy of Goku II is easy to pick up. You are allowed to move in all eight directions using the D-pad and you use the A and B buttons for your attacks. The A button is used for hand-to-hand combat while the B button fires your 'melee' attack. Pressing the Left Shoulder button chooses this attack by cycling through the energy weapons your character has learned. The Right Shoulder button is used to view the map, scan enemies and look for the seven DragonBalls.

Each of your characters will gain the ability to turn Super Saiyan (with the exception of Piccolo, who will be able to turn Super Namek after fusing with Kami). This is done by choosing the DBZ symbol for the energy attack and pressing the B button. Doing this gives your character increased power, but slows them down a bit and drains your energy (just like the other weapons, but this is at a steady pace instead of just a certain amount for each attack).

Any fan of the DragonBall Z series will love this game. Like I said before, the storyline is almost exactly that of the show. All major parts are the same and to make sure it is kept that way, the game restricts you to playing as only a specific character at times (like when Vegeta goes after Cell all by himself and gets his ass handed to him after allowing the villain to achieve perfection). This is a must buy for fans. It is also a good buy if you are in the mood for a good RPG.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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