The Various Problems with Dragon Ball Super Part 2

Hi guys, I’m back with more things I dislike about Dragon Ball Super. Please keep in mind that like the first part, this is completely opinion-based. If you don’t agree, than that’s fine. I respect your opinion and I hope you take the time to respect mine. Also, I reccomend reading the first part as it also details a lot of the problems I had with this series. Without further adieu, let’s get back into it!

Problem #5: It’s Just a Promo for Dragon Ball Heroes

This one is a bit more like a theory, but just hear me out. For those who don’t know, Dragon Ball Heroes is a popular arcade game in Japan that uses Dragon Ball Carddass cards. The game is one of the few things keeping Dragon Ball afloat in Japan. The game actually looks pretty fun, it has a bunch of classic Dragon ball characters and adds a ton of new ones. It seems like a generally fun and novel concept.

However… I can’t help but shake the feeling that the Super series is just introducing it’s characters as fast as possible, so they can be quickly shoved into the game. Again, this is a theory and I don’t have any solid evidence behind it, but it does explain a whole lot. It would explain why a lot of the new characters are carbon-copy clones or palette swaps (Like Champa or Vados) or why certain characters feel a bit rushed (Like Goku Black). It doesn’t help that the characters are shoveled into the game not long after they are introduced, giving fans little time to get attached to these new additions.

Before Dragon Ball Super came along, Dragon Ball Heroes had already been running for five years and had already used a ton of pre-existing Dragon Ball content in its story. By the same Super started, Heroes had started using content directly from the newest game: Xenoverse. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Super was just rushed along in order just so they could shove more things into Heroes.

In a way, Super feels less like a spiritual successor to the previous anime shows, and more of an overgrown commercial for a far more successful sub-franchise. That’s not a bad thing on it’s own, but the show being nothing more than a giant billboard hurts it quite a bit. Dragon Ball Super has a lot of good going for it, but also a lot of bad. Super feeling like a commercial for Heroes (and also possibly Xenoverse) is definitely one of those bad things.

Problem #6: Almost Everybody Is Useless

One problem a lot of people have had with the previous Dragon Ball Sequel, known as Dragon Ball GT, was that it mainly focused on Goku and not on anyone else. Goku always beat the villains on that show, and most side-characters did jack-all despite getting power upgrades. Now, Dragon Ball Super isn’t as bad in this regard, but it still is quite a big problem.

It’s mostly Goku and Vegeta that beat the villain or save the day. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as Trunks beating Goku Black or Yamcha winning the big baseball game in an excellent filler episode. The problem is that Goku and Vegeta are still the primary focus in most arcs, with other characters like Tien and Gohan getting shoved to the side. Heck, Gohan is treated worst in this series than he is in GT and the Buu Saga! Gohan has become extremely weak due to lack of training. Gohan said that he would get back in shape after the Resurrection F saga, but doubled back on that promise.

Piccolo gets the worst of this though, as he is murdered in a rather bloodless (we’ll get into that later too) and unsatisfying manner. In the arc after that, Piccolo loses in a tournament match due to a character cheating. This is especially annoying, because Piccolo was actually winning this fight, something that rarely happens anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they are focusing on Piccolo at all. The problem is that they put him in these epic fights, but do nothing with him.

Android 18, Goten, and Trunks also get shoved to the side. Goten and Trunks do almost nothing for most of the series, aside from fight a jelly version of Vegeta (seriously) and headbutt Tagoma in the nether-regions. I’m going to give Toei the benefit of the doubt here, as they are planning on using a ton of the characters in the upcoming “Universal Survival Arc”. Hopefully, this will give the cast much more screen-time and badass moments. Still, as it stands right now, the show has difficulty focusing on the right characters at the right times.

Problem #7: The Potaefu Arc

I was actually going to save talking about this arc later, since I had planned on covering all the arcs near the end of this rant/review. However, I feel like this needs to be discussed now as it highlights a lot of the problems I have with this series. For those who don’t know, after the Universe 6 arc, there was a 3 episode filler arc. This arc took place on the planet “Potaefu” and focused on Trunks and Goten accidentally getting stuck in the delivery truck of the mailman known as “Monaka”. Vegeta goes to save them, but at the same time Goten and Trunks have to deal with a bunch of thieves unleashing an evil slime monster.

We are then introduced to probably one of the worst villains this series has ever produced: Komeson. This puddle of slime is first introduced as “Superhuman Water”, a mythical liquid that can grant it’s user unimaginable power. However, this turns out to be a ruse and the water is actually an evil object that will copy the powers or identity of anything it finds. Eventually, that being will fade out of existence and copies it creates will take their place.

This seems like a cool concept in theory, but sadly it is poorly executed. Komeson quickly creates a clone of Vegeta who now has all of Vegeta’s powers, leaving the Saiyan prince a shell of his former self. Most of the story arc is seeing how far they can take Vegeta’s humiliation, pretty much demeaning his character in every way. Vegeta sucks on a pacifier, becomes literally an empty shell, loses all his powers, has to watch as Goku fights a clone of himself, and literally does nothing most of the time.

The problem with Komeson and Jelly Vegeta (as fans have nicknamed the duplicate) is that they aren’t interesting at all. Jelly Vegeta looks like a crappy melted action figure of Vegeta, while Komeson is just a pile of goo who can barely control his own duplicate. That’s right, Komeson can’t control Jelly Vegeta at all. Despite Jelly Vegeta being created from Komeson’s body, it just can’t fight the emotions of the body it takes over. This… Is stupid and destroys all the menace that could come from a body-jacking puddle of goo.

Now, I get that this arc was only three episodes, but still! You can do a lot with three episode story-arcs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 proved that very well. The problem here is that Super doesn’t make use of these three 20 minute long episodes. Most of this 1 hour worth of animation is just goofy shenanigans. It’s really low quality filler, worse than a lot of really bad fillers from other shows I’ve seen.

I get that a lot of filler ends up being really bad, because it’s just there to act as padding while the person who writes the manga comes up with new content. As far as filler goes though, this is very bottom of the barrel. It takes some concepts that could be done well if they were in the hands of a talented writer, and handles them very poorly. Komeson isn’t intimidating or interesting in any way, Jelly Vegeta is just kinda there, and the generic thugs that show up was just plain forgettable. It treats Vegeta like an absolute joke and ignores most of his vital character traits and amounts to little more than character degradation.

Most people agree that this feels like a waste of animation, as well as time and effort. It doesn’t help that this arc comes right before the amazing (if somewhat rushed) Future Trunks saga. It feels like such a terrible prelude to what has so far been Super’s strongest story arc. True, you can easily skip the Potaefu arc and miss nothing. That still doesn’t change the fact that it exists and forever come packaged with the Dragon Ball Super DVDs. This arc was a missed opportunity to fully utilize the slice-of-life style of Dragon Ball Super’s filler. And for that reason, it feels especially bad.

In Summation

Yeah, I know I haven’t really scratched the surface of what’s wrong with Dragon Ball Super. However, I felt that the first part was a bit too long and wanted to break it up into smaller parts. As in the last part, I know a lot of this is nitpicking, theorizing, or generalization. Again, this is just personal opinion. I know a lot of people aren’t going to share my views, and I’d like to hear what you guys think of it yourself. Feel free to leave a comment telling me if you like, despise, or just feel so-so about Dragon Ball Super. Opinions are the best kind of variety, and variety is the spice of life, so feel free to share your opinions. Part 3 will be up in the New Years, until then have a good one, everybody!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hey everybody, I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I wanted to thank you all for an amazing year and for also reading this blog. I look forward to bringing you excellent content next year as well. From me to all of you, thank you. Thank you for listening to this nerd ramble about his nerdy things. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Well, LazyTown memes are back

Yeah, with the announcement of Robbie Rotten’s actor contracting cancer came a storm of content based off a singular song sung by his character: We Are Number One. This song generated enough money to allow Robbie to get some surgery done as well as allow him to recover. I normally don’t say this because it sounds cheesy, but I think the internet did a great thing here. As much as we rag on the internet about how crazy it can be, it can sometimes pull together and help out people. And I think that’s something we can all get behind.

Sweet As Syrup: Megaman Battle Network 5 Double Team Review

It’s hard to believe that we’ve gone about nearly 7 years without a proper new Megaman game. Sure, there are some Japanese phone games and some fan games that became officially licensed, but that’s about it. Megaman was a series that really stuck out among the pile of other platforming games, mostly due to its large amount of sub-series. You had the spiritual sequel series Megaman X, the metroidvania-styled Megaman Zero games, as well as the third-person action RPG series known as Megaman Legends. One sub-series that seemed to garner the most popularity and attention was Megaman Battle Network.

Sadly, these games seem to be mostly forgotten by the more hardcore Megaman fans. I know a lot of people have fond memories of this series, as do I. I thought I’d talk about a game I picked up at a recent comic book convention. This game is the Nintendo DS version of Megaman Battle Network 5. Honestly, I love this game and I think it’s a game that needs more attention. Sure, it’s got a fair bit of problems, but I think it’s worth at least trying out.

Background Information

After the colossal financial failure that was Megaman Battle Network 4, Capcom wanted to go back to the drawing board and create a better experience for fans of the series. It doesn’t help that at this point in the series, the Battle Network anime was slowly losing interest in Japan. In response, Capcom created Megaman Battle Network 5. The game was released as two versions with the subtitles “Team Protoman” and “Team Colonel”.

The version I have is the DS version, which contains both versions of the game. The game was first advertised in the magazine “Corocoro Comic”. The videogame was released in 2004, while the DS port was released in 2005. Much like the other games in the Megaman Battle Network, the game was made available for download on Nintendo’s E-Shop.

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“Looks like Colonel’s being a loner, as per usual!”

Plot

After the events of Megaman Battle Network 4, Lan and Megaman.exe are back to their normal life in the city. However, after visiting his father one day, a group of terrorists attack. Lead by the somehow still alive Dr. Regal, the terrorists kidnap Lan’s father Yuichiro. Not only that, but they also steal the Net-Navis of all of Lan’s friends. Shortly thereafter, Lan is approached by either Baryl (a new character) or Chaud (Lan’s arch-rival) in order to get him to join a team.

Afterwards, it becomes Lan and Megaman’s mission to work together with their new constructed team of Net-Navis in an attempt to liberate the internet and save their kidnapped friends. Despite having a pretty good setup for a plot, the story sadly devolves into a series of somewhat-episodic misadventures. A fair amount of what you do doesn’t actually feel like your advancing the plot, it’s more just adding new people to your team. Despite it’s simple premise, I still found the plot to be somewhat enjoyable. It’s just nothing to write home about. Still, I enjoy a goofy little “Saturday Morning Cartoon” plot with my videogames every once and a while.

Gameplay

For those unfamiliar with the series, allow me to explain you give an explanation on how the game usually plays. You usually play as either Lan in the real or Megaman in the cyber world. By “jacking in” to your computer, you can send Megaman into the internet. As either Lan or Megaman, you adventure around looking for items and things or NPCs you can interact with. When you play as Megaman though, you are able to engage in combat with viruses, Net Navis, or any manner of cyber creature.

Combat is probably the best part of this series, to the point where it’s simple and fun, yet tactical and demanding. Combat takes place on 18 grids, 9 are allotted to you and the other 9 are given to your opponent(s). You can move around on these grids all you want, but it’s not always as simple as that. You see, the game has something called “Battle-Chips”. You can use these to do various things such as heal yourself, summon an ally, attack an enemy, or even mess with the grid itself. You can steal grid pieces, destroy ones on your enemy’s side of the field, or even place down hazards that can damage your enemy if they were to touch it. However, the enemies in the game can also do the same to you!

In order to excel at the game, you need to keep a good eye on your terrain while also using your battle-chips to the best of your ability. Obtaining items called “HP Memories” you can gain more health for Megaman in combat. You can also use the “NaviCust” program to boost Megaman’s stats even higher or give him special abilities! Honestly, the NaviCust program is probably one of the best things about the series. Not only can you beef up Megaman, you can also use NaviCust to make Megaman more “buggy”. That’s right, if you fiddle with the program incorrectly, Megaman will glitch out and start doing weird stuff. Glitches could include Megaman moving two spaces at once with a single button-press, or your charged shot shooting out Rock Cubes instead of laser blasts.

Honestly, these bugs are fun to toy around with and let you actually manipulate the game in ways that weren’t intended. For example, you can use the bug to create Rock Cubes, and then use a battle-chip to punch them at your enemies for insane amounts of damage! The whole glitch system is fun, using intentional bugs as a way to liven up gameplay is immensely fun.

Another game mechanic is “Double-Soul”. You see, during the game you’ll befriend various Navis, and this will allow you to call upon their power in battle. Using Double-Soul, you can fuse that Navi’s data with Megaman, creating a sort-of fusion between the two called a “Soul Unison”. Megaman takes on attributes of other Navi’s in this form, causing the Blue Bomber to gain new and unique abilities. One of my favorite has to be Gyro Soul, due to it allowing Megaman to float and move across empty or hazard panels on the grid without negative repercussions.

Speaking of negative repercussions, the game also offers the ability to use “Dark Chips”. Now, even though they changed how Dark Chips worked in this game, I barely found myself using them. The chips come with a price, every time you use one you permanently suffer a decrease to your health points. So, every time you use one you lose 1 hit point, unless you do a “Chaos Unison”, which I will get more into in a bit. Back to the subject of Dark Chips, not only do you suffer an HP decrease, but you also lose the ability to use Soul Unison for the rest of the fight. While you do receive a surplus in power, I feel the cost is a bit too great. Especially when other powerful Battle-Chips can do the job just as well.

Now, most of those are features from previous games. What does this new game add? Sadly, not a whole lot. The game brings back a lot of Net Navis from older games, without introducing that many new ones. The lack of new characters is noticeable, and kind of disappointing. Aside from most of them being good guys now, the Navis haven’t changed that much at all. Then there’s the Liberation Missions.

If you’ve played this game, then you’ve experienced this feature. Most fans hate this feature, I have mixed opinions on it myself. These missions boil down to being things that help break up the gameplay. It takes the strategic RPG gameplay and makes it more of a tactical RTS. You are given a team of Navis that you must move across an area while liberating panels. This will culminate in a boss fight against what is usually just another Navi from previous games. You will most likely never encounter a new or unique Navi to fight during these segments. It’s always old Navis or evil versions of preexisting Navis.

If that wasn’t bad enough, each battle in these missions is under a strict time limit. You have to beat your opponent in three rounds or less, or you lose a turn. The turn limit is only here so the game makes sure you aren’t constantly using the same Navi. However, I just find it annoying, especially in later missions where the enemies are way more overpowered and you need to waste multiple turns trying to beat them. Thankfully, if you beat these missions within a certain amount of turns you get rewarded with a special Mega-Chip. That’s about the only thing I appreciate about these Liberation Missions. These forced RTS segments just go on way too long, and they take away from the fun of the game itself.

On top of this, you can also acquire the data of other Net Navis, who you can summon to use temporarily in combat. This allows you to play as all kinds of Navis including Numberman, Shadowman, and Protoman. I honestly really like this feature, as it allows for a lot of added strategy in combat. Even Capcom thought this was a good feature, as it was brought back for the next game.

Another added feature is the addition of the previously mentioned Chaos Unison. Using Chaos Unison, you are given a supreme boost of power without the usual side-effects of using a Dark Chip. All you need do is sacrifice a Dark Chip while in a Soul Unison and this will grant you immense power… Probably. I say probably, because there’s a 50% chance of it screwing up and summoning an invincible Dark Megaman who will ruin your day. While the added power is great, much like the Dark Chips I found myself rare using them. Regular Soul Unisons granted me enough power, plus I got some insanely strong chips from the Battle-Chip Shop. So, I saw no point in really using them. They are there if you want ’em, I was just never a fan of using powers that come at too great a cost.

I honestly really like the gameplay. Sure, it doesn’t add a whole lot, it lacks new characters to fill out its cast, and some of the puzzles can be pretty annoying, but it has a lot of heart. Despite some dungeons being painfully long or hard to navigate, being able to use Soul Unison or customize Megaman to my heart’s content made it less of a slog. I just wish there was more new content on offer here. I feel less like I’m playing a fifth entry in the series, and more like I’m playing some sort of expansion pack for the last game.

Visual Stimuli

The in-game graphics are a bit lack-luster. They look great on the Gameboy Advance, due to its limited graphical capabilities. However, I was playing on the DS version and felt like the graphics could’ve use more of an overhaul. Character designs are nice and unique, but lack some punch due to the fact that there are so few new characters. The music is probably the best part of this game, as a lot of it was remixed just for the DS version. Tracks sound a whole lot better than they ever did on the Gameboy Advance versions!

The DS version also has a pretty flashy intro which help adds some flare to the title screen. Despite the in-game graphics looking a bit bland, you’ll normally see 3D models of whichever Navi you have at the moment on the bottom screen. The 3D characters look a bit primitive, but are done well enough so that they properly represent the characters. Even though there are a few hiccups with the presentation, I still found the production values of this game to be pretty darn good!

In Summation

I can admit that this game isn’t super pretty, can be fairly repetitive, and feels like a desperate and failed attempt to save a floundering series. Sure, it’s tedious puzzles and lack of new characters are a detriment to the game, but it’s still fairly enjoyable! It’s got fun battles and some great additions to its combat system. While the Liberation Missions are fairly lame, it does have a lot of heart to it.

It was nice seeing these characters again, as well as being able to explore a world for a series I haven’t played in years! Despite this being an older port, it’s still something I can reccomend. It’s much larger length than previous games also makes it a tremendous value! That’s why I can easily say that this game is as Sweet As Syrup! I definitely reccomend playing it, if you are a fan of this series. This game is old, but I think it’s something fun and worth experiencing again or for the first time after all these years.