I did a review on “Super Dragon Balls: World Mission” a year ago, which is a trading-card video-game based on the classic Dragon Ball franchise. Dragon Ball tells the story of a crazy alien farmer with magical super-powers named “Goku”, who is on a never-ending quest to beat up everyone who looks remotely stronger than him. That’s a very short summary of this 600+ episode anime/manga series, but it’s the general gist of it.
The series is filled with a ton of characters, locations, and special attacks that only ever get used a few times. It’s almost sad how many characters get introduced in this series, only for the writers to instantly forget about them. A major complaint about the franchise for the longest time was that the writers often didn’t do anything with its massive cast.
This all changed in 2010, when Bandai-Namco released the “Dragon Ball Heroes” arcade game. The idea behind Heroes was that it was a trading-card game where you could scan the cards into the arcade machine and have them appear in the game itself. The twist was that over 99% percent of the franchise’s core cast was playable in the game! That’s right, almost every minor and major character was playable.
Yes, even obscure movie henchmen like Doore and Amond were playable. The problem was that you had to buy the cards in booster packs to play as them in the game, and a fair amount of them weren’t cheap to get. Since card-games and arcade games were pretty much dead in America at the time, we never got the game.
While the game did receive various ports, we surprisingly never got those either… Until 2019. Early in that year it was announced that the latest port of the game was not only coming to Nintendo Switch, but was also being released worldwide! I was finally able to try Dragon Ball Heroes in the form of “Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission” during that year, which reignited my love for trading card games.
As previously mentioned, I have already reviewed the game. The thing is that the game was so massive that there was no way I would fit it into a proper review. If I did, then the review itself would’ve been 20 pages long. So, I thought I’d do a followup a year later and just go into some of the things I didn’t touch on previously. I also want to touch on what’s changed/improved within said game.
For one thing, the card creation system is truly insane. When writing the review, I had only messed around with it a bit. Turns out that the card creation system is super complex, since you can actually beef up weaker cards by “selling” previous cards. You can then dump points into the cards you keep and upgrade them to an insane degree.
This is good when you’re making a 3-star custom card, since those allow you to slot in 2 abilities, instead of having the singular slot that a 4-star card gives. Also, the amount of characters you can get for these cards is staggering. There are hundreds of characters you can make a card out of, some of which don’t even have playable cards in the game itself!
Something I loved about this game was the free DLC. In a rare move for a Bandai-Namco game, every piece of DLC for this game is added as a free update. This includes over 200 brand new cards and even several bonus missions. It’s honestly surprising that they would give all this content away as free updates, especially when Bandai-Namco likes to over-price DLC for maximum profit. It’s nice to see them finally do updates for a game without charging a cent for them.
I also really dug the game’s “Arcade Mode”, which I don’t think I touched on much in my original review. It basically takes all the arcade-exclusive scenarios from the Japanese version and lets you play through them. I love doing these, mainly just to experience these unique scenarios. I’ll tell you this now: You have not lived until you’ve done the arcade quest-line where you play as businessmen versions of all the Z Fighters!
Honestly, my opinions on the game as a whole haven’t changed too much. I STILL love this game and I break it out from time-to-time. It’s one of the few card-based video-games that I can really get into. Sure, the visuals haven’t aged well at all and the gameplay can be repetitive, but it’s hard to deny how much of a love-letter to the franchise this game is. Here’s hoping this game continues to get updates into the future!