If you don’t know what to do while waiting for next week's episode of Dragon Ball Z Super, then we may have an answer for you: Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle, the new DBZ RPG for mobile.
An adventure beyond time and space
Dragon Ball Z: Battle Dokkan begins with a mysterious character discovering the seven Dragon Balls. With the balls together, the Dragon Sheron appears, granting the stranger a wish. The man’s simple desire is to be strongest person time and space, a request that alters the dimensions, leaving you to try and reconstruct the mangled space-time continuum.
The game consists of a series of dungeons which are in turn divided into cells like a board game. Some cells are empty, but others contain enemies, objects, Dragon Balls, or other surprises. At the beginning of each turn the game offers you three random numbers, each of which represent one of three possible boxes to which you can move. That means you cannot visit every area in a dungeon, and so must select your path carefully.
Sounds very deep, but it really isn’t
The game’s battle system borrows heavily from other recent mobile RPGs, using match-three puzzle elements. You must connect three or more “ki” energy balls of the same color, which then deal damage to your opponent. It’s a simple concept, but there are many things to consider: the weakness of the enemy, the order of the attacks, combos between allies – all of which add an entertainingly manageable level of complexity.
The final element of Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle is constructing your team of fighters, which has you assigning items, changing squad members, and merging them to increase their power. Controlling all of this is simple, with simple taps of the screen unleashing your ki, switching characters, navigating through menus, and advancing the story.
The quality of the graphics and sound are certainly a cut above the average free-to-play experience. The fighting animations capture the frenzy of the original series, while the soundtrack has been lifted straight from the anime – including the Japanese VO if you prefer it to the English.
Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle is a parade of battles, given a little depth and strategy thanks to the structured dungeon exploration and engaging combat system. But do be aware that, like all free-to-play games, you must arm yourself with patience and be prepared to grind your way through seemingly unfair challenges if you hope to finish the game without spending any real world cash. If you accept this premise, and you're a fan of the adventures of Goku and company, you will have great time.