When most people think of Dragon Ball, they think of energy blasts, non-stop fights against aliens, and dozens of episodes where the only thing happening is veins bulging. But once upon a time, Dragon Ball was a simple kung fu adventure show starring a kid with a monkey tail that was loosely-kinda-sorta-maybe based off of the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West.” Dragon Ball: Origins takes us back to this simpler time before Goku was a demigod and every other thing wanted to blow up Earth, and delivers a solid adventure for old and new fans.
I buy a lot of my games used, most of them, in fact. I can't even remember the last game before Mass Effect 2 that I purchased brand new in a box, it's just something I've decided is both out of my budget and totally unnecessary. I've already beaten 13 games this year and have enjoyed most of them, and through a combination of buying used on Amazon, borrowing from friends, presents, spending money on deals for digital games, and a few lucky review copies from publishers, I calculated I've spent less that $100 on games this year, and that was with the $70 Mass Effect 2 Collector's Edition!
So when confronted with the idea of spending $60 on a new game that will be available for $40 in three weeks, $25 in three months, or $10 in three years, I generally think twice. The used game market is my friend, and I play both sides of it. However, sometimes an older game suddenly strikes my attention and I'm quickly making what seems like a steal of a deal, only to be burned later when I find out the game I received is actually a fake, a bootleg, a counterfeit cartridge or disc.
I've determined over the years that there are warning signs for bootleg games, so I'd like to share them with you. These are just general warnings, and even if you follow all of them you might receive something fake. I'm also not discouraging anyone from buying used games online, as I think they're extremely valuable resources that save gamers tons of money.
This was originally going to be part of my Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap review from yesterday, but I decided to break it into its own post as I believe the information stands on its own.
Everyone should have heard of Dragon Ball Z, the famous anime based on the manga by Akira Toriyama. It's the second part of the series (preceded by Dragon Ball), and the most famous. It follows the adult life of Goku as he grows more powerful and gets in fights with aliens.
Dragon Ball Z has such loyal fans that any game with the Dragon Ball Z moniker automatically sells well, no matter how bad. This is what licensed games are all about: making money on the strength of the brand instead of the strength of the game.
Then along came Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (which basically means "tournament") for the Playstation 2. It sold exceptionally well, even for DBZ, so Atari decided to update the graphics and release it on the Nintendo GameCube, where it went on to sell over a million copies and become Player's Choice.
The GameCube version is the preferred release, as the developer Dimps took the opportunity to implement cel-shading, making the game look more like the anime than the Playstation 2 version. I will be playing the GameCube version.
What I want to know is this: is this game worthy of its Player's Choice status, or did DBZ just have a million fans ready to pay for anything with Goku on the front? Will this game be fun for those without prior knowledge of the story, or will you have to be a devoted fan to get anything out of it?