Game Over Online ~ Dragonball Z Collectible Card Game

GameOver Game Reviews - Dragonball Z Collectible Card Game (c) Infogrames, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Dragonball Z Collectible Card Game (c) Infogrames
System Requirements Game Boy Advance
Overall Rating 60%
Date Published Wednesday, July 24th, 2002 at 08:09 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

When I approach collectibles, I'm at a loss as to what to expect. This is coming from someone who completely missed the Pokemon phenomenon. I tried to prepare myself by going into the Dragonball Z mythos and did some research work on how the Dragonball Z card games work. I found out that like most card games, it runs in the same vein as previous giants like Magic: The Gathering except it eschews the swords and fantasy universe for an anime one, based on arguably one of the most famous franchises from overseas.

The execution of the game itself is similar to ones in its class. You basically engage in a duel or battle, tapping different cards in your hand, trying to slay the enemy by using a variety of tricks in your deck and of course, the luck of a draw. Tapping from Frieza, Saiyan, Trunks and Android sagas, you can assemble a competent battle deck that suits your playing style. And upon winning, not only do you get to unlock new (more powerful) characters but also chances for cards unique to the GBA that you can use to trade with your friends.

Unfortunately, there's not really much in the way of progress in the game, short of making the round trip to see the mugs of all the Dragonball villains. There are levels you must advance but the opposition you face is fairly static, in the sense that no one really exudes a distinct playing style that suggests they are a unique (human) personality. Truly, the fun of card games comes from playing someone else. Let's take an analogy. Video poker is never as fun as a real game of poker. Along the same lines, because this card game is not expandable, the unlocked bonus cards provide very little reward; ultimately, less thrilling than winning cash from video poker. Thus, the two reasons (human competition, physical reward) for playing this electronically are completely gone.

This title, however, will appeal to those who already own decks of Dragonball Z cards and yet don't have the finances to purchase all the decks involved or want to experiment before making their real-life purchases. That's understandable. Those who are not inundated into the card game ethos, on the other hand, will not find it as enjoyable, unless you were so poor you could not afford a single deck of cards. There's an in-game tutorial to help you grasp the basics of the game and also of the interface, which is not exactly the most intuitive one around; at least not in my experience.

While it's authentic, with a running list of cards that resemble their real-life counterparts, the lack of any progress to download new cards or get new things is the most disappointing part of this game. It might have worked better as a construction set, rather than a structured, mostly linear, game. GBA titles are famous for pass phrases and special codes. Why couldn't this game be linked to the net, via those codes, and provide some quantifiable cards, either in the online space (Magic: The Gathering is taking this route) or in the physical world, through what you have achieved in the GBA game? Curiously, while there is variety in material (over three hundred cards, the literature says), there's little variety in music and dress-up of the interface. The Dragonball Z franchise has spawned numerous titles on a variety of platforms. If you're looking for something related to this universe, there are better titles out there.


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