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Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission Review

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: AB
Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission for Nintendo Switch definitely isn't your typical Dragon Ball game, so what is it? Dive into our review by the biggest anime fan on the MojoPlays Team, Ashley, to find out!
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Transcript
Hello dear friends, I’m writing to you today concerning the new video game “Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission”.

You see, I’m not quite sure what the f*ck I’m doing, and every time I think I understand it, a new, massive text bubble will appear on screen telling me that ---oh its gone. I love you all very much but I think I may be losing my grip on reality.

I think Goku wants to hurt me.
Please send help, Ashley.

Yes, that’s right Dragon Ball Heroes is finally accessible to the west thanks to the Nintendo Switch and steam - And I tell you what, I was bloody excited when this was announced. I’m a massive Dragon Ball fan and I had always dreamed of having a wee go of the massively popular Arcade machine some day… but I guess I didn’t really know what to expect.

If you know anything about this game, you’ll know it’s based on collecting cards of your favorite dragon ball characters and pitting them in 7 vs. 7 combat against your opponents. They say card game but, when you remove the physical card element of the original, it feels more like a gatcha mobile game like Fate/Grand Order or GranBlu Fantasy. Which isn’t exactly a knock on the game, because pulling cards is one of the most exciting elements, but you can’t help but wish we had access to the physical components in a manner similar to those animal crossing amiibo cards that literally no one bought.

The majority of the gameplay consists of hitting charge meters at just the right time, hoping to get closer to perfect than your opponent. If you’re not very good at that, you’re essentially boned because the CPU does this for a bloody living.

Outside of that, you’ll find a heap of different QTE events that can be accessed through certain card abilities and attachments. While these look cool, they don’t quite translate too well from the arcade machine to the handheld device or pro controller. Something that looks as exciting as shaking a card rapidly to pull off a super move loses a lot of the magic with the home console version when you’re just wiggling your finger on the touch screen hoping you don’t get a blister.
Seriously, look up a video of someone playing the proper machines in Japan – the tech is awesome.

But the heart of the gameplay lies within the actual cards themselves, with each having unique strengths and abilities that make the game’s meta incredibly deep and nuanced. Honestly, sometimes when I’m playing I feel like I’m in that recurring nightmare where I’m back in high school and there’s a big test and I haven’t studied… and Freiza’s trying to kill me.

With so many different mechanics, Dragon Ball Heroes requires a level of dedication and understanding that I am not sure people who turned up just to see goofy stuff like “Legendary Super Saiyan 4 Nightmare Broly” are willing to put the effort into. But that said, for those of you who are willing to go the distance, you’ll have plenty of fun mastering the metagame on both single player and online mode.

For me personally, the main draw of the game was the story mode. It’s exactly the type of cheesy ‘what-if’ scenarios that made the Xenoverse games so endearing, but this time on bath salts, delivering some major fan wanks like Adult Gotenks, Super Saiyan 4 Bardock, and Golden Cooler. Some of the designs are goddamn awesome, and the scenarios in which you meet them differ from silly to badass.
It’s like you’re being given everything you wanted to see when you were a kid and more.

Poor graphics aside, it’s awesome to see all these different characters with fully rendered 3D models battling it out. Where other games would shy out with simple JPEGs and whatnot, every character in Dragon Ball Heroes is brought to life and given their own personal super moves.

But man, there is so much going on the screen at once that it is incredibly hard to keep up. Prompts appear and disappear before you have a chance to catch what the hell they were trying to tell you, making the learning curb pretty steep given that the tutorials barely scratch the surface.

A lot of the inputs also get incredibly repetitive and there’s only so much hitting a meter bar that you can stand before you start to get a little annoyed. The best way around this is to constantly change your line-up so that you get to try different things – but that’s kind of hard to convince yourself to do when you know how much stronger certain cards are than others.
It doesn’t exactly scream full-priced game, but at the same time you can understand why a mega-fan would want to commit to it – it has enough depth and exciting additions to the Dragon Ball Mythos that it will convince you to press on.

So should you get the game? Well, It’s very important to go in knowing what you’re getting and whether that’s what you want. You have to keep in mind that this isn’t a huge adventure nor is it a flashy fighter - it’s an arcade game that plays a little like a mobile game with its simple inputs.
The game is incredibly packed with content though, with tons of different modes and about a thousand unique cards to collect – making it ideal for a digital download as its easy to switch on and put a little time in to here and there.

It’s as close as we’re going to get to having those glorious arcade machines over here, so it’s a very welcome addition to the DB game catalogue.

But for the love of god can we get better tutorials?
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