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The game is not without its flaws, however. The aforementioned Ki attacks bring with them a mini-cinematic that takes well over ten seconds; while that may not seem like much, by the end of the game you just wish you could turn it off, as you will have seen them all hundreds of times prior. Luckily, all the items you had prior to the character switch remain, as if you are an overseer of sorts for the party. While logically inconsistent, it's certainly a must for a game of this scope. A game like Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans will, for many, have some lofty expectations to overcome, and on the whole the game succeeds valiantly. While there were some points of the game to nit-pick, you would also be hard-pressed to find a more sufficient game package this holiday season. It's worth a look if you're wanting a good game; it's a must buy if you're a fan of the genre or series.
Stylistically, there are a few points where Attack of the Saiyans could have improved. The over world you explore seems to look small thanks to the tiny sprites. The conversations and battles are impressively drawn but the movable sprites should have been more detail. When you are in battle, when your fighters execute their special moves, their voices sound really puny. When you want the battles to be tough and powerful, it is disheartening to hear high pitched yells coming from the DS speakers. Attack of the Saiyans is the truest game to the DBZ Anime I have ever seen. Not only it is true, but it is really good as an RPG. One thing is for sure, this isn't likely to win over any new fans but the game is so solidly build that existing fans of RPGs or DBZ are going to eat this game up like some Senzu beans after a fight with Raditz. This game should be proud to call itself Saiyan.
Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans's fighting is all menu-based, and because of that, it will fit nicely into any RPGer's library. While there are a few added mechanics like the Active Guard, everything else stems from your selection of attacks, items, defenses and whatnot from the bottom screen and then subsequent selection of a target of your action. While not the best RPG out there by any means, it is a solid licensed title that both fans of the genre and fans of the series should enjoy playing through. While it does cover one of the most rehashed DBZ sagas in the license's history, it isn't boring and even newcomers to the title will be able to understand most of what is going on, especially because of the very exhaustive dialogue that occurs.
In fact, the large cast and the deep history kind of make playing Attack of the Saiyans feel like stumbling on a collection of mythological stories from an alien culture, and since it's all extremely cartoony and over-the-top, it's like what Tolkien would have come up with for Middle Earth if Tolkien was brain-damaged (but in a good way) and received telepathic transmissions from an alternate dimension. The point is, Attack of the Saiyans is not necessarily just for hardcore DBZ fans. If you're into Japanese RPGs, and if you don't mind a slow, tedious beginning (and seriously, the first ninety minutes are very weak), then Attack of the Saiyans can be an extremely charming, loud, and violent fairy tale.
Though it doesn’t do much to innovate the genre, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a very solid JRPG expereince. Supported by unique artwork, a more concise story, and the original Japanese voice actors, Attack of the Saiyans is quite possibly the greatest DBZ game ever developed, in terms of overall quality. It may not feature the intense fighting that fans have grown accustomed to, but it certainly is a successful transition for the series: a transition I hope to see built upon in future releases of the franchise. Straying from the mold, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a solid adaptation of the high flying, explosive action for the RPG genre. While it's not a perfect game by any means, it's quite possibly the best Dragon Ball Z game to date.
On the whole, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a very vanilla RPG. It's got a run-of-the-mill battle system with a few interesting twists, and quite a bit to do. The story-telling isn't strong, and only Dragon Ball fans will be able to follow exactly what's going on. Those fans, active or lapsed, are the kind of people that should be playing this game, as you'll find a great Dragon Ball RPG. If you're more familiar with King Kamehameha of Hawaii then you are the popular Dragon Ball attack, then this game isn't for you. Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a serviceable RPG that should shuffle into the "must buy" list for fans of the series. Everyone else should approach it with caution, and only dive in if they really love and are starved for the genre.
Overall, I found Attack of the Saiyans to be a short but admirable attempt at bringing structure and story-driven action to the series in its video game adaptations. It can become frustratingly difficult, but it's hard not to resist the charms of the adorable little sprites and looks into the heads of several Dragon Ball characters you may not have paid much attention to in the actual series. It stays faithful to the storyline without rocking the boat and offers plenty of fanservice for longtime viewers of the anime and followers of the manga. It's great-looking, makes good use of the D-pad, and doesn't rely on silly DS gimmickry to be a solid RPG. Hopefully we can expect expansions of this new franchise and explore the rest of the Dragon Ball Z saga in a similar vein.
It's going to be tough for me to recommend AotS to anyone who isn't a die-hard Dragonball fan. Attack of the Saiyans is the first Dragonball RPG we've seen in wide release in America in a few years, and coupled with the facts it isn't a fighting game and it stubbornly sticks to its Japanese voice actor guns, I WISH I could give this game the score it deserves. But alas, if I took off a single review point for every random battle the game threw at me, the review score would be somewhere in the NEGATIVE 3 to 4 thousand (out of 100) range. But with so many positives, and taking into consideration that this game made me put down the PSP Go for the first time since its launch, I'll give this one a … 72. …if only we could have been able to see our attackers… this would have been a 91-92/100. Shame.
There are those who believe that expecting a lot from the graphics and sound in the DS is a bit futile, but I disagree. Games like Kingdom Hearts 358/2 prove that DS software doesn’t have to look terrible. Attack of the Saiyans, however, fails to utilize either cutting visuals or any kind of decent sound. The game instead opts for a more old-school feeling RPG, using still frame images and 32-bit looking sprites. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when the game is a typical JRPG, in a sea of JRPGs available for DS, it would have benefited from a more standout, unique art style. If you are a Dragon Ball fan, however, and really dig the turn-based role-playing genre, than this game is definitely worth the loot. If you are a huge fan of Dragon Ball and equal parts JRPG fan, you can’t go wrong with this game. It’s a competent JRPG and offers a ton of portable role playing content. That said, if you aren’t already a fan, this is one game you can safely avoid.
Anyone in the mood for a Dragon Ball Z turn-based role-playing game? Then you should check out Attack of the Saiyans. Though it's not perfect, it should give fans what they're looking for as it follows along with the Vegeta Saga from the show. The battle system is simple and functional, and its combination attacks and active guards keep the action interesting. If you're not a Dragon Ball Z fan, however, then this isn't really a must-play. There are much better role-playing titles available on DS. If you do pick it up, trying to care about anything that happens in this universe is going to be difficult without an existing familiarity with the franchise. If you already know who King Yemma is and what Senzu beans do, though, well you'll probably get a lot more enjoyment out of this.
Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is, by far, one of the best role-playing games to make good use of the Dragon Ball Z label. It might not be a revolutionary role-playing game but it certainly has all the right elements to make this a game that Dragon Ball Z fans new or old will definitely enjoy. You will certainly not want to miss this one even if it isn’t a Dragon Ball Z fighting game. Making the transition from the traditional fighting game of past Dragon Ball Z games to a role-playing game on the DS, Attack of the Saiyans is a worthwhile attempt that actually works. If anything, this game serves as the perfect introduction to the Dragon Ball Z universe so those who always wanted to jump on the Goku bandwagon will find a lot to like about this game.
Attack of the Saiyans' audio is mostly a treat. Some of the compositions heard while exploring dungeons are not interesting, but most are, and the battle music is uniformly very strong. The game can probably be completed in around twenty hours, though there is plentiful material that pops up toward the end to draw out that time. Replay incentive is essentially nonexistent though, since everything in the game can be experienced the first time through. The last time a Japanese developer made an RPG out of Dragon Ball, it was Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan, and Attack of the Saiyans is unquestionably better than that game. It may not mean much to Dragon Ball neophytes, but can certainly be played by them, while veterans of the series will find much to like. It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and its choice of storyline from the series makes a sequel unavoidable, but at last a worthy RPG featuring Akira Toriyama's magnum opus has been created.
The bottom line is that it's a pretty fun little game - especially if you're a fan of the series. However, if you're over 12, don't expect much challenge of out this one. You could most likely go through a lot of the fights with your eyes closed and still come out on top. I’m glad that they moved the series into this format though - because it's a format that needs to be revived. I hope that future iterations will be a little bit more fleshed out and aimed at a slightly older audience. If you like Dragon Ball Z and you've never really played an RPG before - definitely grab this one. For everyone else - a rental might be in order.
Attack of the Saiyans is a good start for the series to enter the RPG territory. You’ll get a lot of mixed feelings from the game - on one hand you have in-depth stats and gameplay, while on the other you have a rather short RPG that is padded with tedious stories that don’t belong. Thankfully, the game hits an up again when you get back to the main storyline and kick Vegeta in the teeth (spoilers?). In the end, I really anticipate the next game in the series, as they’ve got some great ideas, but certain parts need work. Building upon this game's groundwork, the next game could not only be a stand out Dragon Ball Z game but a standout RPG on one of the best systems for RPGs out there.
What keeps Attack of the Saiyans interesting is its battle system, which offsets the limited number of characters with a fair number of options. A basic attack results in a flurry of powerful fists, but it's also possible to strike with mainstay attacks like the Kamehameha and the Wolf Fang Fist. You can also combine these skills into powerful attacks like the "Kamehame Fever," which you initiate by having three party members use a Kamehame when their rage meters are filled. It seems clear that Monolith was aiming for a younger audience when developing Attack of Saiyans, and it appears that they have done a good job filling that niche. It's a decent pickup for fans who don't mind going another round with Vegeta, and a solid option for parents looking for a game for their kids. Not exactly what fans would call "Super Saiyan," but certainly good enough.
What’s especially curious is how major moments such as Dragon Ball’s final tournament are quickly glazed over, which will only cause confusion among series newbies, and would have served to seamlessly increase the game’s running time instead of the tacked-on filler that’s included (in one instance, Goku and Piccolo land on a nearby island on foot while tracking Gohan, only to resume their aerial pursuit once he has been located elsewhere. Why they even stopped in that island in the first place is never revealed, and one can only continue to wonder why they don’t just fly the majority of the time instead of using nearby rocks as makeshift bridges to proceed further on). Despite the complaints, Attack of the Saiyans is still a decent RPG adventure, particularly for those who are new to the genre and could use a good entry point. But for fans of both Dragon Ball Z and RPGs in general, there are many other titles on both fronts that are more worthy of their time.