Setup & Timing
Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu will not allow you to play multiplayer right off the bat - you'll have to complete the first scenario (with the opportunity to go through the tutorial) before you can play multiplayer games. This ensures you'vwe gathered enough information to play and to give basic information to your guest. While I understand why this programming decision was made, there are better ways to go about it. Namely - put the tutorial as an alternative download. Then, the players can download and play. This gives the proper introduction without extending the download time (as would be the case if the tutorial were bundled in the same download). Once the multiplayer is unlocked (see DSSingleCard.com's Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu Walkthroughs for how to unlock the multiplayer, as well as the tutorial breakdowns), things flow rather smoothly. After selecting the Save Data, the Vs.Mode is right on the main menu, and DS Download Play is labeled as such. There is a forced opening credits sequence, but the download time is under twenty seconds.
Menus & Navigation
The multiplayer ability is not available at all without playing through part of the main game. Host's must create Save Data, enter the single-player experience, and play for a little bit before they can get at the Vs.Mode. If they have a friend that wants to play and theyt have to wait for their friend to play for a bit (not to mention if their friend want to go through the full tutorial!), they may get bored and give up before they get that far. There should be a note on the back of the game's packaging indication that multiplayer modes (both Single-Card Download and Multi-Card Play) are unavailable upon first playing the game and require time to unlock. Unfortunately, there isn't any such warning.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Once you finally get to the Single-Card Download experience, the game is very easy to control. Touch controls (as well as button controls) are wimple and responsive. Evenrything makes sense - touch controls include touching a card to select it and touching combos in a list to select them (or to choose not to use them). When combos are available, the game will go out of the way to let you know that they're there, which cards can be combined in which way, and what the Power and Guard level totals will be - all before you make selection so that you can be better informed before finalizing your decision. Unfortunately, you can't back up and unselect a card and there's no "Are you sure?" to confirm your selection, but in a battlefield scenario, decisions are made on the fly with little time to think.
Dragonball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu's graphics match with the animation style of the television series. The animations aren't extremely "intense" and are extremely basic, but it's a style choice and not a programming shortcoming. Considering that the game involves battling using cards, heavy and intense animations aren't necessary and would only extend download times. The host get environment-setting music and several sound effects, while the guest gets no music and fewer sound effects (done to reduce download times). This can actually benefit the guest strategically (see DSSingleCard.com's Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu Hints). Each player's level can be individually adjusted between 12 and 28. Several options are available for the different combo types, but they can't be turned on and off individually (as per the game's current design).
Once you finally get into the multiplayer gaming experience of Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, the experience is fun and the programming flawless (no errors). The game fits into an interesting area: while the theme is more suited to hardcore gamers, the gameplay skill required is closer to what casual gamers are looking for, making this a crossover game of sorts. While hardcore gamers may find little to no actual "challenging" gameplay, some casual gamers that want to expand their gaming repetoirs may find the experience extremely enjoyable and may be prompted to seek out other games that go beyond straight-up puzzles and mini-game collections. Considering the number of new casual gamers being created via the Nintendo DS worldwide, games like Dragon Ball Z: Hraukanaru Densetsu benefit the industry as a whole. The game follows the story of the series very closely. Additional games in this series with later - or even original - storylines would be a welcome addition.
Offer the tutorial as a separate download.
Make the Single-Card Download experience playable immediately.
Online battling via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. (not Single-Card Download, obviously)
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 79 / 100 (a.k.a. 39.5/50)
Other information available:
If you'd like to contact this website:
to return to the DSSingleCard.com Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu profile.
to return to the DSSingleCard.com main page.