October 22, 2009

The Comics Console: Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo

I think most people tend to forget that Dragon Ball wasn’t always just an anime; that like most animes, Dragon Ball was originally a manga. I don’t have to go on about how Akira Toriyama’s characters and world has become a damn near media phenomenon. First published in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, the Dragon Ball characters have seen great success in television, video games, and practically anything else its touched (we’ll just forget about Dragonball Evolution for now ;D).


Last year Namco Bandi aquired the video game rights to the Dragon Ball franchise from Atari, and has set out on an initiative for new age Dragon Ball games. The first of Namco Bandi’s new like of Saiyan inspired games is Media Vision’s Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo for the Wii.

If you’re familiar with Dragon Ball games, then you know that they never produce any kind of new or original story. You’re always playing out events that you’ve read in the manga or watched in the anime. Not much changes in Revenge of King Piccolo. You start out somewhat late into the Dragon Ball series with stages that have you recounting the Red Ribbon Army saga.

The game can be played with pretty much any controller the Wii offers (Remote & Nunchuk, Classic Controller, or Game Cube controller). Revenge of King Piccolo doesn’t take much use of the motion features with the remote, except for waving it wildly to power up or escape from traps.


The game is your basic side scrolling beat ’em up. As Goku, you run across, set trails clobbering goons and robots with your Power Poll by hitting the A button. You can preform special combos by mixing the A button while hold up or down. Under your health bar is a Ki meter that, once filled, allows you to execute a Kamehameha wave by pressing any direction on the D-Pad. You also have your basic block and dodge roll with the C button, but you hardly ever need them. My only real problem with the combat doesn’t have anything to do with the attacks or the button layout. Whenever baddies appear on screen, these big ugly prompts scroll up and down vertically on either side of the screen that say “BATTLE” in red. It really takes you out of the action.

Enemies will drop food to restore your health bottles to boost your Ki, and you’ll be picking up Zenie (The Dragon Ball universe’s form of currency) that you can spend on upgrades for the story mode. Things like larger health and Ki bars, and more power for your attacks.


Outside of the single player Adventure Mode is the World Tournament. This portion of the game changes from a 3D side scroller to a 3D fighting game. In this mode you get to chose from one of five characters (Goku, Krillin, Yamcha, Jackie Chum, Chiaotzu, or Tien) to compete in — you guessed it — a tournament. As you go through the game you’ll gradually unlock the remaining 11 playable characters, each of which have unique special attacks and fighting styles, but the combat fundamentals stay the same. The combat isn’t much different here than in Adventure Mode. You pretty much just have your A button in this one, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll string together some unimpressive chain attacks. Tournament Mode is a nice feature to the game, but one that was obviously an after thought.

Aside from the playable features of the game, you can use more Zenie to buy the cut scenes you’ve seen in Adventure Mode, different sound bytes from the different characters, the different music tracks to listen to, and character models; all of which are poor quality. The cut scenes are brief and not exactly anything you need to see twice. I mean, they’re hardly cinematic at all. The voice acting sounds more like clips taken from the anime rather than fresh recordings. And the music is completely uninspired and bland. Goku’s “Heeya’s” and “Oof’s” become a more compelling soundtrack after a while. The game’s character models are much like Batman Arkham Asylum‘s character trophies, but where Arkham Asylum had beautifully detailed graphics that made the characters a treat to enjoy as trophies, Revenge of King Piccolo‘s graphics are shallow and dated.

Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo is better suited toward younger gamers, but if you’re a Dragon Ball fan, then you’ll find something to enjoy here. 2/5

One of my dream games that would mostly likely not happen in a million years would be an epic comics vs manga fighting game. It would be developed by Capcom and play like Street Fighter IV, with great the great graphics and 2D fighter style.

The roster would consist of greats from all across the comics/manga realm to match up dream battles for the ages.

Iron Man vs Astro Boy
The Sailor Senshi vs The X-Men
Rurouni Kenshin vs Batman
The Punisher vs Vash The Stampede
Yusuke Urameshi vs Deadman

And of course the heavily debated Goku vs Superman. The game could probably never exist in our generation simply because it would be a licensing nightmare, but then again maybe some indy game developer already has a prototype on his/her hard drive that will make so many dreams come true.


What epic comics vs manga fights have you always dreamed of seeing?

Check out The Comics Console next week when we assemble the Marvel Super Hero Squad!

Andrew Hurst



  1. I briefly played the DBZ CCG as a kid, but it was nothing like Magic the Gathering, the Star Wars CCG, or even Rage, so I lost interest fast. That was my only flirtation with the franchise!

  2. Dakk Attakk

    GOKU VS SUPERMAN!!?!?!!? ive never heard of that pairup before.. that would be .. god.. a fight of a lifetime. who WOULD win that battle?!?! .. the last time i wast this conflicted was when i didnt know whether or not to train the Rook at the beggining of Gears of War 2. XD

    Ive read some of the DBZ manga. its pretty cool. But i think DB is better served up as an anime. the Dragon Ball series IS the shit.

  3. Princess Powerful

    Hmm I dunno if that’ll happen-Coomic vs Manga characters. I know there’s Jump Super Stars which comes close. It’s Manga characters fighting Super Smash Brothers style within manga comics that you can intertwine together to gain new abilities to combine for a fight. Pretty darn cool if you ask me.

  4. Cool work. The problem that come form many of the American comic book fans is the God level of super man and Goku’s super Sain form. The Goku is no match for super man, The have not seen an episode of DBZ almost every character can go super speed. I have seen many character make superman bleed or that superman can not even die. Well I have not seen an anime that had the main character completely impaled and still fighting as if was a flesh wound. Plus the hardcore super man fans believe that superman cannot be beat by anyforce of good. Which D.C, has created them selves there god. Maybe there is a reason Im Otaku, but I read allot of western comics now to know what Im talking about

  5. […] the second of Namco Bandi’s new Dragon Ball video game initiative, following closely behind Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo, as well as the annual updated DBZ fighting game installment. If you’ve never played a DBZ […]

  6. […] Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo […]

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