Hey folks, Valkor here. And they folks at Namco/Bandai has tossed TOV another bone in the form of a Wii exclusive based on a classic anime/manga series entitled "Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo". And while I found it to be a ton of fun, the voice-acting really detracts. Still its loads offun to play.
Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo follows along with the original TV/manga series where you follow along the adventures of a young Goku; in fact each stage, seperated into different areas, plays out like an actual episode mixing cel-shaded 3D models and comic-book style cut-scenes to play out each scenario. So if you cut out all the filler and just jumped to the main events of the series, this game would be what you'd have. In the game Goku's main objective is to find the 4 star Dragon Ball that belonged to his grandfather Gohan. However his objectives change as he journey forward. Along the way he'll meet many different characters that will help or hinder his progress such as Bulma, Krillin, Eighter, Tenshinhan, Yamacha the Red Ribbon army and more, leading up to the world tournament where he faces off against Piccolo.
The game plays out in 2.5D side-scroller beat em up where you'll use the Wii-chucks to maneuver left/right and in/out of the screen. Goku's main move is the A-button, which if you push repeatedly he'll perform a nice combo. And using the Wii-mote and Wii-chuck buttons you can also perform mid-air attacks, dash attacks, blocks, and even perform a Kame-Hame-Ha when the meter fills. When prompted, you can grab certain objects (using the Z-button) that would propel you forward, upwards and downwards. There are also certain objects that you pull down that will activate other objects allowing you to move onwards over obstacles and such. You can also use the Z-lock on feature to take down enemies once they've been stunned; you'll even be propelled across the screen to take em out and should you stun multiple enemies you can finish em all off.
The enemies Goku face range from your average soldiers, robots, and animals (and if that's not enough there's other dangerous obstacles that need be overcome) that will stand in his way from getting to his objective and they're pretty easy to pass. Some you simply button mash the hell out of em, others will need some extra elbow grease (the Z-button) to finish them off and there are some that have shields that need to be taken down before you can take em down. I'm particular to beating the robots that cause extra damage to the enemies around them. But it's the boss battles that require more focus as you'll have to watch for patterns and openings to take them down. (Toa was the hardest for me to beat) They start out quite easy, but some of the later enemies will require some serious thought. Watch bosses closely as some will freeze for a second revealing an opening, which at that time you can lock on to em and pound em into the ground (when given the lock-on prompt), stunning them so you can either perform a combo or kame-hame-ha attack.
To round out the main features of this game, you have several options. First you have the Adventure mode, which is the main game. The World Tournament, where you can face off using the characters in the game in an all out battle. The game's RPG element kicks in with "The Shop" and it's here where you can buy videos, music, images, and power-ups for Goku, using the money (Zenni) that you gather in the game. Finally you have the gallery where you can watch and listen to all the music and videos you buy, plus you can get a closer look at some of the items you'll find throughout the game that are hidden in chests.
I gotta say that the animation is top notch on the Wii. Cel-shading should always be used for Wii titles as it looks amazing on the system. 3D cel-shaded Goku looks fantastic and exactly like his cartoon counterpart. The stages are colorful, filled with background animation, and lots of detail. Nice! The music also sucks you in; most of it is bouncy light-hearted fare, but even the music for bosses work. And kudos for the inclusion of the japanese opening song, which sets thing off right. Plus each tune matches each stage perfectly. Controls are good, not great, and they definitely take some getting used to though not overly complicated since its mostly the thumb analog and A-button you'll be using. Revenge of Piccolo is a simple beat em up that actually a lot of fun to play, though it appeals more to the younger set, I can see the serious fans enjoying it just for how well it follows the series.
Getting back to the controls; sometimes you'll get a lag after you press attack, which sucks especially when facing against multiple enemies or a boss character. And sometimes the Z-button doesn't lock on right away, even though you have a clear path towards the object or enemy you wanna lock on to. Finally when Goku gets hit, he blinks for a few seconds. Though he cannot be hit, he can't do much against enemies, and this goes vice-versa when Goku hits an enemy.
The American voice acting! There's just too much of it!
This Wii exclusive will appease many a fan of classic 2D gaming (or in this case 2.5D) and also fans of the Dragon Ball saga. Personally I enjoyed it and even with its faults "Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo" is a lot of fun and worth getting into. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give the game 3.5 and it's been Valkor tested and TOV approved.