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»Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku
  "It sucks, stay away."

Graphics: 4

Gameplay: 2

Sound: 3

Value: 0
It’s a Game Boy Advance game. Dragon Ball Z: Legacy of Goku is based on the highly popular Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama (and others at Bird Studio). It is a rare find in the catalog of Dragon Ball games - an adventure game. Throughout the franchise’s life, most of the games that are based on it are fighting games. In Legacy of Goku, you play as Goku exclusively, and only see what is happening from Goku’s point of view. Unfortunately, only the most desperate fan will find this game enjoyable.

Legacy of Goku follows the events of the first two sagas of the Dragon Ball Z anime - from the beginning of the Saiyan saga to the final battle in the Freeza saga. The game plays with an overhead view, ala The Legend of Zelda, and the fighting mechanics involve punching and ki attacks, such as the Kamehameha technique, a long-ranged ki attack. These ki attacks can only be used when you have enough ki to enable them. Despite the gameplay seeming to be decent at first glance, it just gets shot down by stupid concepts, slow gameplay and a sloppy developer.

Until you reach Namek, you rarely fight an enemy that isn't a squirrel, snake, wild boar, or some other type of woodland animal. Another stupid move by Infogrames is their emphasis pointless and inane sidequests, none of them ever having appeared in any iteration of the series (such as finding all of Master Roshi’s dirty magazines on your way to the battle between Radditz). The gameplay is slow, buggy and clumsy; often, a clear hit will go undetected by the game, and vice versa with a clear miss. The gameplay is so boring - you are always moving at a slow speed, there are no fast combos, and the ki techniques are minor and uneventful, unlike those found in the source material.

The flight system is terrible. At any given time, Goku can begin to fly in the air (using ki). However, this was an idea that felt as if they put it in at the very last minute. Instead of typical DBZ super sonic flying, Goku moves at an incredibly slow speed. Not only that, but he does not have the capability to fly up or down, say, a cliff - Goku's movement is pretty two-dimensional. He is only capable of flying at one height or walking on the ground.

As stated earlier, the game focuses only on what Goku sees. This leads to one big problem - he's dead for most of the game. Not dead as in rotting in his grave, but dead as in being in Heaven and such. However, his adventures in Heaven are unbelievably boring and repetitive. The events in Heaven are more or less running along Snake Way. Along the way, you defeat the Snake Queen, get out of Hell and complete the North Kaio's tasks. After Goku is revived by the Dragon Balls, instead of going to the battle and saving Gohan and Krillin, he does several trivial tasks beforehand. Thanks to Infogrames' decision to not tell the events of anyone other than Goku, gamers miss out on tons of potentially interesting battles and events.

The visuals are dull and unimpressive. The character designs are kind of weak and don’t do a very good job of representing the series, while the backgrounds are pretty average for a GBA game. The special attacks are the biggest disappointment. A Kamehameha isn't the gigantic blue beam that goes hundreds of feet forward as it does in the anime; instead, it is a tiny orange beam that only reaches about ten feet (game distance), and has no special effects whatsoever. Infogrames took a few clips from the anime. You will immediately notice the Dragon Ball Z intro when you start up the game, and also immediately notice the fuzzy visuals (Although, this is a common problem in many GBA games).

The sound quality is decent. However, they do not use the voices of various characters often, if at all. Unfortunately, they didn’t do so with the music, which desperately needed replacing. It is dull and uninspired, using both mediocre new songs and the trashy music that FUNi uses in the anime (Rock the Dragon FTL).

And replay value? I cannot find myself replaying such a joyless game. No matter that it has sidequests, bad sidequests are not worth doing, especially in a bad game.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Legacy of Goku is not only one of the worst games of this generation, but also one of the joyless games ever made. Infogrames (now Atari) is a God awful developer at times, who put almost no effort into this. I dare say that I would never recommend this game to even the most hardcore Dragon Ball Z fan, as any true Dragon Ball Z fan would not support a developer as incompetent as Infogrames. If you want a decent Dragon Ball Z game, I would recommend Super Sonic Warriors and Budokai. You'll thank me later.

Article by:
Posted on: Oct. 16th, 2006

     Review Recap
Terrible gameplay with very little quality control to speak of.

The sprites aren’t very good, the backgrounds are average and there is nothing eye-catching.

Good audio quality, but the music composition is terrible.

 Replay Value
This game makes me want to cry. I’ll never play it again.


Platform: Gameboy Advance
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Webfoot Tech.
Publisher: Infogrames
Release Date: 06/14/2002
Save Type: 1 Slot