Dragon Ball: Origins Review
Dragon Ball: Origins box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Namco Bandai 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 4, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The graphics in Dragon Ball: Origins are very good, and the animated cutscenes are of especially high quality. The game's animation is also very good and is true to the series' unique style. Characters have the series' trademark big-headed "chibi" style to them, and environments from the anime translate well to the game. One very interesting facet of Dragon Ball: Origins is that uses both screens to display levels and cutscenes. While the separator in the middle does create some awkward proportions and lines (especially when it runs right through someone's face) the system works well overall.

Dragon Ball: Origins screenshot

The sound in this title is fairly good and features some pleasant original tunes for each level. There is also some sparse voice acting during a few of the longer dialogue scenes. However, the voice acting is so infrequent that it sounds a little awkward when it is triggered, and the sound clips generally consist of an "OK!" or "Let's Go!" which was probably sampled from one of the anime voice tracks. Even though the voiceover is a little bit on the annoying side, the sound on the whole isn't bad, and there are some decent sound effects in addition to the background music.

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Dragon Ball: Origins is definitely a fun title to play through, and even though "Z" or "GT" fans might find the tone of the game a little different from what they're used to, I am grateful that the game stayed true to its source material. It packs plenty of adult humor, action, and martial arts into a nice little package, and though it is the first game of its kind to be based on the original Dragon Ball series and has nothing in common with the multitude of Dragonball Z-inspired brawlers of the past few years, it really succeeds on its own. Dragon Ball: Origins is a treat for both diehard fans that have been with the series for the past twenty years as well as those who are only casual fans of the series. No matter which category you fall into, you'll definitely want to check out this blast from the past!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
Graphics are very colorful and vibrant, and cutscenes look very sharp.
3.7
Control
Stylus-based controls work well most of the time, but they are not as precise as they could be and take some dedication to really learn.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The English voiceover is nicely done, despite being very sparse. Level music is cute and enjoyable.
3.7

Play Value
The cute story and fun adventure elements are definitely enough to keep you playing this one to the end, but this title could have really benefited from some co-op functionality.

3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • The single-player game follows Goku and his clever sidekick Bulma as they travel the world overcoming enemies and obstacles to collect the seven Dragon Balls.
  • In the shoes of Goku, the player must protect Bulma from incoming enemy attacks using special skills, such as fighting with his power pole or unleashing a kamehameha. Combined with Bulma's ability to invent machines and weapons, the intrepid pair make a formidable team able to defeat even the strongest enemies or trickiest of obstacles.
  • The innovative controls mean the player uses only the touch pad to control Goku. Players must draw lines or shapes to direct the character and control the action by tapping on the screen. For example, a double tap on Goku followed by tapping on the Ka-me-ha-me-ha letters unleashes his devastating signature move.
  • Goku can perfect his skills by gaining experience through defeating strong enemies.
  • For extra Dragon Ball fun, hunt down and collect the many virtual figurines hidden in the game world, which can then be swapped and traded with friends via the wireless connection to get the full collection.
  • Dragon Ball: Origins pulls no punches in terms of graphics with both screens displaying vibrant 3D visuals, and with the lively, fun humor of Dragon Ball present throughout the game, fans will be able to immerse themselves completely in the spectacular universe.


  • Screenshots / Images
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