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Nintendo DS Review: Dragon Ball: Origins 2

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Namco Bandai Games has just issued Dragon Ball: Origins 2 exclusively for Nintendo DS, and is a worthy follow-up to the first edition. As the title implies, the Origins series traces the beginnings of the Dragon Ball universe. Dragon Ball: Origins 2 continues the story of young Goku and the allies he meets along the way, who are facing off against the demonic Red Ribbon Army.

The game begins with a recap of the events that occurred in Origins. As Goku, you must then fight your way through the various segments contained in the eight "episodes" to locate the seven legendary Dragon Balls. You also have the ability to play as Goku's closest friends, including Krillin, Bulma, Yamcha and others, each who have their own specialized powers and abilities.

I found the game play of Dragon Ball: Origins 2 to be challenging at first. After a few sessions though, the controls and combination of attacks became much more familiar. Like the Zelda Phantom Hourglass game, this one puts the stylus to good use. It is particularly effective while your character is running, but a little difficult to pull off combination attacks with. Fortunately you can change from stylus to button play at will.

The game features a mix of fighting, a lot of action sequences, exploration, and much puzzle-solving as you maneuver through each level. Another highlight is the situation-based camera, which adapts with the game play to bring the player up close and personal to whatever environment they find themselves in. During battles with key bosses, the view switches over to side-view to showcase the trademark Dragon Ball fighting styles. The graphics are very similar to those of the television series, somewhat boxlike in structure, but still very good in comparison to other DS games.

All in all, Dragon Ball: Origins 2 is a worthy successor to the first edition, and a nice addition to the DS game library.

Dragon Ball: Origins 2 is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB for Blood, Cartoon Violence, Mild Language, and Suggested Themes. Available on Nintendo DS exclusively.


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