Dragon Ball The Breakers REVIEW (PS4/PC)
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
''BURST THROUGH YOUR LIMITS''
Published: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Genre: Asymmetrical Action
Release Date: Oct 13th,2022
Platforms: PS4/PS5/PC/NSW/Xbox Family
*Review copy provided to me by Bandai Namco
-BANDAI NAMCO CREATOR-
*RED RIBBON APPROACHES*
''A Solid Fusion?''
Dragon Ball The Breakers is a asymmetrical action game set in the Dragon Ball universe that is developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. With the market currently having multiple asymmetrical games on the market with titles like Dead By Daylight, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead or the newly released Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed, Bandai Namco decided to throw their hat into the ring and give us a taste of what this genre would be like in the world of Dragon Ball. But, do they successfully emulate or broaden the asymmetrical? or is this game dead on arrival like Yamcha? only one way to find out, so lets fuse!
You, the player, are are suddenly caught in a temporal phenomenon and finding yourself in what’s called a Temporal Seam, a world with time and places mixed together. Now trapped in a world that's not your own, no powers and dangerous villains on the loose, you must receive help from Trunks and other time patrollers in order to survive and fix time itself.
When starting your game officially, you're thrown into a prologue scenario that basically acts as your tutorial. You are pulled into a temporal seam and taken under the wing of the legendary Trunks himself. In this short but helpful prologue you're introduced to the basic mechanics such as climbing mountains, jumping, locating power keys that are needed for planting at specific locations to summon the super time machine, the threat the raider villains offer, how to use a dragon radar from Bulma to locate power keys and dragon balls and finally have an interaction with Oolong where he doesn't want a pair of panties, its about time you little piggy piggy. Uh oh. I shouldn't have said that, now he's going to poop himself, I'm sorry Oolong, I forgot you were still under that spell!. but.. moving on. Now I've never reviewed a asymmetrical game before, we've entered new territory again, so I'm going to try something different this time. No, not as different as GT giving Vegeta a mustache type of different, but more so when talking about each aspect of the game such as Raiders and Survivors and all that entails with them, they will all have their separate sections giving you the full run down from A to Z. Simple enough right, easy peasy, almost as easy as it was for Tien to break Yamcha's leg. Good times. So let's get this ball rolling, shall we?
Alright lets start off with the actual threats you'll be facing first before we hop on over to the skillsets you will utilize to counter them because its always good to know what you're up against before your big battle. In this title, at least in the state its in at the time of this review, there are three main villains to play as or survive against, Frieza, Cell and Majin Buu. That in itself wouldn't be too much to write home about, but its not as clear cut and dry as it may seem on its surface. All three raiders get stronger as a match progresses by absorbing survivor energy and just like in the anime show, they all have evolutions. No, not Dragon Ball Evolution, oh lord no, that stunk as bad as Bacterian from the original Dragon Ball did. Too bad we weren't without a nose just like Krillin, but were off topic, sorry. As each Raider progresses in evolutions, 4 each to be exact, they all become way more lethal, again, like in the show itself. For example Cell starts off in his bitty larva state like a little bug until he gets enough energy to transform to first form, then second form and then becoming Perfect Cell. The same holds true for someone like Freiza who begins in base vehicle form, then transforming into his King Cold look alike evolution and lucky for us, he cant use them to stab us like he did to Krillin, so we can be thankful for that. I mean Cell and Frieza are cool and all, with Freiza's following two transformations being his xenomorph upgrade and his little small baldy Frieza final form that once did some major damage to Vegeta's guts.... almost as much as Android 20 did to Yamacha's guts. Ok ok. I'll stop ragging on poor Yamcha. But to me, out of all the raiders, Majin Buu has the best transformations with the game utilizing actual elements and characters from the show to bring about Buu. This is done in the form of Spopovich being a playable character in a task that involves you absorbing energy from survivors and using that energy to hatch Majin Buu out of his egg, just like in the anime. Super awesome.
But those scary transformations aren't just there for the sake of being there, heck no, because with each stage of transformation you obtain, so to will new attacks and defensive abilities be unlocked in the categories of Active Skills, Passive Skills and Super Attacks. For example Cell having passive abilities like life absorption that will steal energy from survivors in order to evolve or ki sensing abilitie - his active skills such as solar flare being able to blind survivors with a sun flare, making you wish you could be like Goku and steal Master Roshi's glasses to prevent the blindness, and then his Super Attacks like Full Power Kamehameha, that literally destroys one whole section of the map, that is layered by A,C,D,E. This attack is MASSIVE and if you're caught in it. Welp, game over man, GAME OVER. Likewise, all these shenanigans carry over to Frieza and his passive skills of delivering a finishing blow to survivors at close range or at a distance, Active skill that allows you to summon Zarbon and Dodoria to your side to hunt down survivors, Super Attack that like Cell's full power kamehameha, will allow frieza to summon a giant ball of energy and destroy one section of the map in a blink of an eye. This game is a lie because of it, why? well.. Frieza's attack never destroys stuff that fast, last time he used it, it took like 20 episodes for the planet to actually explode after he said it would explode in like ten minutes, dude cant tell time worth crap. But rounding it off, our resident diabetes spokesman also has his own variety of skills to use, duh. His passive abilities allowing you to turn people into chocolate and absorbing their energy and gain back HP, Active Skills that allow you, as Spopovich, to summon Yamu, to help you absorb energy in order to evolve to Majin Buu, or go full frenzy Super Attack on survivors with Kid Buu using the Assault rain ability that hits every section of the map with a volley of energy rain that will kill anything it touches - hell yamcha could be.. nope, not gonna do it, not gonna trash him again, I promised. But jokes aside, this attack is VERY powerful and if you're outside when its activated, you're done for. ....as done for as Yamcha's chances with Bulma after being dumped, then left for the man that killed him in the first place. What a simp.
Joining a team of 6 other survivors, you will have to work together to survive the threat of those same enemy raiders that I just spoke of and if you get lucky, even collect a dragon ball or two to make that special wish to Shenron to have all your wishes granted. My only wish? for people to learn how to use the gosh dang time machine! seriously, hold down the button and teleport us bro!. Oops sorry about that. Just a little PTSD I suffered from a match previously from a dude named Ralph. Dude's lucky this isn't A Christmas Story, otherwise, I WOULD shoot his eye out, just.. Saiyan. As a survivor, whether its your created character or a usable skin to transform you into Oolong or Bulma, your objective generally remains the same, enter a battlefield, scour the areas of the map identified as A,B,C,D and E, collect power keys that are needed in order to summon the super time machine that is used to rid the area of its threat, and have a very large game of hide and seek. At its core that does sound very basic and don't get me wrong, it pretty much is - but what gives it its overall appeal is how well you interact, play with and work with your teammates. Working alongside your teammates could gain you advantages to find chests containing power keys you need, find weapons like rocket launchers,. capsules containing health, radars to find more power keys or hidden dragon balls, power blocks that raise your energy needed to transform, which we'll get into very shortly, etc. There are many advantages to it. But do I actually do this? heck no. I'm literally the worst teammate you can have because I'm a coward. If I were a Dragon Ball character, I'd no doubt be Yajirobe, no question. For instance, should you fail at protecting the main time machine that was summoned from the power keys, Trunks will send a back up time machine using a blue beacon of light to signal where it is and you can use that to escape. Be careful, because if I get to it first? adios. Hey bro, you need a lift, screw that, peace out. I know I know, I'm a jerk. But hey, I do have my moments where I actually am pretty nice and won't hide like a hermit all match and WILL actually revive a downed teammate or save someone with a time machine, just like they've done for me on several intense occasions. But... its far and few in between. So during this game of hide and seek, since Raiders have attacks and abilities, do YOU have any way of doing the same? well yes, of course. But they all must be used very strategically due to not only the danger that always lurks around the map, but also due to the cool down rate of all of them. You can't spam them.
When you aren't running your little heart out and dying with your friends in a group, hiding behind a wall and watching your teammates mercilessly being slaughtered, crawling like a baby to get to safety as you die waiting to get revived, gathering your crew around to use the Dragon Balls in order to summon Shenron because it looks so damn cool and watching an unaware teammate being stalked and messed with by Cell as they climb a mountain, thinking they're about to get away in a time machine, only to be savagely killed in a scenario that can only be described as hilarity.. oh man. Dang it Ralph, you really aren't having the best day today, are you? first you cant use the time machine properly which gets us BOTH killed, then you run your little heart out, only to be toyed with and bamboozled until you're killed and laughed at, poor guy. When ALL insanity like this happens to you during each match, is it then time to add to it and your moments by utilizing skills such as equipping a Grappling device that allows you to use a beam and grapple to a far away platform to escape large area destruction, use a floating device that drops a trampoline that is able to propel you over small to medium level cliffs - that when combined and used in conjunction with grapple device, you can pull off some really cool combo moves to cover a vast amount of distance extremely fast. Just... don't make the same mistake I did and think I was pulling off a bad ass move, only to over shoot my objective, try to run to the time machine to make my escape, only to get hit directly with one of Frieza's energy blasts and die and lose. Talk about embarrassing. You are also able to equip abilities like Smoke Screen that blocks enemy ki tracking or my favorite, harnessing your inner saiyan and using an escape pod to make your get away to any section of the map left unarmed, it makes for some really intense moments when you make a dramatic get away. Even besides those basic skills to use or usable skills that allows you to play as Oolong and Bulma which grants your abilities like Bulma being able to shake her booty to charm a Raider, Oolong, who just like Puar in the original Dragon Ball, can use skills like transform which gives him the power to change into a get away rocket to escape from dangerous situations and even transform himself into an object like a chair to blend into the environment. Pretty awesome, heck! even Farmer is playable, that's random as hell, but we'll get to him soon as well, for you see, the real bread and butter for survivors, are panties. Wait what? dang it Oolong, that's not in the script, you dang piggy, get outta here. Sorry, what I meant was, the real bread and butter are items known as Transpheres.
Players in this game are all able to equip at least 3 Transpheres each and each one representing a stage 1 to 4, just like Raiders. For instance your stage 1 will always be your created character and stages 2 to 4 will be someone like Goku, Krillin, Piccolo or even Android 18. The higher your energy level will determine who you transform into, depending on the order you have them set in. To me, this is the skill that you use only as your last resort, your panic button. When you get cornered or found by the enemy raider, as a regular human you can't fight them straight up, you're screwed, however transforming using a Transphere allows you to fly away and escape or put up a fight alongside your fellow survivors and give them one big colossal butt kicking just like Vegeta gets against every main villain in not only the anime series but also in the main movies. Poor Vegeta. But be very very careful because the lower your level, the less energy you will have to consume and should you lose too much, your transformation will run out and you will become a regular human once again. These transformations add a ton of not only stressful moments, but tons of funny ones too. For instance on one occasion, I had teammates who kept ditching me or leaving me, so when it came time to finally escape, I figured they'd wait for me. But did they? no way. Those jerks were going to leave me. So it was at this time, I got found out by Cell, so there am I running, flying my little heart out, whining as I'm being chased and then it dawns on me. Why should they escape when they don't want me to?. So what did I do? I lured Cell right to the time machine as they were escaping, so we ALL died. Checkmate. I know, that was an ass move, but it was the only time I've done it, had to get it out of my system. Sorry guys.
When you're not trying to survive the grueling game of hide and seek death edition, there are still a few things to do that either add to your game play or just allows you to get cool rewards. Heading on over the main shop, you'll be able to purchase items such as clothes, accessories, character lines for raiders, keychains, and other skills to be used by your survivor. The clothes however are merely just aesthetic, no buffs in stats added, but hey, at least you get a Gregory back pack, which is cute as all heck, so win there. If you're familiar with games like Call Of Duty that with each level, you unlock a tier that houses rewards, then you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about next. Just like in Call Of Duty, here in Season 1 of Breakers, you have what is known as a Dragon Tier, which goes all the way up to level 50. Now you have two choices, you either play the game and naturally progress it over time like I'm currently doing or you fork over like $100 to immediately unlock all the goodies such as extra zeni to use for the shop, Warrior spirit energy that is used to level up your attacks in the training section, TP tokens, Spirit Siphon Tickets, Badges, victory pose emotes and even... get Farmer, just like I stated earlier.. but.. uhh, he's not available till like level 50. Holy crap, is he that OP or something? No wonder Beerus doesn't outright destroy earth, he knows Farmer is there and is too scared to challenge him outright. Good ol Farmer, the hero we deserve and need.
Outside of the shop, battle settings for your character and the dragon tier, you have two more sections to check out that directly effect how you play and how much stronger you'll become. Truck your booty on all over the Spirit Siphon booth and use your hard earned tickets and TP tokens to summon a Spirit Siphon like Goku, Vegeta or even Teen Gohan, who then allow you to mosey on over to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, which acts as your training facility, in order to level up the super attacks for your spirit siphons like Goku with his Kamehameha, Piccolo with his masakasen... masakessuh.. massa... screw it, its Special Beam Cannon, Krillin with destructo disc - you get it. But good lord do they cost a lot, for Goku's Kaioken Assault by itself, it will run you upwards to 20,000 Spirit points, the heck? I'm not Bulma Briefs, I can't afford that guys.
Contrary to what you've heard so far, I do have some gripes about this title. Mainly in regards to match queue, low raider spawn and longevity. My first issue has to do with matches sometimes taking forever to find, a little bit of an exaggeration, but it can take roughly ten minutes sometimes on bad nights. My second gripe has to do with the rarity of getting to play as an actual villain raider, its too high. I want to play as Frieza, Cell or Buu so I can kill the survivors and end their existence, but its all down to a game of luck, you have to be chosen, you cant just choose to be the raider, which sucks because it gives me the same gripes that I had with EA's star wars battlefront where only in rare cases could you play as an iconic character. Its pretty annoying. Lastly my biggest concern with this title is longevity. Right now there's enough content to keep you entertained for the time being, but the key here will be to add new survivor attacks, more siphons, lower the prices on some of things in the item shop because 24,000 for a shirt is just ridiculous, more maps, etc. However, Dimps may squash my gripes before we even get going as we got a glimpse of season 2 and the Vegeta Oozaru that's coming, so I'm optimistic.
Quick note before we wrap it up. The game also runs very smooth on PC with no hang up or issues on GeForce GTX 1060, however sadly it does not run on Steam Deck, which is really a bummer. Stupid Easy Anti-Cheat program. You ruined it. Just like Yamchia ruined his... not doing it. I'll be good.
At the end of the day, Dragon Ball The Breakers ends up being one of those games that no one asked for or thought they wanted, but somehow and strangely enough, actually ended up being a fairly enjoyable title. Is it perfect? no way. There's issues with matchmaking like I said, map variety could be an issue, power balancing between Raiders and Survivors being wonky, but with its easy of pick up and play regardless of skill level, simple to learn, offering extremely fun or intense moments with your friends or strangers as you all survive together or die together, authentic skillsets from the anime series, being able to ride silly dino mounts and topped off with just a $20 price tag, makes my verdict in this case, a very simple one. So if you're a Dragon Ball fan, I say definitely give this one a look, its worth at least a try if you're curious, especially for $20. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW