Poké Ball Z?! Pinkie Reviews: Dragon Ball Z Team Training

My sweet Island guests! Hi how are you doing today?! Hope you are well! Two of the fandoms I am most active in is Pokémon and Dragon Ball, so when you get the chance to play a rom hack that combines these two things are bound to be good. Time to evolve to a Super Trainer and use Explosion on a wild Yamcha as we venture into Dragon Ball Z team training!

<Editting Pinkie Here! What Bad Luck I lost my own images! I posted them in a wrong place and now I can no longer acces them so while the images you see will not be of my journey! I can assure you I definitely finished the game!>

Dr Brief introduced my female trainer Pinkie to the wonderful world of Dragon Ball, in this world I have to train up powerful fighters and make my ways across gyms all across the land so I can prove my worth as a fighter trainer and eventually I can take on the four Kais. It’s a journey that will take you through locations such as Mount Paozu , Namek, The Red Ribbon Army Base and Makyo City.

Yet before I can venture out into this , slightly,  Dragon Ball themed world I have to pick my starter first.  We get the choice out of Goku, Vegeta and Adult Gohan. All can evolve multiple times. With Gohan being able to go Super Saiyan and Ultimate, Vegeta being able to go Super Saiyan and Majin Vegeta and Goku being able to go Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 3.  However End game all can go beyond, with everyone learning super Saiyan God and even Super Saiyan Blue.. and Goku being able to go Ultra Instinct as well. Goku also is able to go Golden Oozaru and Super Saiyan 4 and if you pick Goku you can also catch a Vegeta later on and can fuse them together.  Goku gets a tiny bit more love than the other two ..but hey  that’s how the show does it as well!

I picked up Goku…as I really wanted to make him go Ultra Instinct.. mostly because I wanted to see how ridiculous his stats would be!  I did not give him a nickname because… well I kinda feel bad giving these characters nicknames as they have their own names so ..I decided to go nickname-less. If I had chosen to go nicknames I would have made silly ones…like naming Piccolo Eggplamber or something! Still I had a serious job..defeating the four Kais.  So I grabbed  hand full of capsules and began tossing them on Krillin and Piccolo  as I build myself a team of canonical good guys! Choosing that route proved to be a mistake. 

Dragon Ball Z has always been about transformations, stronger opponents and bigger challenges, this is reflected in the game as well.

Perfect Cell at level 30 has way higher stats than Lvl 30 Final Form Frieza. Lvl 20 Super Saiyan Goten is stronger than Lvl 20 Yamcha, by a fair margin. This makes the game get it’s unique feeling.. your team is always changing. Krillin is quite good to have until level 25 or so but after that he becomes utterly useless as even the wild encounters you meet will have better stats. My level 22 second form Frieza had better stats than my level 31 Krillin. Some characters are exceptions to this, for example Piccolo stays fairly relevant throughout the game in terms of power, he can match with the non legendary characters. Not being that much weaker than Perfect Cell or even Kid Buu. 

He does however..get in trouble later on because he does not learn any good new moves. The third gym lets you fight the androids (Cell is the fourth gym)  so around the low level 30’s Piccolo learns Hellzone Grenade and after that.. nothing really.  Capsule Moves  you find can help.. but overall .. Dragon Ball Z Team training focuses on advancing getting better stuff rather than making stuff work.. so it plays quite a bit different from regular pokemon. It’s a change I hated at first, but later came to appreciate. It is willing to move away from Pokémon to be more Dragon Ball, not the Dragon Ball Hero stuff either.. where suddenly characters all become hyper powerful.. no it follows the Z story..if a character stops being relevant in the story it kinda becomes less relevant as a game character as well. That does make this game a bit grind heavy though…and for the first time ever in a Pokémon game.. I had to use 3 legendaries plus two characters who have near Legendary stats in order to win against the Kais.  You always have to be aware of more powerful creates and you have to make that swap. (Well unless you like grinding into insanity.. but still your better of improving) 

This does mean the game is not as tactical, rather it’s a bit of a resource management like game. Finding fighters with good stats or move pools, searching for fusing items and good techniques and the best way to do this is to know stuff about Dragon Ball Z. You’ll want to pick fighters that evolve and how do you know people evolve? By having watched the series but also the extra content. Super Saiyan Bardock is a thing, but you can also transform him , Raditz or Nappa into an Oozaru using a Moonstone. You can catch a Trunks and Goten and fuse them together into a Gotenks and yes you can even make Gogeta or Vegito. If you do not know about these though, you’ll never guess the Fusion combinations because there are well over 100 fighters in the game. If you do not know Frieza is stronger than Aqua or if you don’t know Bunyon and Giran are just from Dragon Ball , you will struggle to know what is good on your team. So If you are a  just a Pokémon Fan, wanting to play a interesting Rom Hack this isn’t for you. If you are a Dragon Ball fan who knows nothing about Pokémon but just want more content..this game has a few quirks and issues as well. So this game is only for fans of both. It’s literally a fusion!

While on the surface combining these two ideas can still result in a rather interesting game, this Rom Hack doesn’t really pull it off for me.

Mostly due to its poor balancing. There are only a few types that really matter in the game, being Fire, Fighting, Steel and Dark.  Ice , Grass and Electric are in there as well as a few rock and Psychic type moves but it’s extremely sparingly.  Officially typing matchup should have remained the same.. but I don’t think quadruple damage is a thing..or maybe it’s only quadruple damage that is a thing.. I can’t figure this out. Hitting Frieza who is a Dark Ice type with a fighting  type move is super effective, while hitting him with a Kamehameha is effective normally. I can not just forget the old typing system and since it does still refer to the old typing system this is something I seem unable to master. Fire not super effective against Ice? I just don’t get it.. Electric still beats water, fighting beats dark. Who knows! 

As a result I just end up doing “something” spam powerful attacks, 90% of the moves are fire of fighting type moves anyway.  This feeling is enlarged by the fact that the game is mostly based on the Japanese version of Dragon Ball Z. What I mean by this is that we for example do not get Android 18 but instead C-18..as in the original they are referred to as cyborgs or just numbers. That isn’t a bad thing but it might leave you scratching your head if your a dub kid. What IS a problem for Dub-people is that all the techniques are phonetic Japanese as well. So  Special Beam Cannon is Makankosappo, Solar Flare is Taiyoken, After images is Zanzoken and the Spirit Bomb is the Genkidama. I love the sub and I know the techniques by those names but if you are one of those Dub is better folks, you’ll wonder what techniques are which.. and since half of the charm this game is recognisability of all the characters and such I can see that being an issues for you! There still is plenty there and once you get used to it , it will be fine but I can imagine how this would not feel as YOUR Dragon Ball… so  this is a a game for fans of both Dragon Ball and Pokémon but mostly catered to those that watch subs?! That’s a specific niche right there.

While that did not effect me I felt it did needed to be said, what did bother me however is how poor the artwork can be at times. While I do use techniques for my content very similar to these.. like using pre-existing assets wherever possible this game really uses a lot of different styles. Most character sprites come from games like Dragon Ball Z Super Sonic Warriors, but Bunyon’s sprite is from Dragon Ball Advanced Adventures, while some sprites like general Red are made by the team itself. As a result it can feel a bit hotchpotchy.  Goku base form for example is a very thick outlined sprite and when he evolves he goes into his Super Sonic Warrior Sprite, while Gohan and Vegeta  already use earlier sprites from the get go. It just takes a bit of consistency out and makes some evolutions feel REALLY disappointing.The same can be said for the order towns are laid out in, while we do progress throughout the story , Pewter City is Saiyan Saga, Into Cerulean being the Namek Saga, into  The Android saga.. we suddenly get Makyo town after that which is Garlic Jr’s story…which takes place before the Android saga.. I do not mind persé that stuff is out of order.. but I have a bit of trouble with doing  both in AND out or order it makes the game feel needlessly sloppy.

Since this game is a Romhack the map is exactly the same as it was in Kanto.. just buildings have replaced sprites , like Mount Paozu having capsule homes and Namek having green water and blue grass.

Yet in its core the game is still the exact same game as it was in Kanto, the official Pokémon game however explained way better where to go to next. If you do not know, this game can have you search a bit.  Some buildings and locations HAVE been replaced however, for example both “rocket hideouts” are  now in the same town. Capsule Corps and the Game Corner are both in Gingertown, While Satan City now has the developer building. The way to the Power Plant is also different. So since it is so familiar but randomly tosses stuff around , it can also be a bit confusing to fans. It’s a shame  the game choose for this half and half route as I like that some things are different but treading familiar ground for 90% of the adventure makes those 10% a bit frustrating. I actually do love to explore, but when something is so familiar with for like the majority of the game.. .Either I find myself disappointed they did not do more stuff like that.. or I search around aimlessly as they chose to change one trivial thing.

The game would also have been more fun if they chose a story slightly more Akin to fighters where not everyone can use their full abilities so the playing field could be more even. I at first struggled big time during the pokémon league. Everyone around their level 50’s  gets so little Power Point in moves that you burn out in no time and the level hike was quite large. I was seriously underleveled by the end.. but since every Kai had something like A Krillin or a Zarbon 2 in their team I just send out Shenron, let him boost up his attack  since weak characters can barely damage it, heal up and sweep a team. This also worked if I used Broly, or Frieza or whoever had a setup technique. Everyone has that one weak fighter that completely unbalanced any fight. It was nice that some technique was required for the final part.. but it felt more like an exploit and not that excited.

I was going to play the post game and get myself a Ultra Instinct Goku but the post game is locked behind having to have caught 60 fighters. Since most of them are so useless, I did not particularly bother with catching so I had just so many work left to do that I just gave up. Dragon Ball Z Team Training is not a bad game, it’s just a crazy little Dragon Ball experience but the system is to unbalanced and fighters are too useless to sell me on the collecting aspect. In the end these two franchises do not mix very well.  I had my fun exploring the world, I had an enjoyable time but I would have had a better time playing either pokémon OR Dragon Ball Super Sonic Warriors. In the end I’d compare it to a Peep Box.. it’s fun to stare at it for a while wondering where everything goes and discovering the scene but if you stare at it long you notice some things are cut out a bit iffy and there isn’t that much going on. Fun to experience  but in the end what you get is only paper thin. It’s fun to recognise things but not particularly fun to play.

The Verdict!

I had some good times time with this game but mostly in the first half the second half got quite frustrating having to substitute my entire time all the time, also I do not really know who this game is for.. it really asks some knowledge of Dragon Ball Z and Pokémon to play.. and in terms of Dragon Ball the sub specifically. Do you know of a Rom Hack or Fan Game I should play next? From now on once per 4 weeks I shall review a Pokémon fan game! You can help me determine what is next! Thank you for reading and if you like my content and would happen to have some funds you do not know what to do with..consider supporting me on Ko-Fi and join Camp Coconut!

2 thoughts

    1. It’s fun for a quick play-trough definitely worth picking up, as a game it’s meh ..but as a experience it’s quite worth it! Just don’t try to hold on to Krillin to long xD

      Liked by 1 person

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