Parents' Guide to

Dragon Ball Fusions

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Slow pace makes this fighter best for die-hard fans.

Game Nintendo 3DS 2016
Dragon Ball Fusions Poster Image

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For fans of this popular anime series, this could be a dream game, so long as they're willing to put up with slow, dry pacing in play. Players create their own unique customized Dragon Ball character and then set out to build the best group of fighters they can to duke it out in a series of tactical, turn-based matches. Admittedly, hearing the terms "turn-based" and "fighter" in the same description is more than enough to make some gamers raise an eyebrow in doubt. Fusions, though, opens up a new set of tricks to the fighting formula by challenging players to choose an attack in a sort of rock, paper, scissors fashion. Environment comes into play, too, with players needing to choose a direction to attack from, allowing them to either blindside their opponents into a massive ambush or getting caught themselves and getting pummeled into oblivion. It's a slow and methodical twist on the classic fighting formula that can take a while to get used to.

Unfortunately, it's this slower pacing that ends up being Dragon Ball Fusions' biggest hurdle. For starters, when battling opponents, players pick a move, then sit back and watch a lengthy cut scene that shows the results of their choice. While this is pretty cool in the beginning, it wears out its novelty fairly quickly. Before long, you can't help but feel like you're just going through the motions. Making matters worse, later bouts suddenly start tossing in win conditions, meaning you not only have to win your match, but now you have to do so in very specific ways or be forced to restart from the last checkpoint. On the upside, taking on side missions grants access to more powerful characters from the Dragon Ball universe. Plus, fans of the series will have a blast trying out various fusions to come up with wildly insane combinations they've only dreamed could happen. It's a great bit of fan service, with a bit of a Pokémon feel, as players try to collect -- er, "recruit" -- as many characters as they can. While that might be enough to distract most die-hard Dragon Ball fans from the game's faults, the average gamer might not be quite as forgiving.

Game Details

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