Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo Game Poster Image
Difficult boss battles ruin the rest of cartoony fight game.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game could be seen as having some negative stereotyping. The army of villains are all named after colors -- General White, Colonel Silver, Commander Red, and so on. Officer Black happens to be African-American, and he has huge lips.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Goku, the hero, is earnest and always comes to the aid of those in need. His entire quest revolves around finding a family heirloom that used to belong to his grandfather. As he travels this world, he must fight to defeat a bevy of baddies.

Ease of Play

There is far too big a discrepancy between the degree of challenge involved in making it through any given level and the difficulty in defeating any of the ridiculously powerful bosses. Other than that, the controls are relatively simple to use.

Violence

Most of the violence is kept on a very cartoony level (stars circling people's heads, words like "BANG!" appearing onscreen, etc.), but there is a lot of it. The majority of the fighting is hand-to-hand, with the occasional staff or "energy blast" thrown in. Some bad guys in military-style uniforms fire missiles or toss bombs at the hero. Other enemies include wolves, robots, and aliens. There is also a lot of verbal violence, as nearly every evil character threatens to kill the hero. Tournament mode allows two players to battle each other in an arena.

Sex
Language

Lots of threats and name-calling (e.g., "little freak"). The word "hell" is occasionally heard.

Consumerism

This game is based on the Dragon Ball anime series, and there are many other Dragon Ball games, but neither the cartoon or the other games are referenced in this one. There is one ad for a Nintendo DS Dragon Ball game on the back of the instruction booklet.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Players can locate collectible items in hidden treasure chests throughout the game, one of which is a cigar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that despite its earnest and good-intentioned young hero, this action adventure game is really all about fighting. The fighting is cartoony but there is a lot of it, coupled with a fair amount of name-calling. There's a respect for martial arts in the story, but the nuance involved in understanding that such skills can be used in good ways and in bad ways might be lost on some younger players.  And many of those younger players may be the very children who want to play this game, as they may already be fans of the Dragon Ball comics, cartoons, and toys.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17 year old Written bygoku13131313 December 12, 2009
this game is pretty cool
Adult Written bylukeshaw65 November 6, 2009

free games

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Kid, 12 years old January 11, 2011

This is Piccolo's Revenge? KAMEHAMEHA!!! Ok, beat him. Next?

For me, a hardcore DBZ fan, this was dissapointing. The moves were limited, there was no flying, and worst of all, this game could not decide!!! Did it want to... Continue reading

What's it about?

The story behind DRAGON BALL: REVENGE OF KING PICCOLO revolves around the search for seven magical spheres -- dragon balls -- which, when put together, will grant wishes. One of the balls belonged to the grandfather of young hero Goku. His search for his family heirloom brings him into conflict with the evil Red Ribbon Army and other villains in search of the dragon balls.

Is it any good?

This side-scrolling fighting game starts off with a nice old-school feel to it, but soon becomes repetitive. For instance, the first three bosses you'll encounter, though very different looking characters, all put you through what is essentially the same battle. And bosses are the game's biggest problem -- they're far too difficult. The interior of many levels can actually be deceptively easy, which makes it all the more frustrating to suddenly find yourself engaged in a near-impossible boss battle. The only way to survive is to either be really good, or to replay early levels over and over until you earn enough money to buy power-ups that will increase the size of your anemic health meter. There are no power-ups to replenish your health meter during boss battles, which is excessively punative to young kids trying to enjoy a video game. The two-player tournament mode is much better and can actually be a lot of fun, provided you've unlocked enough characters from the solo adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ways in which martial arts can be a good thing. Why have they, throughout history, been so repected and revered throughout so much of the world? What good traits can one learn from martial arts? What's the difference between two people sparring in a martial arts competition and two people getting into a fight?

  • Parents can also engage their children in discussion of racial stereotypes. How can simply the way a person's face is depicted be offensive to some people?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: October 22, 2009
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Mild Language, Tobacco Reference

For kids who love make believe

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