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Dragon Ball: Origins, originally published as Dragon Ball DS (ドラゴンボールDS, Doragon Bōru Dī Esu) in Japan, is a video game for the Nintendo DS based on Dragon Ball. It was developed by Game Republic and published by Atari and Namco Bandai under the Bandai label. It was released on September 18, 2008 in Japan, on November 4, 2008 in America, on December 5, 2008 in Europe and on December 16, 2008 in Australia.
Its sequel is Dragon Ball: Origins 2, released on February 11, 2010, in Japan, on June 22, 2010, in America, and on July 2, 2010, in Europe.
The game covers the first two sagas of Dragon Ball, the Emperor Pilaf and Tournament Sagas, with some alterations. For example, Goku and Oolong must infiltrate the Rabbit Gang's hideout to save Bulma, and Pilaf now owns a giant robot in his likeness. By completing certain parts of the story (which is divided into 8 episodes with 4 main chapters each), the player may participate in side-stories, such as rescuing Alexi, who ends up getting lost in the forest, finding Ox-King's lost treasure, bringing Bulma to Kame House for Master Roshi, or training with Krillin.
Changes from the Manga/Anime
Instead of Goku simply cross-dressing, both him and Bulma go into the forest to find sap and make a mask of Pochawompa's face so Goku can be perfectly disguised as her. Instead of Oolong's shapeshifting running out of time and being rescued by Goku, Goku chases Oolong to his mansion while still in the form of a rocket, forcing Goku to go through Oolong's Mansion and find him. Instead of Bulma simply receiving the Dragon Ball from Grandma Paozu after capturing Oolong, the old lady's granddaughter loses it in the woods, causing Goku and Bulma to look through the forest for the ball.
Yamcha accidentally gets a hold of Goku's Four-Star Dragon Ball, making Goku and the others search for Yamcha and get it back. Instead of the gang staying in Oolong's House-Wagon, they stay at Yamcha's Hideout; as such, Bulma finds and puts on the playboy bunny outfit in Yamcha's hideout.
Goku tries to take the Fire Cave to get to the Ox-King's castle where he fights the Ox-King instead of fighting him at the ruins of Fire Mountain's village. Instead of Yamcha knocking Chi-Chi out after she kills the T-Rex, Goku witnesses Chi-Chi kill the T-Rex and has to fight her to calm her down. Instead of Bulma and Oolong going to find the Dragon Ball in the ruins of Fire Mountain, it is Goku and Bulma that search.
After Goku defeats the two Rabbit Mob members, they call more members to attack Goku and then call Monster Carrot after the reinforcements are defeated. Once Monster Carrot turns Bulma into a carrot with his Magic Touch, he runs off back to his hideout that Goku and Oolong have to find in the Mushroom Forest. Once there, Oolong disguises himself as a normal towns person wanting to join the Rabbit Mob so he can get Goku into the hideout.
The whole game (excluding the cutscenes) has an overhead view of the action. Goku is the only fully playable character, who is controlled with the stylus. Your goal is to get to the end of the stage, preferably very quickly. Goku has two different modes: one where he attacks bare-handed, and one where he uses his power pole. He also learns the Kamehameha, the Spin Attack, and the Afterimage Technique during the events of the game. He has a life meter to indicate his health and a Ki meter to indicate how many more attacks he can do before tiring. This meter fills over time. Bulma accompanies him in many stages, following the most basic path to the end, and doing her best to kill every enemy. However, she does not have many of Goku's moves, and you sometimes need to create a path for her to safely advance. She has a life and Ki meter of her own, though the Ki meter does not deplete with normal attacks. Although mostly AI-Controlled, tapping her when her Ki meter is full causes her to do a special attack, which can be customized on menu screens. If either character's life meter is empty, the game is over, and Bulma viciously (yet comically) shoots Goku as a punishment for letting her get badly hurt or failing the mission, even when she is not normally around. In treasure boxes scattered around the game, Goku can find upgrades to increase both character's life meters, increase his Ki meter, and make Bulma's fill more quickly. Other characters, like Launch and Oolong, appear sometimes, but it is often only to create challenges for Goku or to progress the story, and they do not have life or Ki meters.
Defeating enemies can make them drop bags of Zeni or skill orbs. Zeni can be used at the store to buy food, drink, weapons and figurines (see paragraph below). Skill orbs give Goku more skill points, which can be used to upgrade attacks.
There are 200 collectable figurines in the game. They may be bought from the store, found in various game areas, or given as rewards for completing missions very quickly. They show the characters doing various actions from the game, such as Goku performing the Kamehameha or Emperor Pilaf yelling. They may be zoomed in and out, and rotated in many directions. Over wireless connection, two owners of the game may trade figurines.
- Chapter 1: Mount Paozu
- Chapter 2: Aru Village
- Chapter 3: Diablo Desert
- Chapter 4: Fire Mountain
- Chapter 5: Mushroom Forest
- Chapter 6: Pilaf's Castle
- Chapter 7: Training Island
- Chapter 8: World Martial Arts Tournament
The game was first announced in the May 2008 issue of V Jump magazine. revealed that the game would be a platformer, and it would focus on, at least, the Pilaf story arc, with some of the screenshots demonstrated the stylus' capabilities in combat and the convenience of the dual screen gap such as censoring Bulma's genitals when she flashes Master Roshi for a Dragon Ball, and listed a release date sometime later that year. It also showed that Bulma would be involved in the gameplay in some form. The June issue of V Jump added more screenshots demonstrating the stylus' use in performing various melee combat techniques with hand-to-hand or with the use of the Power pole. The issue also confirming the official Japanese release for September 18. The July issue of V Jump featured screenshots of the game's various menus, maps, and the Dragon Radar. The August issue of V Jump featured screenshot and promotional art that revealed that the game's story mode would include the tournament story arc and the characters Krillin and Launch. A few weeks later, Atari's US and European branches would issue press statements announcing that they would release game in both territories under the new name Dragon Ball: Origins, and that a European release date would be sometime in December. In early September, a playable demo was made available on the Nintendo Channel for the Wii in Japan, which remained available until September 17 where it was only available via DS Station kiosks. In October, the game was unveiled to the public at the Tokyo Game Show with booths setup for hands on demonstration. A few days later, Atari issued a statement announcing that their work on Origins was complete and would be released throughout America on November 4.
Demos of Origins were distributed in both Japan and America through the Wii's Nintendo Channel. The American demo was an advertisement where the player is taught fundamental techniques while chasing after Chi-Chi. This culminates with a fight against Chi-Chi at the demo's climax, after which she proclaims she is going to buy a copy of the game herself "in the city."
Reception and Sales
The game sold 72,330 copies its first week. It was received very well by most Western gaming publications, scoring an average of 78 at Metacritic and a 82% on Gamerankings. Game Revolution also praised the game for "DS graphics not badly done." Yet the game did not impress Famitsu Weekly in Japan, which gave it only a 30 out of 40. Similarly, the U.S. Nintendo Power also gave the game a 7/10. IGN gives the game an 8.2, citing "The gameplay is well done, if not a little repetitive overall." It is the highest-rated game on the DS based on the Dragon Ball franchise on both Metacritic and GameRankings.
Also, the game has a high user score of 8.6/10 on Metacritic.
- ↑ Relive Original Dragon Ball Adventures with Dragon Ball: Origins on Nintendo DS, at gamespy.com
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Origins, at gamespot.com
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Origins at metacritic.com
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Origins at gamerankings.com
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Origins review at GameRevolution (2008-12-22)
- ↑ Dragon Ball DS Famisu score
- ↑ Nintendo Power Dec 2008, p.100
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Origins IGN review
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Origins score at metacritic.com