There are plenty of dramatic and tense moments in Dragon Ball media. Major arcs take us through scenarios that can get quite serious. With Dragon Ball Fusions, we get something that’s almost entirely lighthearted and focused on having fun. We’re given an opportunity to enjoy a game where it’s all about building up our characters, forming a strong party, and fusing them for beneficial and goofy results.
It all starts with Dragon Ball Fusions’ turn-based battles. Players put together a team of five characters (though sometimes it’s technically a larger group, but we’ll get to that) and face off against another group of five. Characters fall into power, speed, or technique groups, with each being stronger and weaker against another. You all fight in a circular ring, with standard and special attacks.
When you pull off a standard attack, you decide an angle to attack from and hope your opponent doesn’t block. If he or she doesn’t, they can go flying. (This can also happen with special attacks.) The target will go careening into allies or other opponents. If you’re really fortunate, you’ll knock them out of the ring. This does additional damage and could end up earning you a skill, which can immediately be assigned to an ally that can use it or be saved in storage for future use.
And then, there are the fusions. This system is probably why most people will come to Dragon Ball Fusions. For good reason, too! For one, it results in some ridiculously powered, S-ranked characters. Which is important, because the whole tournament is about being the strongest. When you fuse characters with EX Fusion, power pretty much doubles. The characters in the fusion both earn experience. If the original characters, pre-fusion, knew certain special moves, they can be assigned. Ones they had before being fused don’t disappear. They’ll be saved away until they’re separated. You can also fuse all five members of your party with other people, which means you technically have 10 people with you at all times. This is a great way to have a fantastic team as early as possible. Though, some characters can’t fuse with your avatar until you reach a certain level, see a certain event, recruit people, or meet other conditions.
The Maxi Fusions kick things up another notch. This allows your entire party to join together for a massive attack when the Ultra Gauge is over half full for a Fusion Dance attack. You choose a target, everyone dances and joins together, you look like an insanely powerful Super Saiyan, and you get a brief opportunity to deal devastating damage. It’s extraordinary. Think of it as Dragon Ball Fusions’ equivalent of a limit break. I like that it’s easy enough to power up and use in almost every extensive battle, if you like, so you can really enjoy being this ridiculously strong force.
But, the best part might just be Dragon Ball Fusions’ names. Combined characters can look awesome, but they can also seem just so ridiculous and silly. Gorilin is one of my favorite ones. First, because of the name. But also, because of that name! It’s like it’s foreshadowing the whole Great Ape transformation, right? There are so many goofy ones. Pan and Bulla? They’re Brapan. Raditz and Nappa are Rappa. Arale and Towa are Towale. They’re just so hilarious and delightful.
Probably the only annoying part of fusions is the hoops you have to go through for Dragon Ball Fusions’ Super Saiyan fusions. They aren’t all easy, like Karoly, which can be between a standard Goku and Super Saiyan-Jin Broly. You have to work your way up to the improved fusion forms. Though, the Super Saiyan skill is actually better. It only lasts for three turns, but changes your character’s form and triples your stats. Characters like Squash, Sesaba, and Bukwash all have a chance of dropping the skill if you knock them out of the ring in a fight, so make sure you get it.
The thing about Dragon Ball Fusions is that it’s very easy to get pulled in, even if you don’t intend to. The basic battle system is quite enjoyable. There’s quite a strategic element to it, especially if you’re attempting to get skills and build up Fusion Dances. The fusions themselves are great, offering you super powered characters that are as silly as they are strong. There’s this sense of trying to do as much as possible and collect them all, so you can see everything and make an S-ranked team.
Dragon Ball Fusions is available for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan and North America. It will come to Europe in February 2017