Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission (Switch) Review
A franchise as rich and long-running as Dragon Ball definitely will bring certain game tropes and genres to mind – more than likely the fighting genre. With a variety of transformation moves and fighting techniques. But Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission takes a different approach, using its long history and cast of characters to create a collectible card game. While hearing “card game” may also bring certain terms and tropes to mind as well, there’s not much on offer here beyond using these cards to create action-packed but ultimately shallow match-up scenarios.
The world that Super Dragon Ball Heroes is set in is one much like ours- where Dragon Ball is a popular series of stories that has swept everyone’s imagination by storm. The card game is an in-universe creation, where people can create their own teams to fight other players, recreating moments in the franchise’s history, or create their own fights they’ve always wanted to see. There’s a ton of cards in the game- I think in the thousands potentially- so there’s plenty here for die-hard fans to collect and strive for.
But the use of cards sets up a false expectation for what the game actually is. Typically, at the very least, card-based games have some element of chance or variety of possibilities to keep you on your toes. Super Dragon Ball Heroes, which is ultimately based on an arcade game, doesn’t offer that level of deck building or strategy of planning for every scenario. Instead, it resembles turn-based games like Pokemon or Yo-Kai Watch, with a team of characters with varying power levels.
There’s still a sense of strategy, but it’s much more on the in-game end than the deck building “which cards should I pick to be prepared for a number of scenarios” end. Your team of 7 heroes is it, with different positions on the board being the bulk of the thinking element of the game. To this end, games have a much smaller set of events to prepare for, leaving very little to surprise you. Picking a handful of strategies to deal with a few different teams is all you need, and it just doesn’t challenge you as a player once you’ve figured that out.
It seems like the real value in the game comes from the representation of different characters in the franchise’s history. I don’t have a strong knowledge of the selection of characters, but there’s a lot of different cards from a lot of different series to choose from and collect, with more names I didn’t recognise than ones I did. More than likely, any obscure characters you like will be represented here in some form.
The story itself isn’t incredibly interesting though, with a weird and awkward meta element. The entire world the game is set in is obsessed with Dragon Ball and all the characters and fights being iconic to them as much as it would be to fans in the real world. It almost comes across as self-gratifying and it’s hard to experience. The actual gameplay is just a series of battles, some with different conditions, with a fair bit of dialogue in-between written in classic anime fashion.
Super Dragon Ball Heroes is an overwhelmingly mediocre game from a gameplay or narrative perspective. It’s not bad, but it’s quite boring and shallow. There’s probably more here for avid fans of the series than there is for someone looking for an interesting game or a challenging strategy experience.
+ Lots of cards to collect
+ Plenty of references for fans
- Shallow gameplay
- Not big on strategy