1. As a kid, there were few things more exciting than going to the local game store, and finding out that one of my favorite anime or cartoon series would be getting a brand new video game. At the time, it didn’t really matter that most of those games were clones and reskins of more popular franchises, or licensed purely to make a quick buck; I could play as my favorite characters--what more could possibly matter?! So, when the day arrived, and I excitedly popped the cartridge of Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku into my GBA, younger me immediately learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes licensed games can be bad. Sometimes licensed games can be very, very, bad.

    So, in the following year of 2003 when a sequel was released, I pointedly ignored its existence, entirely certain that the game would be just like the first: clunky, awkward, a chore, difficult to control; downright terrible in every single way. But, eventually, years later, whilst scrolling through a list of games on my Supercard, I saw the game innocently sitting there, begging to be played. Cynically, I selected it--I’d play it just for a bit, if only to see how horrible it would be. At the very least, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the first, right?

    464567-dragon-ball-z-the-legacy-of-goku-ii-game-boy-advance-screenshot.png

    The game kicks off with a horrendously pixelated intro, looking every single bit of its 16-year-old age, with all the hallmarks of an early-2000’s Game Boy Advance title, rife with a bit-crunched guitar riff from Bruce Falconer’s western Funimation dub soundtrack and exceptionally short GIF-like animations of all the main cast, ripped straight from the anime. When it reaches the title screen, with the background laden by even more pixelated versions of character art, slapped all across the frame in an attempt to look cool, again, taken right from the show, it’s entirely fair if your expectations hit rock bottom. And really--with a predecessor like the original Legacy of Goku, coupled with the fact that this game was made by an American developer, likely aiming to capitalize on peak DBZ-mania at the time, it would come as no surprise that this game would be as awful as you could imagine. And that's when I learned another lesson: sometimes, developers can actually learn and improve, and realizing that just requires you to take a chance.

    So, it's a surprise that, despite everything seemingly against its favor, Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II is actually a pretty fun game.

    A simple game, for certain, and one with many odd or laughable quirks, but even so, it’s charming and definitely enjoyable for Dragon Ball fans, and even perhaps even good enough to pique the interest those looking for an oddball game to try out of the GBA’s massive library. In this entry of GBAtemp Recommends, we'll be ignoring The Legacy of Goku I, and instead will be focusing on the games that followed it.

    For those completely new to anything Dragon Ball related, you won’t really miss too much in terms of story by doing this. Some characters and their relationship dynamics might be unclear, but for the most part, the second game tries to fill you in on all the bare-minimum level details. Legacy of Goku II follows the tail-end of the movie The History of Trunks, and ends off at the end of the Cell Saga, (alternatively, about 100 chapters worth of story from the manga) with added movie content interspersed here and there for padding. Being able to play through definitive moments in DBZ-history is always exciting, and all of the major story beats are covered in all of their glory, from the multiple battles against the Androids, to the final climactic duel with Cell.

    LOG2 Parallax.PNG Dragon-Ball-Z-The-Legacy-of-Goku-II.jpg 59976-dragon-ball-z-the-legacy-of-goku-ii-game-boy-advance-screenshot.png

    As with most RPG’s, LoG2 has tons of sidequests and hidden collectibles to find; fans both new and old won’t recognize a good chunk of the game’s story, as it constantly divulges towards filler content whenever things need to be stretched out further. Don’t you remember the time that Vegeta had to cradle dinosaur eggs carefully around a group of angry robots, so that he could move a mother dinosaur away and blow up a generator powering a random man’s house, in order to look for information about the android threat? Me neither, but Legacy of Goku II delivers on this and other such pulse-pounding filler misadventures.

    As we mentioned before with the game's intro, its visuals are something to behold, as nearly every character has awkward-looking profile art. They're off-model, and sometimes look as if they were badly traced in Microsoft Paint. Weirdly enough, despite the horrifying portraits, the rest of the game's graphics look great! They're nothing amazing, but the sprite-work is reminiscent of classic Super Nintendo RPG's. If you happen to speak Japanese, you can play the game's International version, which features slightly improved character portraits, too!

    pEl3r6I.png
    Rather than stick with Goku for the entirety of the game, like the previous game did, LoG2 actually lets you play as all of the main cast: Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Trunks, and Gohan. In fact, Legacy of Goku II is pretty much an improvement in every way, compared to its predecessor. Gameplay mechanics have been changed to better suit the Secret of Mana clone that it was trying to be, by giving you more attacks to work with along with actual feedback for your moves, making every hit feel like an earth-shattering punch, just like it is in the show.

    For the most part, these characters don’t feel too different to each other and control very similarly, so it’s just a case of grinding everyone up so that you’ll be prepared for their respective fights throughout the narrative. They do each get unique special attacks, learned through leveling up, so those minute differences might make one character better to play as over another, depending on your personal playstyle. The base combat is simple, yet satisfying enough to get away with making the cast control relatively same-y.

    So, as developer Webfoot realized, with a bit of fine-tuning and effort, it was possible to create a Dragon Ball Z RPG that managed to be creative enough to stand on its own as an actual game, rather than a cash-in for fans of the franchise. Right after the release of Legacy of Goku II, and its at-the-time passable or even positive reviews, they got to work on yet another game.

    Dragon Ball Z - Buu's Fury-1-full.png

    Releasing in fall of 2004, was Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury. It dropped the Legacy of Goku moniker that originally left people with a bad taste in their mouth, and was a further refinement to their formula that had proven successful. It was, in every way, the opposite to the first Legacy of Goku game. Going back through the series in order of release was interesting, just to see how Webfoot managed to improve with each game. Over the course of the three years that they had worked on their games, they not only polished the gameplay into something actually enjoyable, but took care to add small details and fun easter eggs that make Buu's Fury feel like an actual Dragon Ball game, and not just an action-RPG clone anymore.

    264845-dragon-ball-z-buu-s-fury-game-boy-advance-screenshot-gotenks.png 264839-dragon-ball-z-buu-s-fury-game-boy-advance-screenshot-gohan.png 264848-dragon-ball-z-buu-s-fury-game-boy-advance-screenshot-gohan.png

    Present in both LoG2 and Buu's Fury is the world map, which allows you to fly around, reaching different locales within mere seconds. This is all represented by a Mode 7-esque map that really lends to the feeling of being a Super Saiyan, seeing the world from a sky-high view, traveling freely to places like Kami's Lookout, Goku's House in the wilderness, West City, and all the places familiar to those that have seen Dragon Ball Z. It's not only cool, but it's an especially nice treat to see where iconic locations are, giving a feeling of exploration that few DBZ games manage to pull off.

    Buu's Fury is where the game really begins to capture the essence of being an RPG. Where LoG2 would let you find random health-restoring turkey legs inside of walls, ala Castlevania, this game adds in items, tons of items, in fact. You not only have health and mana restoring items that you can buy and keep on your person for tough fights, but also equipment slots, for an insane amount of new equipable objects. Each character can have an item for their head, arms, hands, legs, feet, and a bonus accessory.

    In your adventures throughout the DBZ series' final arc, you will find endless equipment, each with different traits. These can range from slowing your character down in order to boost XP gain, armor that increases your defense massively, but takes away from your energy attack power, fishing gear, to increase your chances of catching rare fish, or even a random kazoo that does absolutely nothing, and exists only as a gag item drop. These items are complimented by yet another addition to Buu's Fury: customizing your stats. Upon each level up for each of your characters, you'll be able to add skill points to your stats. You've got STR for regular physical attacks, POW for skills like the Kamehameha, END for defense, and SPD for movement speed. That means that this time around, you can make each character entirely different from one another, turning Gohan into a special attack powerhouse, Vegeta into a punching fiend, and Goku an undefeatable tank. These changes make everything feel so much more fleshed out, and give your characters that extra bit of differentially that was missing in previous games.

    GBA--Dragon Ball Z  The Legacy of Goku II_Jun3 17_24_52.png 590665-920530_20040816_002.jpg 264833-dragon-ball-z-buu-s-fury-game-boy-advance-screenshot-flying.png
    Of course, even with these welcome improvements...it's still a very flawed game. In adding all these new attacks and features, the core game remains mostly the same, and if you're even remotely aware of how to play an RPG, you'll quickly become overpowered after just a few level ups. Pumping up all your stats with skill points and equipment makes you ridiculously overpowered, and brings the game's difficulty level down immensely. Even so, I can't help but still enjoy playing as Vegeta, and venturing around the world, annihilating anything I come across with ease. There's a sense of fun to finding new items, exploring fleshed out locations from the anime, and finding secrets hidden throughout the world. This was the exact game that I wanted, back when The Legacy of Goku 1 first came out; pure, undeniable Dragon Ball Z action-filled fun.

    Hopefully, those who didn’t grow up with this series won’t know it for its infamously bad first game, but for the second and third titles, where developer Webfoot took the groundwork they built, and earnestly tried to create a Dragon Ball Z RPG that fans could truly appreciate. A Dragon Ball action RPG who's popularity might just have paved the way for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot's existence. It may not be perfect, but if you’re a Dragon Ball fan, or just someone who likes to try out random retro games, next time you’re playing a GBA, give The Legacy of Goku II or Buu’s Fury a shot!

    If you enjoyed this week's edition of GBAtemp Recommends, please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future! For those who are interested in viewing previous entries, you can see them below!

    Tags: Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury

     
  2. Discussion (33 replies)

  3. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend
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    This is a thing now? :blink:
    Cool :ninja:

    upload_2020-1-15_21-22-39.png
     
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  4. DarkCrudus

    DarkCrudus The Ghost
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    These games are great. My bud and I regularly say we wish they could get remade. Maybe kakarot will fill that hole
     
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  5. Mohammed2935

    Mohammed2935 GBAtemp Fan
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    Wow I will play them all on my everdrive gba x5 until the new one release tomorrow
     
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  6. wiired24

    wiired24 Developer
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    Oh the nostalgia! This game was by far one of my favorites as a kid. Of course I also grew up watching and enjoying the anime so I was into just about every dbz game I could get my hands on. But this game always stuck out to me as one my favorites. I thought webfoot did an amazing job with log2 and it's a game that even in recent years I have revisited and still enjoy playing it just as much as I did on the original gameboy advance 15+ years ago.
     
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  7. Araeden

    Araeden Member
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    Ahhh, this brings me back. Buu's fury was the first game I ever played on the VisualBoy Advance, and probably the first ever game I *finished*.

    Went back and finished it 2 more times over the years; Might do so again now :).
     
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  8. Super.Nova

    Super.Nova GBAtemp Fan
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    Truly good times, when grinding to level up was still reasonable :yaysp:
     
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  9. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member
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    One of me and my brothers favorite game series of all time, still waiting for another one.

    If you really love DBZ you won't mind the first game, it can be beat in a few hours. It's not bad.
     
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  10. Pluupy

    Pluupy _(:3」∠)_
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    I had Legacy of Goku 1 when I was little. I remember I used to farm low level enemies over and over so I could get through the rest of the game without any trouble at all. Absolutely loved it. I see lots of Legacy of Goku fans still on twitter communicating with the devs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  11. Ericzander

    Ericzander Always sleeps.
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    God I loved that series. I thought it was so cool that you were able to play as Mr. Satan in Buu's Fury. The first one I could only play with cheats making Goku invincible.

    I hope DBZ: Kakarot can give a similar vibe somehow.
     
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  12. Justinde75

    Justinde75 Capsule Co's VGM Addict
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    As a huge Dragon Ball fan I never really liked the legacy games. The music is great and it has some good gba versions of the american ost, but the gameplay is just not for me. I much prefer games like attack of the saiyans (GREAT DS rpg made by monolith)
     
  13. lordelan

    lordelan GBAtemp Psycho!
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    Never played those but as a huge DBZ fan I found this very interesting to read and will give it a shot on my Switch (thank you, RetroArch). At least the screenshots remind me of my favorite DBZ game ever that I used to play with my friends when we were young:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, that's Dragon Ball Z - Super Saiyan Densetsu for the SNES.
    Although this was a single player game, my bud, my sister and me were sitting along playing this with ZSNES on a PC, each one having one of those three save slots offered by the game.
    Emulator + rom + savegame were stored on one of these nice green transparent Sony floppy disks so we were able to carry "everything" around and "play it anywhere":

    [​IMG]

    Good times. :)

    After I was digging in my old room at my mother's house after almost 20 years I really managed to find that f*cking floppy and luckily enough I had a colleague with a floppy drive at work, able to pull the savegame from there. Now it's on my Switch and in the cloud, saved "forever". :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  14. relauby

    relauby Contributor
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    Legacy of Goku is also the game that taught me that licensed games can be bad when I was a kid. I loved the Budokai games so I assumed any DBZ game must be great, so I went out and rented LoG and DBZ Sagas for the GameCube. I was burned so bad I don’t think I ever got around to trying LoG2 or Buu’s Fury. Might have to fix that soon.
     
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  15. relauby
    This message by relauby has been removed from public view by relauby, Jan 16, 2020.
    Jan 16, 2020 Show
  16. kumikochan

    kumikochan GBAtemp Psycho!
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    we can all agree for sure that out of all the handhelds Nintendo produced the GBA had by far the best most superior library out of them all packed with so many gems like these ones. It also helps that GBA games being basically improved SNES type like games do age super well
     
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  17. chartube12

    chartube12 Captain Chaz 86
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    I liked Sagas for what it was. The LoG games got boring quick. If i dig through my search history, i’d probably find a very negative counter review to the original review.
     
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  18. CallmeBerto

    CallmeBerto The Lone Wanderer
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    This is a series that I have found memories of. When I was young one of my cousins came over with Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku as he got it for his birthday but he quickly got stuck. I gave it a tried and I remember getting past the dinosaur in the early parts of the game was crazy hard. We were able to figure out that we needed to grind a lot and after about an hour of that we were able to get past that part. However, once we got to Raditz we got stuck and neither of us were able to beat him. It wasn't until years later when I got into emulation in high school that I went back and beat the game. I didn't like it at all but it was a dbz game so I needed to beat it lol.

    I have no childhood memories of Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku 2 or Buu's Fury due to me thinking it was going to be more of the same. Legacy 2 is in my eyes the best in the series as I think Buu's Fury is a bit on the grindly side
     
  19. ManusiaSalju

    ManusiaSalju Newbie
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    This game made me like dragon ball, and xenoverse made me like it more.
     
  20. samcambolt270

    samcambolt270 GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Oof. The first one was so bad. It was rough as heck and just not fun to play. The only reason I ever beat it was with a flying glitch. The second and third were pretty good though.
     
  21. Immortallix

    Immortallix Advanced Member
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    LOVE these games. In between LOG2 & Buus Fury the DNA of a perfect DBZ RPG exists. Still bummed GT never got this treatment.
     
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  22. nero99

    nero99 GBAtemp Addict
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    are you guys spying on me like Facebook and the NSA? This just happens to get posted as I’m playing legacy of goku 2
     
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