When you think of the Dragon Ball franchise what do you think of? Do you think of Goku defeating Demon King Piccolo? How about the iconic moment when Goku turned Super Saiyan for the first time?
What about when Gohan defeated Cell? When you think of the Dragon Ball franchise, there are a ton of iconic moments between Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Super. Now, Dragon Ball the Breakers looks to capture some of the essence of the franchise.
In Dragon Ball the Breakers, seven players look to survive against one iconic DBZ Villain. These battles do not take place in the direct Dragon Ball storyline but in time-space anomalies. During these anomalies, players get to play as either the survivor or the raider.
Dragon Ball the Breakers
Developer: Dimps Corporation
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X (Review), Switch, and Steam
Release Date: October 13, 2022
Players: 1 to 8
Price: $19.99 USD
When it comes to Dragon Ball the Breakers, the game is two sides of the game coin. Players are assigned to play either as the Survivor or the Raider. Players can choose their desired role but it doesn’t guarantee them the role.
If you do not get the desired role a Priority marker is granted to the player. The highest we experienced was a +7 priority. When loading into each match, the player can choose their character’s loadout. The game features only three maps, but most matches take place on Highland River.
As the survivor, the player is tasked with collecting power keys to unlock the Super Time Machine. Once all available keys are gathered, the machine will land; it is then up to the survivors to protect it or to escape using a time machine.
Additionally, players can take down the Raider to win. Having a high enough Dragon Change level or items can help to take down the raider; using the dragon balls to summon Shenron can grant the player the power to take down the Raider.
On the Raider’s side, they are tasked with taking down the survivors or destroying the Super Time Machine. Raiders can also use the dragon balls to become immortal or have other benefits. Once the raider has leveled up, they are able to destroy a portion of the map.
Destroying a portion of the map does not deactivate the planted power key but can down survivors caught in the blast. The raider wins the match if the Super Time Machine does not go off and a majority of the survivors do not escape.
In a way, winning is locked behind either time or money. Yes, you can win based on skill but players who invest money in the game have a better chance. By purchasing orbs in the Spirit Siphon machine (Gacha), players can unlock different Z-Fighters with different abilities and skills.
These Z-fighter can determine how much damage a fighter puts out. Additionally, the best cosmetics are locked behind a paywall. Thankfully, the Battle pass (Dragon Tier) does not feature a pay-to-unlock system similar to Call of Duty.
When it comes to the overall gameplay, RNG can be your best friend or worst enemy. The game’s lack of a voice chat can make the actual game rather frustrating. The limited tutorial also leaves players unaware of a lot of the game’s features.
Some of these features are important to understanding the game as a whole and can make a major difference in experiencing the game. The game doesn’t feature cross-play and queue times at least on the Xbox would exceed the expected wait time.
The overall gameplay can be fun once you find a match, but you will spend almost as much time finding a match as you will playing one. The game could use more Raiders, maps, and a better tutorial system. The game does hint that there will be either more story chapters or tutorials based on the first episode being called the prologue.
Dragon Ball the Breakers – Bugs
When it comes to bugs, Dragon Ball the Breakers has quite a few. Most of the bugs we saw were on the survivor’s side but a few were on the raider’s side. On the raider’s side, we faced two instances where while executing an enemy we were stuck in the animation. The second bug came when destroying the Super Time Machine. The machine was destroyed but still went off. Now, these are rare instances but are still rather annoying.
On the survivor’s side, the most annoying bug we experienced was being permanently stuck down after being revived. This bug was seen on multiple occasions. The second bug was items disappearing without giving a status effect; this one was less prevalent but still occurred on multiple occasions. When there is lag in the game, items will be extremely hard to pick up, you are unable to move, or will lag out.
Dragon Ball the Breakers has had a few issues with disconnects where players will disconnect upon joining. Lobbies will occasionally close due to a crash. Sometimes sound effects and the game’s backtrack won’t play or will lag.
Graphics/Controls/and Audio/SFX Oh My!
Dragon Ball the Breakers graphics use the same engine as Dragonball Xenoverse. Level design-wise, the game looks great but the gameplay bugs can really detract from the overall experience. The fact that most cosmetics are locked behind high-priced currency or real money makes you not want to explore the customization options. Character design can be fun once you have more than the base outfits unlocked.
As for the game’s controls, most of the controls are rather straightforward. Skilled abilities are on the directional pad but some of their cooldowns can be rather long. The transformation key being on the right bumper can be mistakenly pressed when trying to communicate with players. The hitbox for attacking enemies feels a bit small and should be adjusted.
As for audio and sound effects, the game’s world hub song feels as if it is elevator music and is constantly on repeat. In fact, the game features limited music choices, or at least it feels that way. Character voice lines are locked behind in-game currency or real-life money; all of them sound like they clipped directly out of the show.
In fact, the lack of a soundtrack and voice system means you can easily turn off the game’s audio with limited repercussions; the only repercussion you might face is not noticing when you are being shot at, the raider is near, or a zone is being blown up. All of these can be resolved by being observant.
For $19.99, Dragon Ball the Breakers is a game that a variety of gamers can enjoy; when it comes to playing on the Xbox Series X, the game feels like a 50-50 coin toss if you will find a match in a reasonable amount of time.
Adding cross-play or a different matchmaking system could help. As for characters, the Gacha system and the lack of a tutorial inhibit the overall gameplay experience at first but with enough hours can be overlooked.
For its price, the game can be a lot of fun to play with friends and other players but it still needs some work. A lack of characters and maps truly inhibits the game. Within a year’s time, Dragon Ball the Breakers could rival other asymmetric games like Dead by Daylight. For its price, the game would make a great holiday or birthday gift but is not a must-have.
Dragon Ball The Breakers was reviewed on Xbox Series X|S using a code from Bandai Namco. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Dragon Ball The Breakers is now available across Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.