I’ve never been much of a mobile gamer. While my friends were hooked on Clash of Clans or Threes, I was happy ignoring the trend and playing my dedicated gaming consoles. So, why is it then that now I’m playing Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle any chance I get?
On its face, Dokkan Battle isn’t all that different from your standard mobile game: it’s a short, turn-based game. You collect items, and you can only do so much before your time runs out, unless you’re willing to pay, of course. I never thought I could like this kind of game, but I was proven wrong.
Dokkan Battle plays a little bit like a Mario Party and a little bit like an old-school Dragon ball Z game. Each map is built like a board game with colored tiles that can cause either a positive or negative result, but instead of mini games, you’ll fight enemies both big and small from Dragon Ball history. Fights are simplistic, quick, and addictively violent. You just can’t get tired of laying beatdowns like this:
There’s something satisfying about kicking someone’s ass so hard you can see it from space, but what really keeps me coming back over and over again is how often something new is happening. Every week there seems to be a new event going on in the game, or a re-release of a group of cards I missed out on. When neither of those things are happening, there’s probably a tournament or some other type of bonus experience points or dragon stones being thrown around. I’ve been playing Dokkan Battle for the last three months. In those three months, I’ve defeated Raditz and Vegeta. I’ve knocked out Freeza and Cell; I’ve saved the universe from Broly’s rampage, I’ve taken part in two World Tournaments and I’ve received untold amounts of free stuff. The folks at Bandai definitely know how to keep players engaged. A few weeks ago it was Broly, then it was Cell, now it’s both of them along with Buu, Dragon Ball Z’s penultimate villain.
In fact, Dokkan Battle enjoys a dedicated following that most mobile games just don’t have; its subreddit is full of players posting videos of their performances, sharing strategies on how to overcome some of the game’s tougher bosses, and even going as far as mining the Japanese version of the game for info on what might be coming our way in the future. It makes sense why, too. Dokkan Battle has over 330 character cards you can win, and the only way to earn them is through luck.
Getting characters works like this: You can either earn or purchase dragon stones in-game. To pull a single random character card costs 5 dragon stones. You could do five or so missions, provided you haven’t yet completed those, otherwise you’re going to need to open your wallet, and that’s where they got me.
As a self-avowed Dragon Ball Z super fan, there are certain characters I need to have. Super Saiyan Blue Goku? Gotta have it. Perfect Cell? Yes, please. Of course, none of these characters come cheap. Before I knew it, I had spent over 75 bucks buying stones just to unleash my team’s full potential. Ten stones here, five there, another couple to keep a losing battle going. It adds up, and though I know I’m fighting a fruitless battle for victory in a virtual card game, I can’t help but remain hopelessly addicted.
75 bucks may seem like a lot, but I’ve been playing this game for three months and have yet to lose interest. I’ve spent more than that on special editions of console games that I’m done with in just a few hours. If the current pace of releasing content every couple of weeks keeps up, I don’t know exactly when I’ll move on from Dokkan Battle. If I can get another three months out of it, I’ll gladly spend another 75. I’d love to write more, but I’m afraid my phone’s done charging.
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When Steve isn’t busy ignoring your calls so he can beat Broly, you can follow him on Twitter at @SteveBTAY or read the rest of his stuff here.