Announced at GDC before this season, Dragon Ball Legends Hack – the next in a short line of mobile Dragon Ball headings – has soft-launched across European countries on Android os devices. Finally reaching the pants of my indigenous England, I’ve spent a good portion of the day getting to know a game I only realized by name as other, more lucky, freelance writers and journalists tapped their preferred characters a couple of months back without yours truly.
Dragon Ball Legends Hack, as you may expect with the existing development of mobile game titles, is a little of any tap-heavy card-game/brawler hybrid. Like a complex circular of rock-paper-scissors. Starting you into another tall story of the Dragon Ball world with a small number of new characters, the biggest early disappointment isn’t a marginally annoying guide (which it totally has), but a baffling omission of a lady main protagonist. Shallot, a Saiyan new to this game and with a case of amnesia, locates himself swept up in Ruler Kai’s tournament consisting of fighters from across time.
The whole thing seems to take place through the Dragon Ball Super period, complete with Whis and Beerus, so anyone presently ready on the dubbed anime release will, once more, risk getting into spoiler territory by picking this one up. We can make an effort to use lore to justify a non-customizable protagonist, but it’s newspaper slim reasoning at best.
However the long-winded tutorial introduces a dizzying amount of features and selections – of which aren’t explained all that well – it is the game’s main storyline that will act as the hook for almost all of Dragon Ball Legends Hack potential playerbase. Much like Flame Emblem Heroes (Free), you build a team through gatcha-style summons/pulls and use your most powerful fighters to progress through a tale made up of Parts, Books and Chapters – most of which are short non-voiced dialogues topped off with a deal with. Playing through up to an account level of 5 doesn’t take more than one hour or so, but you’ll be fending from the iconically throw-away Saibamen before sounding Raditz; a certain Saiyan we’ve all seen enough of at this point.
Putting together several 6 fighters from your best pulls, only 3 may get into each challenge, with the others supporting the team through buffs and bonuses observed in their difficult info panels. Characters drawn from the summons come in Hero, Extreme and Sparking variety, with their star rankings building with duplicate pulls, and their electricity levels increasing as they level up through fight or time-heavy ‘training’. Most will want to re-roll their accounts to grab as much Extreme and Sparking cards as possible during the release window, but we suspect you’ll only learn to run into problems without them if you’re looking to go deep into PvP for search positions and rewards.
Catching the interest of press through its visible flair at GDC, there isn’t much of that outside of battles. Reports play out like your average aesthetic novel before loading into a generously comprehensive battlefield above the plains or cityscape. When fighting with each other, you’re free to move your fighter around by dragging them in a attack, but you will only really make a difference when sliding up to ask for into melee range, or pull back again to retreat for a ranged strike. Regular problems are executed through specific taps, with your primary fighting force coming from the coloured attack credit cards constantly filling the bottom portion of the screen.
Tapping these expends Ki, which refills over time or by keeping down to impose, and can be chained to kick off a flurry of melee, ranged or buff activities that lock on your opponent. Indicators will denote an enemy attack, that can be dodged by flicking to either side with time, but you’re free to tag in another hero to use the hit and continue the battle.