Edited by: Tiffany Lillie
Super Dragonball Heroes World Mission (SDBHWM), developed by Dimps Corporation and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, is a Dragonball-themed gacha game. For the uninitiated, gacha games entail buying collectible capsules from vending machines. The capsules contain a random item pertaining to the game with the implicit objective of collecting them all. Various types of gacha games exist, each with different rules about their grab-bag format. Fortunately, SDBHWM is without microtransactions. All gacha rolls are obtained through gameplay.
Luck of the Draw
Describing SDBHWM can be rather tricky, not because it is a particularly complex game, but rather because it's very, very simple. Really, it feels like protracted fan service. There are easily thousands of items to collect, with a suite of them rewarded after each mission. Frequently, you will also acquire gacha tickets that you can roll into more items. Should you roll a duplicate of an item you already have, you get a ticket piece that you can combine with others into a new ticket. There are multiple gacha "machines," each with their own pools of items to collect. The more times you roll on one pool, the less likely you are to obtain a new item. There are also rare gachas that require rare tickets which will only reward you with rare items.
Virtually a Card Game
So, what are these items used for? The bulk of the gameplay outside of rolling for loot is fighting enemies. The items you collect are cards, each representing a different iteration of a given Dragonball character. Before combat, you select seven cards to send into battle, each with their own strength, stamina, and health scores. Your opponent does the same. The actual fighting takes place on a board with four lanes. The top three lanes allow your cards to attack, dealing more damage the higher up the board they are. Each lane higher they go costs another bar of stamina, and when a card runs out of stamina, they can no longer attack. In this case, your only recourse is to send them back to the back row to recover stamina. If you have no one in the top three lanes, you take double damage.
Once you have your setup complete, the game compares power totals between you and your opponent. The player with the higher-power level attacks first. What follows is a series of cutscenes as your cards attack in order of class. Classes have minor effects on card stats but mostly determine stamina regeneration and animation type. To effectively attack, you have to play a reflex game. During each phase, for both attacking and blocking, you will have to stop a moving meter as far along its path as possible. If the attacker wins, the attack reduces the stamina of the defender and does full damage. If the defender wins, no extra stamina is lost and the attack does half damage. The first one to reduce their opponent to zero health wins.
The Most Final Form
If that were the whole of combat, SDBHWM would be frustratingly dull. It is, after all, about spectacle and collection. Fortunately, there are granular interactions between the different types of cards. While most of these feel like fan service, a fair few of them grant bonuses and special moves that break up the flow of combat enough to keep things mildly amusing. For example, lots of cards can transform or combine with other cards, allowing you to see different animations during combat. As there are only so many of these, however, they can just as quickly wear out their welcome.
The story doesn’t leave much to catch your interest either. It very much reads like a children’s anime. The conceit is that you, a preteen with attitude, have come to a town completely centered around the card game Super Dragonball Heroes. With nary a card to your name, you sign up for a tournament to start your adventure. Soon, you’re caught up in a trans-dimensional plot to keep the world of the card game and the real world from colliding. Naturally, your inherent skill as a card game master makes you a ringer for saving both worlds. To do this, you have to fight through the events of the shows and manga. Naturally, there is some divergence, which is the source of these issues, but all of this is pretty much pretense.
The Verdict: Fair
Super Dragonball Heroes World Mission is rather innocuous and straightforward. The only real gripes I have about it are the repetition and the fact that the voice work is only in Japanese. Typically, this isn't an issue, but callouts during battles have no subtitles. I’m sure that if you really enjoy Dragonball in all its iterations, you’ll enjoy this.