When people think of Dragon Ball games, they think of fighting games. The ever-popular Shonen Jump series ended a long time ago, but has left a large mark in fans' hearts by being an action-packed, stunning anime classic from, well, our childhoods. Most video game adaptations of Dragon Ball take the form of a fighting game, even if there are some exceptions. The most recent and obvious example would be Dragon Ball FighterZ, a fighting game that recreates the anime's visuals to an insane degree. For these reasons, you might be surprised to hear about this new Dragon Ball game from Bandai Namco. The company recently announced the next installment of the Dragon Ball Heroes series: Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission (what a mouthful, eh?). The best part of the news is that unlike the debut game of the series, World Mission will be releasing outside of Japan for all of us to enjoy.


Because of its Japan-exclusivity, you'd be forgiven for not knowing much about Dragon Ball Heroes. It began several years ago with its very own tie-in anime series, releasing alongside a hybrid collectible card game/arcade game. These games have made their way to 3DS in  Japan as well, though mostly remained an arcade-centric affair. Naturally, this meant that the game's story took more of a backseat to the actual gameplay. Dragon Ball Heroes served as a Dragon Ball fanservice game of sorts, with hundreds of the series characters given the spotlight with their own collectible cards. These cards could even be used to scan the characters into the game itself, serving as a useful physical tool and collectible alike (ala amiibo). World Mission is continuing the series trend by featuring over 1,000 cards and 350 characters from Dragon Ball's entire universe. The physical aspect of the card game elements won't be present in the Western release, meaning all cards will simply be in-game. Easy peasy! Though maybe not as exciting for collectors out there.

World Mission is looking to set itself apart in its own ways, however. Bandai Namco has described it as a "tactical role-playing card game", and it will apparently feature several RPG mechanics that lean it much more towards that genre than its arcade-y predecessors. This will likely also make the game more accessible for Western audiences, where the popularity of arcades has all but diminished. As a result, the game's story will get more focus too. You play as series protagonist Beat, who lives in a place called Hero Town. The town just so happens to be really into an in-game Dragon Ball card game, and Beat wants to be the world champion. Things take a dark turn when antagonists from the Dragon Ball series appear outside of the game and attack Hero Town, forcing Beat to head into the game's world and put a stop to this once and for all. Along the way, he'll be helped by series favorites like Trunks, Vegeta, and Goku. It being a card game, there will also be multiplayer components. How these will differ between Switch and PC remains to be seen, but Bandai Namco has revealed that two Switch devices can play against each other. Neat!


In case you were wondering how this ties into the overall Dragon Ball series canon, simple explanation: It doesn't. The events of World Mission and other Dragon Ball Heroes media serves as more of an alternate universe spinoff type of deal. So no matter who you are, World Mission might be for you (as long as you like TCGs and RPGs). Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission will release on April 5th this year, playable on either Nintendo Switch or Windows PC. Bandai Namco also provided a slick new trailer for the game so that we can see it in action; that's viewable down below. Now that the series will be making its way outside of Japan for the first time, hopefully, we'll see future entries make their way over here too. One can dream! Make sure to stay tuned for any future updates from Bandai Namco about the game, if there are any.


Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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