Dragon Ball: The Breakers – An interesting idea held by gacha mechanics and grinding

Dragon Ball: The Breakers is the latest asynchronous survival game to hit the market, bringing a new twist to the genre. Instead of running away and completing objectives, players can fight back.

Whether using their weak blaster pistol or transforming into Goku, players can now fend off Raiders.

An asynchronous 7v1 title, Dragon Ball: The Breakers, offers something new and exciting to the genre. Unfortunately, there are a few flaws worth discussing.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers brings change to the franchise’s video games

In this particular game from Bandai Namco, players band together in teams of seven to attempt to outsmart or defeat the Raider.

The main objective is to get the power keys and place them on the map. From there, it’s all about powering up the Time Machine and escaping the power of the Raider.

The actual gameplay loop is pretty simple. If you queue for a match, you’ll either be a Survivor (an ordinary human) or a Raider (a terrifying force of evil). You can queue with a preference, but you’ll likely be a survivor.

You can create a loadout of items to help you through the massive stages divided into regions. The threadbare tutorial will teach you how to locate and use the power keys, but not much else. It’s a pretty simple tutorial.

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It only covers a few facets of being a Survivor and nothing of being a Raider. To learn how to play a Raider, you need to enter a game and do it. Both sides have victory conditions.

Survivor Victory Goals

  • Enable the Super Time Machine startup system
  • Defeat the Raider
  • Use the time machine

A card has six power keys, one in each region. You will need to find them in boxes and place them in specific locations.

If the Raider destroys an area after successfully placing the key, you won’t be blamed for it. However, if the Raider destroys an area and you haven’t placed the key yet, that’s no good.

The more power keys in place, the faster the boot system will activate for the Super Time Machine. The Raider can also try to destroy the machine.

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Players can summon an Escape Time Machine if this happens and try to get out of it that way. It can also be destroyed, but it will be harder for the Raider to find. Other players can join you in the Escape Time Machine by grabbing it.

You can climb mountains, run, use vehicles, and activate travel items to get to places faster. Once you’ve finished placing the key in an area, it’s time to move on. The more people who activate it, the faster it goes.

Dragon Ball: Breakers players will start with a loadout, their chosen Transpheres, and some nearby loot boxes. This is perhaps the most exciting part of the game. Unlike most survival games of this genre, you can fight back.

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While you can be revived if you’re defeated by the Raider, he can choose to finish you off instead, defeating you permanently. If you see another survivor in the wild, keep in mind that it could be a trap.

This system could quickly become problematic (Image via Bandai Namco)
This system could quickly become problematic (Image via Bandai Namco)

Players can choose three for their loadout, all based on other Dragon Ball characters. You start with a few of them, but you can unlock others through the Spirit Siphon system. It is a Gacha system of a mobile game.

Each of the Transpheres you have from this system are ranked on a star system, with higher grades being more powerful and rarer. You can buy them with real money or with in-game Zenny. But the currency costs are significantly higher. It worries me that the game may become pay-to-play in the future.

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It’s still a skill-based game, but starting with powerful Transpheres and rapidly increasing the energy needed to transform could lead to Raiders being demolished.

The life of a Raider in Dragon Ball: The Breakers is much more pleasant

Raiders Objectives

  • Defeat all seven survivors
  • Destroy the Super Time Machine boot system
  • Destroy the time machine

While I lost every Survivor match in Dragon Ball: The Breakers, I won as the Raider. I got close as a survivor, but we couldn’t last long enough in the final phase.

You start with Cell, Friezaand Majin Buu for the Raiders. Each plays differently and has access to different but equally terrifying powers. Raiders start in their level 1 form, which is their weakest. By killing survivors and citizens, they will gain power and evolve. They can eradicate regions and use a series of special attacks to cause chaos and death.

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The easiest way to win is to track down survivors and destroy them, but that’s not your only option. You can also prevent them from escaping in several other ways. Conversely, you can also wait for the timer to end. If you’ve cut into the other player’s side enough and they can’t complete the objectives, you win if the timer runs out.

The visuals are solid, but the music disappoints

The graphics of Dragon Ball: The Breakers don’t bother me. It’s not pretty like Dragon Ball Z: Kakkarot, but the graphics are good. The villains look fantastic and the character skins for Bulma and Oolong are great.

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The actual gameplay lacks music, and that’s perhaps one of the biggest disappointments for me. Not even quiet music to create drama or tension. It was a major faux pas, in my opinion.

The rest of Dragon Ball: The Breakers feels stark and empty

Until you’re on a map, Dragon Ball: The Breakers players stand in a sort of empty hub with a few shops and things of that nature. You can buy cosmetics for Survivors, voice lines for Raiders, and items to use in your loadouts.

Some of these cosmetics are only available with Zenny, and some are only available with real money. Luckily, the villain voice lines are all available through both. No matter where I was in the game, this place was empty and kinda chicken.

This is also where you’ll find the Soul Siphon, where you can roll on new Transpheres. You can also head to the Training roomwhere you can increase the usefulness of your passive and active skills or learn new super attacks in your transspheres.

You can increase your character's power, but it's tedious and expensive (Image via Bandai Namco)
You can increase your character’s power, but it’s tedious and expensive (Image via Bandai Namco)

To use the Training Room, you need Super Warrior Spirits, a currency you earn by playing the game. This is where grinding comes in. Unlocking these skills requires a significant amount of these resources. It’s expensive and will require a lot of grinding. It can be quite frustrating forming super attacks this way.

In conclusion

I don’t like Dragon Ball: The Breakers. I think it’s a very cool concept, and I love Dragon Ball. However, given the Spirit Siphon, I fear this leads to pay-to-win strategies.

For the price, however, Dragon Ball: The Breakers offers a reasonable amount of fun. I can see asynchronous game fans diving into this if they are Dragon Ball fans. However, most issues with the game can be fixed with updates. For example, a Raider tutorial would be great. Another thing that would help add some flavor is maybe a few PVE missions to challenge players.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers, as a concept, is fascinating and I loved playing it. While I think it takes the genre in a new direction, I think the game holds back with some of the design decisions. With new roster updates, new maps, and more updates, this could be a breakthrough in the asynchronous survival genre.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers

Dragon Ball: The Breakers is a nice change of pace in asynchronous survival, but something is missing (Image via Bandai Namco)
Dragon Ball: The Breakers is a nice change of pace in asynchronous survival, but something is missing (Image via Bandai Namco)

Revised on: PlayStation 5

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC

Developer: Dimps

Editor: bandai namco

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