Which games are the most "shovelware?"

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Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:09 pm

Dragon Ball games are not typically known for their high quality. I've stated before that the standards we have for DBZ games are much lower than for video games at large— Budokai 3, once seen as perhaps the best DBZ fighter before FighterZ, would be considered an above-mediocre B-tier game if compared to all other fighters.

They all seem to feature the exact same story with no variation except for how much the devs were willing to pay the voice actors to say and how much work the cutscene artists were willing to do. The handheld games get away with more, but that's because of the lower production costs. Likewise, that's where all the "Dragon Ball" games are— we've yet to get a home console 3D Dragon Ball game. It's all Z.

For the longest time, a new DBZ game brought little more to the table than new characters (which is enough to sell you on most fighters anyway) and a gameplay gimmick that greatly broke up the flow and quality of fighting for the sake of having something extra to justify a new game (most infamously that time they took out the fighting and replaced it with zero-skill rock-paper-scissors QTEs).

But some were more polished than others. Some were atrocious pieces of crap. Usually that crossed over, but sometimes you got perfectly competent games that nevertheless felt like something you'd find in Dollar General's esteemed video game bin if not for the licensed characters on the cover. Just sub-mediocre trash.


That's what I'm looking for. Games that aren't necessarily the ABSOLUTE WORST DBZ games, but definitely the cheapest feeling (though the two go hand in hand) the ones that feel like they ought to be in a "50-in-1 Mega Games Collection" that was slapped together by Data Design Interactive and shat out into the latest shovelware machine.


This is almost not even subjective. As much as I dislike Xenoverse 2, there's no way in hell I could ever call it "shovelware".
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ ... Shovelware

4 years of effort, as misguided as it is due to the sloppy core gameplay, does not shovelware make.

Z for Kinect is my personal pick for "purest shovelware," the point at which DBZ games reached their nadir of effort and quality. The first Legacy of Goku game also felt more like a bootleg than a licensed product, the kind of game I'd expect Blast Entertainment to sneakily slip into my pocket while I'm walking through a seedy neighborhood. But what are your picks?

And look, if you think all the PS2 era or 7th gen games are shovelware, that's fine. I completely understand why. But at least justify why you think Super DBZ is on the same level as Sagas.
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Matches Malone » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:38 pm

Sagas was a poor attempt at turning DB into an RPG. The idea wasn't bad, but the resources needed for such a game wouldn't be available for another 15 years, which is this year with Kakarot.

Infinite world was just a throw away game for people who didn't move onto the next gen systems and got Burst limit. With that said, it had infinitely more going for it than Burst limit, which was the main game of 2008.

I wouldn't call the first Raging Blast shovelware, but I don't know if I'd call it good either, it was somewhere between. It was definitely a step back from what came before it (BT2&3).

Raging Blast 2, Ultimate Tenkaichi, & Battle of Z are the definition of Shovelware, as they've got the bare minimum of not only what's expected from a DB game, but a game in general.

The first XV was the first sign in years that DB games were finally on their way back to the glory days of the PS2 era. Its sequel, FighterZ, & Kakarot not only gave us great DB games, but good games in general.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:30 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:38 pm
Sagas was a poor attempt at turning DB into an RPG. The idea wasn't bad, but the resources needed for such a game wouldn't be available for another 15 years, which is this year with Kakarot.

Infinite world was just a throw away game for people who didn't move onto the next gen systems and got Burst limit. With that said, it had infinitely more going for it than Burst limit, which was the main game of 2008.
1: We had the resources to make an open ended action RPG DBZ game on the sixth generation. The issue there was time, budget, and talent. The devs weren't willing to put in any of the above for the game, as is evident with its PowerPoint cutscenes that badly recycle voice clips from the game itself instead of even taking any from the dub, let alone getting the voice actors themselves to do them, or the endless cavalcade of glitches and awful level design. The beat-em-up gameplay wasn't a lost cause from the start, but the devs created a game with controls so bad, it's dark. There's something EVIL about those controls and mechanics. But again, if it were just Sparking! with on-foot controls, it'd have been good enough to get a solid game. Indeed, I'd even argue that a "fully 3D Legacy of Goku" would have been the PERFECT debut game for the 7th gen HD consoles. Kakarot isn't really doing anything that couldn't have been done on the 360 or PS3. Take away HD graphical fidelity and make the combat a bit rougher (like the Sparking! series) and I'd even argue it'd have worked on the PS2/GameCube/Xbox. We didn't have to wait until 2020 for it to happen. That's just another side effect of the low budget and effort put into DB games that fans have grown accustomed to.

2: I've long felt that Infinite World is just a sad little game. Gameplay wise, it's not really typical of shovelware. If it were in a shovelware compilation, even caustic types would say "Yeah, that wasn't bad at all." Yet it's always been the most "shovelware" DBZ game (undeservedly) precisely because it was a PS2 game released in 2008, with zero marketing and no real improvements over Budokai 3. If it never existed, no one would care. There's no reason to play it, and it came out right in the middle of that period when Dragon Ball as an IP felt like it was retired and finished (of course, it was also 2008, which means.... Uuuuuugh)

Which leads right into 3: I just remembered that Dragon Ball: Evolution had a PSP game. It was just Budokai with a shitty cast of OCs bizarrely named after Dragon Ball characters. Its cutscenes were SO. BAD. Absolute shovelware, even though the game, again, was pretty much a decent Budokai spinoff with no real problems. It's a game badly based on a shitty movie based on a manga. Pure shovelware even in concept.
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Matches Malone » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:54 pm

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:30 pm
We had the resources to make an open ended action RPG DBZ game on the sixth generation. The issue there was time, budget, and talent.
This is what I mean by lack of resources, the IP wasn't in a place that afforded it such time and budget found in other games. It wasn't until the new movies and Super that the franchise became profitable enough to justify spending the necessary resources needed for such a game. There's also the fact that the studio behind it wasn't very good at all, so all the resources in the world probably wouldn't have saved it.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:40 pm

Dragon Ball Z Taiketsu and Sagas are the purest forms of soulless cash-grabs.
fadeddreams5 wrote:
DBZGTKOSDH wrote:... Haven't we already gotten these in GT? Goku dies, the DBs go away, and the Namekian DBs most likely won't be used again because of the Evil Dragons.
Goku didn't die in GT. The show sucked him off so much, it was impossible to keep him in the world of the living, so he ascended beyond mortality.
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Xeno Goku Black » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:59 pm

It felt like most the games from Raging Blast to Battle of Z were really. Bargain bin level so so games.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by LoganForkHands73 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:17 pm

I get the feeling a lot of those old Famicom and *insert incredibly obscure old Japanese home computer* games that never came to the west were basically early shovelware. From what I can tell, a lot of them were glorified text adventure games with DBZ characters slapped on the cover, and pumped out at an obscenely fast rate. I've seen some good ones, though. I like that quiz game for the Terebikko peripheral (called Atsumare! Goku World) where the characters onscreen call you through a real telephone to ask questions about the series - if you see those anime clips of adult Goku travelling through time with Trunks to meet his kid self and patting him on the head, that's where it's from. :)

Even though I was a 6th gen kid/7th gen teen, I never really touched any Dragon Ball games from that era so I can't comment, but looking through the video shops, you could see a fair few shovel-quality DBZ games on shelves or in bargain bins. They all sort of blend together. Now we have a load of triiiiiple-ayyyyy games to enjoy. :D
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by WittyUsername » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:24 pm

Xeno Goku Black wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:59 pm
It felt like most the games from Raging Blast to Battle of Z were really. Bargain bin level so so games.
I wouldn’t really classify the Raging Blast games as “bargain bin.” They’re not exactly great, but they do at least try to improve on the Tenkaichi/Sparking games in some respects, namely by giving the characters customizable super attacks, and more moves in general.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:51 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:24 pm
Xeno Goku Black wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:59 pm
It felt like most the games from Raging Blast to Battle of Z were really. Bargain bin level so so games.
I wouldn’t really classify the Raging Blast games as “bargain bin.” They’re not exactly great, but they do at least try to improve on the Tenkaichi/Sparking games in some respects, namely by giving the characters customizable super attacks, and more moves in general.
For them, it's really presentation. They were inferior Sparking! games with character models that looked like clay toys, and the second lacked a story mode entirely (though the first had a generic abridged Raditz to Boo story mode). What's more, they sold like absolute trash and saw no real marketing to boot— those are what make it feel more like shovelware than their actual quality; if Raging Blast 2 just had GT and OG DB characters, I'd call it superior to any of the Sparking! games when it comes to gameplay and content (it's actually bizarre that the DBZ game series that was called just "Dragon Ball" had no OG DB characters)

To that end, the yearly release schedule is what really hurt DBZ games in the long run. Several of the PS2 and GBA games (as well as Burst Limit) had big marketing blitzes behind them; it's very hard to consider a well-marketed game "shovelware". To use an outside example: Sonic 06 is one of the worst games of all time, but it's definitely not considered shovelware by just about anyone. The Cory in the House game on the Nintendo DS, while it's one of the crowning achievements of humankind, is definitely shovelware. Actually, the game is just a below-mediocre adventure game. But the point stands.
There was nothing left to wring out of DBZ games by 2010 or so, and DBZ Kai didn't do as well as anyone hoped, so they just didn't bother promoting them. And then came that Dark Age between 2009-2012 where the IP was making less money than some actual shovelware series.
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Xeno Goku Black » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:53 pm

Burst Limit at the time seemed like the last one to get a real marketing push. After that all the games up to Xenoverse were just....there, another yearly throwaway Dragon Ball game that came and went, doing nothing new or interesting.

Xenoverse was still also not that great but it was a clear step up.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Yuli Ban » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:39 pm

Xeno Goku Black wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:53 pm
After that all the games up to Xenoverse were just....there, another yearly throwaway Dragon Ball game that came and went, doing nothing new or interesting.
Funny you say that, considering that this was the era where 3D Dragon Ball games were at their most gimmicky. After all, Ultimate Tenkaichi was the first one to give us a character creator and an original story in a "major" game...
And Z for Kinect was a first person fighter where YOU could actually fire off a Kamehameha or a Gallick Gun or any other such super attacks!
And Battle of Z had frenetic action with multiple fighters on screen at one time!
Those all sound pretty interesting to me.

The issue there wasn't that they did things that weren't interesting or new— it was that they did them with zero budget whatsoever, holy fucking shit, drawing on the name recognition of Dragon Ball Z alone to sell copies. Yet by Raging Blast 2, that clearly wasn't enough, and Battle of Z only sold any amount more because it was basically a tie-in for Battle of Gods.
Ultimate Tenkaichi had plenty of great ideas, but they were all gimped beyond all human comprehension. We had seen character creators and new stories before, even both in this IP itself just a couple years prior for Dragon Ball Online; there was absolutely no excuse for how poorly they implemented it other than "this is all they could afford to do." And that goddamn gameplay style they went with— that's LAZIER than some mobile games I've played. It gets me irrationally angry just thinking about that game because of how much I wanted it to be good, yet I was sold what basically amounted to Wii shovelware with decent graphics. I'd be so happy if I never spoke about Ultimate SHITkaichi ever again.

Battle of Z was in development for 3 years, IIRC. We had never seen a DBZ game with such a long development time before and at the time, a lot of people were sure this meant the game would have some measure of quality. But three years of development means nothing when you have an apathetic dev team (themselves fairly new; I think this was an Artdink game) with about the same budget as a single Budokai game from a decade prior spread out over three years. In a series filled of mediocre bargain bin titles, it's the MOST mediocre of all, and that's saying something.

I remember a single Z for Kinect commercial, but only because I looked it up on YouTube; it was shit. Exactly the kind of commercial you'd expect to see for some Wii-bound no-name fighter, so absolutely perfect for a Kinect title. Also, it was built off of the Ultimate Tenkaichi engine with the U.T.I.'s graphics, so outside of looking pretty, it's shit on a fundamental level anyway, except they replaced the shitty rock-paper-scissors with utterly— utterly— mindless arm flailing. I'm a bit kinder on the game because the Kinect itself was a piece of shovelware, so all of its games started out that way and had to claw their way up; considering the dismal state Dragon Ball was in at the time, there was absolutely no chance of this game being good. But that doesn't change the fact that Z for Kinect is right up there with Evolution on the PSP, Infinite World, Taiketsu, and Sagas as being the most overtly "shovelware" titles in the post-Famicom series.
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by FoolsGil » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:01 am

Would the first Budokai be considered shovelware? All the Dimps fighters the characters move the same way in a fight, but at least Budokai 2 forward there was some depth in each release, with yes, Budokai 3 being considered the best for quite awhile. But Budokai 1 felt lazy as hell.
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Xeogran » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:40 am

FoolsGil wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:01 am
Would the first Budokai be considered shovelware? All the Dimps fighters the characters move the same way in a fight, but at least Budokai 2 forward there was some depth in each release, with yes, Budokai 3 being considered the best for quite awhile. But Budokai 1 felt lazy as hell.
No, because it had great cutscenes that up to this day are much better than of the overhyped's Kakarot for example. It also had charming menu and tons of soul put into it, such as the what-ifs or Mr. Satan mode.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Matches Malone » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:07 pm

FoolsGil wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:01 am
Would the first Budokai be considered shovelware?
No, far from it. It was a massive step forward for both anime and dragon ball games back then. It doesn't look like it now, but that's because it's been nearly 20 years.
Xeogran wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:40 am
It had great cutscenes that up to this day are much better than of the overhyped's Kakarot for example.
Please show me one cutscene in that game that's 10% of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkCjLSZRoBQ
Yuli Ban wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:39 pm
The issue there wasn't that they did things that weren't interesting or new— it was that they did them with zero budget whatsoever, holy fucking shit, drawing on the name recognition of Dragon Ball Z alone to sell copies. Yet by Raging Blast 2, that clearly wasn't enough, and Battle of Z only sold any amount more because it was basically a tie-in for Battle of Gods.
What makes things even worse for the ps3/360 era of games is the other anime franchise it was going up against, Naruto Ultimate Ninja storm. The dragon ball games we got back then were bad enough on their own, but being released alongside such quality anime games such as the storm series made them look like complete trash.

Raging Blast 2, by far the laziest game at the time, was released on the same year as Naruto Storm 2, a game that to this day still holds up, despite being 10 years old. The idea of not buying DB games was something I never thought I'd do, but after playing those 2 games, I didn't get another DB game until 2015's Xenoverse, and even then I waited for a massive discount. I'll never understand how they allowed things to get that bad, and somehow they got even worse with the next 2 games.
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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Cold Skin » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:19 pm

If we're talking about cutscenes, Burst Limit was surely one of the most outrageous lazy efforts (possibly due to time constaints, but still...). I saw a bit of gameplay just days ago which reminded me of the bad surprise I felt when playing it when it was released!

From the promos and demo, it felt like it would be an upgrade of Budokai 1 story-wise. But in the end, only a handful of cutscenes were "real", unique cutscenes with unique and detailed animations.
90% of it had preset short animations that would just trigger one after the other in-between lines of dialogue, swapping character models with the exact same movements, with the same camera angles.
It was basically what people do with mods, so unprofessional.

You could likely see what the programming was probably like.
"Load Model 1 as Piccolo".
"Load Model 2 as C-17".
"Trigger Close-up to Model 1".
"Trigger Piccolo line N°21".
"Trigger Model 1 attacks and Model 2 dodges generic animation".
"Trigger Angry Close-up to Model 2".
"Trigger C-17 line N°30".
"Start battle".

How many times did you see the "Model 1 gut-punches Model 2" preset animation/camera angles, "Model 1 fights equally with Model 2" preset animation/camera angles, etc...?
Except for a few glorious, uniquely-crafter scenes, it was almost always just a combinaisons of the same preset animations/camera angles coming over and over, just with different character models and having clumsy transitions between them to build some sort of basic on-the-fly editing for the cutscenes by copy-pasting the twenty same segments in various orders.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Matches Malone » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:26 pm

Cold Skin wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:19 pm
How many times did you see the "Model 1 gut-punches Model 2" animation, "Model 1 fights equally with Model 2" animation, etc...?
I couldn't believe what I was playing at the time. When DB was stuck going back to square 1, just somehow worse, Naruto's games got a complete overhaul in the form of the storm series. DB games were the go to anime games for me and my friends back in the Ps2 era, but that completely changed in 2008 with the storm series, as that's were the quality and care was going, with DB being left in the dust.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:48 pm

FoolsGil wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:01 am
Would the first Budokai be considered shovelware? All the Dimps fighters the characters move the same way in a fight, but at least Budokai 2 forward there was some depth in each release, with yes, Budokai 3 being considered the best for quite awhile. But Budokai 1 felt lazy as hell.
Not even close. Today it doesn't seem like much but from a DB fan perspective, it was great for its time.
fadeddreams5 wrote:
DBZGTKOSDH wrote:... Haven't we already gotten these in GT? Goku dies, the DBs go away, and the Namekian DBs most likely won't be used again because of the Evil Dragons.
Goku didn't die in GT. The show sucked him off so much, it was impossible to keep him in the world of the living, so he ascended beyond mortality.
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Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:31 am
I'm just about done with the concept of reboots and making shows that were products of their time and impactful "new and sexy" and in line with modern tastes and sensibilities. Let stuff stay in their era and give today's kids their own shit to watch.

I always side eye the people who say "Now my kids/today's kids can experience what I did as a child!" Nigga, who gives a fuck about your childhood? You're an adult now and it was at least 15 years ago. Let the kids have their own experience instead of picking at a corpse.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Xeogran » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:03 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:07 pm
Please show me one cutscene in that game that's 10% of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkCjLSZRoBQ
Yeah, I know someone would use that example. The fact that Vegetto vs Buu and Goku vs Kid Buu got great cutscenes, doesn't mean most of the game isn't lazy and half-assed.

Look for example at the Gohan SSJ2 cutscenes showcasing his epic power here:
https://youtu.be/9tWUwo6icn4?t=3171

Kakarot, for being a PS4 game, shouldn't be worse than Budokai 1 in any saga. Yet it's Cell arc adaptation sucked and Freeza's wasn't well done either.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Matches Malone » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:11 pm

Xeogran wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:03 pm
Look for example at the Gohan SSJ2 cutscenes showcasing his epic power here:
https://youtu.be/9tWUwo6icn4?t=3171
This looks great for its time, but despite Kakarot's Cell arc getting the short end of the stick, it's still leagues ahead of Budokai 1 in every aspect. I want to be clear that I don't mean that in a negative way, but Kakarot was released 18 years after Budokai 1, it's extremely unfair to compare them to each other in terms of presentation.

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Re: Which games are the most "shovelware?"

Post by Xeogran » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:11 pm
it's still leagues ahead of Budokai 1 in every aspect.
I disagree on this. The fact characters always have to go mid-air to fight is very unnatural for example, just because there is no ground fighting mechanic.

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