Depending on how old you are, you may recall The Legacy of Goku trilogy of Dragon Ball Z titles that debuted back in the early 2000s on the GameBoy Advance. Developed by Webfoot Technologies, the trilogy, which consisted of The Legacy of Goku, The Legacy of Goku II, and Buu’s Fury, followed the series’ many story arcs in a semi-open-world action-adventure RPG format. And it did so beautifully, at least with the sequels, that is (the first game kind of sucked, gameplay-wise). And after so many years, it is high time that we revisited the series, not just with a re-release on current hardware but also with a proper sequel that continues the journey of both Goku and his friends.
But before we dive into why the trilogy needs a sequel for the Nintendo Switch, and just how that might work, we should first take a proper stroll down memory lane and reminisce about the journey we once or twice took on one of Nintendo’s earlier handheld devices.
Beginning with The Legacy of Goku in 2002, players took control of the series lead character Goku and played through the Frieza arc where Goku challenged the tyrant before transforming into a Super Saiyan and defeating him on Namek. The game was unique in its style but was met with mediocre reviews due to a rather obscure storyline and lackluster gameplay. The major problem with this title was that there really was not enough logical filler material to playthrough and so a bunch of unique enemies, boss fights, and storylines were created to make a full-length game. It wasn’t until The Legacy of Goku II that Webfoot completely redesigned the game from the ground up and was met with much more positive reviews from critics and fans alike.
The Legacy of Goku II was met with critical acclaim for its revamped combat design, UI, multiple playable characters, and world-building, all while retaining the series’ signature pixelated sprite art style. The game began with The History of Trunks storyline and ran all the way through the Cell Saga. In addition, players would encounter various enemies and playthrough levels and missions that beefed up the story and overall gameplay considerably.
As the series went on, the games got better as Weboot found their footing (no pun intended) and created a masterpiece with The Legacy of Goku II and its sequel, Buu’s Fury. In every way that the first game failed, both the sequels improved exponentially, especially in Buu’s Fury, the third and final game in the trilogy.
Buu’s Fury was also unique in that it included not one but two OVA villains in the form of Broly, from his second OVA appearance in ‘Second Coming’, and Janemba of ‘Fusion Reborn‘, in addition to Babidi’s many henchmen and the various forms of Majin Buu.
Visually, the trilogy remained the same throughout but it was charming and delightful even though that was about all the first game had going for it. Webfoot learned from their mistakes and created two brilliant games in Legacy II and Buu’s Fury, which retained the visual art style but enhanced and expanded on every other aspect of gameplay and story progression. And while these three games are arguably Webfoot‘s most notable works to date, we think that they could be up for another round of some Dragon Ball magic in a Legacy IV for current Nintendo hardware.
After all these years, a sequel is definitely warranted after the Dragon Ball franchise started expanding the universe with Dragon Ball Super. There is simply so much that has happened, and is still happening, in the series that Super easily has enough material now for probably more than one game. But, considering the size and scope of games like Breath of the Wild (the de facto RPG comparison), and Skyrim fitting on the Switch, there is no doubt that a sequel could fit all on one cartridge. And since The Legacy of Goku‘s pixelized art style is hardly demanding, they could not only fit the whole trilogy on one cart, but Webfoot could probably cover all of Super in one game, also on that very same cartridge. Then again, I am just an armchair developer so what do I know?
Games like Terraria and Stardew Valley are very close in visual style to The Legacy of Goku trilogy and prove that there is no need to ramp up or improve the graphics with some sort of 3D models or upscaled rendering. Keep it simple, keep the sprite work the same, and retain the charm of the original games while simply adding more to it. In fact, keep everything the same as Buu’s Fury both in art style and gameplay mechanics and just cover everything in the story from Dragon Ball Super and we are good. Nothing more is even really needed.
Of course, the sad reality is that while these three brilliant games only exist on dusty GameBoy Advance cartridges, the chance of a sequel is fairly unlikely, especially considering that Webfoot doesn’t really seem to be all that active in game development these days. The company is still up and running, or so it barely looks like to be the case, but they haven’t exactly released any new titles lately nor have they been active on social media.
Fortunately, The Legacy of Goku trilogy has found a new breath of life with the YouTube community through emulation, which is about the only way you could play it these days if you wanted to. Unless you still have a GBA lying around, that is.
If you are interested in revisiting the magic that was The Legacy of Goku and its sequels, you can take a look at my playthroughs on YouTube below.