Dragon Ball: The Breakers - Switch Review

"A good game for the genre, but a substandard Dragon Ball game."

Dragon Ball: The Breakers - Switch Review
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The asymmetrical multiplayer genre is a class of games that is very difficult to get right. The most notable success is Dead by Daylight which has enjoyed a faithful playerbase for all of its life so far, but others might also think of Friday the 13th: The Game. However, examples like Evolve come to mind when thinking about the failures of the genre. Needless to say, it’s a fun genre of games that can be easy to mess up. Enter the most recent addition to the genre, Dragon Ball: The Breakers, developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco. Players on the surviving team take control of ordinary citizens as they attempt to survive the world-ending power of Dragon Ball Z’s biggest villains, scrambling to find a way to start a time machine and escape. The player on the villain’s side can take control of Freiza, Cell, or Majin Buu as they grow in power, change forms, and attempt to kill the enemy team. On its face, it is a very fresh spin on the Dragon Ball video game formula, one that doesn’t worship the ground that Goku walks on at every opportunity.

The Good

As stated in the intro, this is likely the most unique Dragon Ball game on the market at the time of release. You do not directly play as any of the main cast of good guys from the series for about ninety percent of the game’s duration (there is a way to transform into Goku temporarily). The concept of playing as regular people while trying to survive beings that can and have destroyed entire planets puts the villains into a new perspective to the player. When you can’t trade blows with Freiza, you’re much less willing to let him find you.

Unlike in titles like Dead by Daylight, the survivors are not entirely hopeless. You have access to some gear to help you, such as hover bikes to move about the map faster, a bounce pad to reach higher areas, a hover device to glide farther when falling, and more. They also have the ability to charge up and temporarily gain the abilities of one of the heroes of Dragon Ball to try and distract the “Raider” for a short time. All in all, it’s a breath of fresh air for the Dragon Ball series of games, as well as a new spin on the asymmetrical multiplayer genre itself.


  • A new take on the Dragon Ball Formula
  • Survivors have equipment to give them a fighting chance

The Bad

My problems with Dragon Ball: The Breakers lie in its core execution. Chief among them is the fact that I think the game has a key flaw in how the survivors win. Players need to move around the map and gather a certain number of keys, and set them up. Once that’s done, everyone needs to move to a central point on the map. In other games of this genre, players would simply need to make it to an escape point. The standard strategy of the enemy would be to stand in front of that escape point to stop as many players from getting out. In this game however, players are required to spend roughly 30-45 seconds setting up the escape, in which they can do nothing else during that time. This makes them very easy targets for the enemy, making victory exceedingly difficult for the survivors. Another issue is that the enemy can destroy the escape time machine. This avenue is not the only means of winning, however it is the one the game guides you towards obtaining, and the second one only becomes available after this primary objective is destroyed by the enemy. I feel this is a step too far in imbalancing the game towards the raider, in a game where the raider is already given a breadth of advantages.

My second complaint is a missed opportunity. The Dragon Balls are a collectable item in this game to be used by both the survivors and the raider. Gathering them allows you to power up one of your players to, essentially, become Goku. This is a crucial step in defeating the raider when the primary time machine method is no longer available, however considering the lore of Dragon Ball, wouldn’t summoning Shenron simply be a win condition by itself? Maybe this is being nitpicky, but it's an issue of mine nonetheless. It’s not easy to find the Dragon Balls, and once you do take the majority of the time to find them, you still aren’t guaranteed to win.

Finally, in my opinion, the game feels somewhat clunky. I do not know if this is specifically a Nintendo Switch issue or an issue with the game itself. The character movement feels unpolished, and the flying feels underdeveloped. When playing the game, it runs fine, but strangely, the menus seem to struggle frame-wise. When powered up as a survivor, the controls feel unintuitive and tough to handle, an issue that is made prominent by the fact that even in this mode, the raider still completely outclasses you.


  • Unfair primary win condition
  • A missed opportunity with the use of the Dragon Balls
  • The game feels clunky on Nintendo Switch

Final Score: 5/10

I think this game’s target audience is not Dragon Ball fans, but asymmetrical multiplayer fans looking for a greater challenge. Dragon Ball: The Breakers piles even more advantages upon the raider in a game genre that already heavily favours them, and I think that fans of this genre will enjoy the further challenge this game provides. However, to the casual fan of video games, or for a fan of Dragon Ball but not necessarily of the asymmetrical multiplayer genre, they will find themselves exceedingly frustrated when playing as the survivors. You of course can set your preference to play as the raider, however that by no means guarantees you will get to play as them. I honestly think the best way to enjoy this game is with a group of friends that you can effectively communicate and coordinate with, something that not everybody has access to (let alone eight of them to complete a full team). All in all, I would call this a good game for the genre, but a substandard Dragon Ball game.

Thank you for checking out our Dragon Ball: The Breakers Switch review, thank you to Bandai Namco AU for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

For more reading, check out our Trifox review.