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First off, where the heck IS everyone? Alright, moving on. Having gotten back into DBSuper's TCG at the site's prompt, it's hit me once again that they have unconsciously limited the lifespan of the game to only as long as the Dragon Ball IP will carry it. Some people won't see this as a problem, or an issue, especially when there's still so much to be done, but what I'm digging at there is that there is nothing in the game's mechanics, gameplay, or frankly anything else that MAKE it a Dragon Ball game. It is, for all intents, just a fairly bare TCG frame that can be used for pretty much any IP. This is something I've brought up before, of course, so nothing new. But that got me wondering what other IPs would interact really well with Pan-Z's update to the Score game model? And I want to be clear, I want to find ones that would work both in terms of flavor, and in terms of fitting the model. In theory, you could probably force any IP to work with the game, but a lot of them would come out feeling... Dull, imo. The big one for me so far though is; Digimon: Hands down my favorite one, and the one I think would almost straight-up just port into the Pan-Z model. Also the main one that I'd actually want. The MP-Levels easily correspond to the Digimon-life cycle, you can change Drills out to Tamers or have Tamers function the same way Sensei decks of old did, Crests could be used as Element-Specific versions of Kaioken/Unleashed that forsake the MPPV equivalent, find a way to break up the Crest of Miracles/Destiny into multiple pieces for a DBV-equivalant and so on. As for Ultras/Fusions, you could easily slot them in as either alternative Level 4s who give up MPPV, or have them be a boosted Level 5 that you get through a card like Gohan's Backlash. MP stacks would probably be the most difficult, depending on if you want to follow evolutionary lines, or specific Digimon from the series. With the former, it's pretty easy to fit in a Pokemon-esque box in the corner that says "Evolves From," and let people build their own stacks. Alternatively, have a Tamer's image in the corner, and make that dictate your stack (which seems mighty boring to me). Of course, it's also worth mentioning: DC/Marvel: The obvious one, and kind of what we had hopes for MetaX (at least, I think). Honestly, I don't actually know how well Comic-Universes would naturally fit into the PanZ Model. Rather, I think you'd need to make some edits; The big one being to change the "Power Level" to "Tiers of Strength" since there's such a unimaginable difference between Superman and Batman. Either scrap the MP-Levels (since transformations are incredibly rare in DC), or remodel it to focus on "experience and time" as the flavor (even changing out Anger for Experience). Make it so instead of MPPV, you can get wins by Intimidation, and scrap the Dragon Balls/DBV (in favor of Infinity Gems/Stones on Marvel, no idea what you could change it for in DC). It's almost entirely flavor, but it feels weirdly important to me. Most Shonen Properties: Don't want to talk about this one at length, since it feels self-evident. If you guys wanna explore it though, go for gold. The big ones obviously all work (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, MHA). I also think IPs like Megaman (specifically Battle Network) could work within this model with some minor changes here and there.
With Dragon Ball Super finished, I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how good or bad it really was. What did it do for the Dragon Ball series, extended lore, video games, and merch? How has it helped/affected the anime industry, HAS it affected the industry, and how does it match-up to Z, or even GT? Now I want to preface this by saying that I don't actually have any figures. So I straight up cannot make educated (or even informed) guesses as to how it's affected the anime industry, or how well it's merch has sold. About the most I can say is that Super seemed to have attracted a fair amount of attention, with a LOT of anime-based serials focusing heavily on the series and doing articles episode by episode (which isn't too surprising for a headline Shounen anime), and quite a few streaming services paying it credit for growths in website traffic. How this has actually translated to the industry however, is beyond me. But addressing Super directly, for me, is a... Complicated feeling? Like, there's a lot of me on this forum defending certain decisions in Super. And tbh, I am okay with things like, assuming Trunks learned Galick Gun from Vegeta in the two years they spent alone together. I mean, if nothing else, I really doubt that Vegeta didn't at least TRY to improve his Galick Gun, and that's probably how we got the Final Flash in the first place. Unless he just... Winged the Final Flash against Cell. Likewise, I'm kind of... Well no, I was never okay with Super Saiyan Rage, but I could live with it. The main thing that bothered me was that it wasn't necessary. Like, if Trunks had just turned Super Saiyan 3, I would've gotten the EXACT same pay-off as with Rage, understood the transformation, and would've had none of the complaints. Actually, to be honest, I have a lot of small complaints like that. Like, why was Super Saiyan Blue necessary? Shit, why did we need Goku and Vegeta being able to turn into SSGod at will? We actually had just about the perfect "Final Form" transformation for Dragon Ball in God from a narrative standpoint. It was a transformation that didn't invalidate the past achievements and jumps in Super Saiyan because it was inconvenient. You needed a group of Saiyans, you needed to perform the ritual, and it took time to finalize the transformation. That is an excellent premise, and would've really put pressure on the heroes in certain situations such as with Goku Black. Imagine if the issue with the future timeline wasn't that Black would just magically get stronger for no real reason, but that he could access the Super Saiyan God form without the ritual (or timeline), and there weren't actually enough Saiyans in the future timeline for them to perform the ritual themselves. But putting these issues to the side, I think I was able to overall stomach most of the developments with Super (even when they actively retconned lore). Heck, I even found myself somewhat getting into it a lot of the time such as with Kaioken Blue (because fuck yeah, Kaioken), or Trunks' Final Flash (respecting that it was meaningless). But the switch for me, personally, was Mastered Ultra Instinct. When the hair went white. Holy shit did that sour my overall opinion on the show. In comparing GT and Super, I always kind of worked on the premise of GT had better ideas, but worse execution, while Super has worse ideas, but significantly better execution. And I genuinely always found that GT's execution was so bad that I just couldn't salvage anything from it. At all. The most I got was that I liked Baby up until the Strongest Form transformations. But after the reveal of the white hair... Holy shit, I actually think that Super may have been just as bad as GT. About the only positive I can give it is that I can watch certain scenes from it without any negative feelings. EXCEPT. That Dragon Ball Super was literally meaningless in regards to plot. The only thing that Battle of Gods did was introduce GoDs and angels. Frieza is dead at the start of Resurrection "F", and is dead at the end. Trunks' timeline is destroyed, and there's no fix. Until Whis magically comes up with a fix, and completely undoes any emotional impact of that entire plot-line (going on another side-rant here, this was just an objectively dumb move. Trunks saving his timeline could've been a really huge character arc in the Universe Survival Arc, where he was fighting not to save Universe 7, but to save his future. Not to mention how THAT would have affected Vegeta's motivations.) Universes are destroyed, and at the end, they're all instantly resurrected. The only difference in the world of Dragon Ball from the start of Super to the end of Super is that Frieza is alive again. Oh boy, that sure was worth 132 fucking episodes. And every single one of these arcs HAD to introduce a new transformation. Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, Blue Kaioken, Rage, Evolution and Ultra Instinct, and then Mastered Ultra Instinct. It was always a meme that Dragon Ball had an issue with transformations, but oh my god, STOP. Please. None of these mean anything, and it's just... At least GT pretty much just did Super Saiyan 4. As of MUI, I actually feel that Super has only done harm to the series. Anyway, I intended this to be a kind of analysis post. I wanted to break down it's effects on the DBZ video games, and how it has helped from a business perspective, but instead I ended up having a rant. But what do you guys all think? Did anyone else have the same feeling I did of just being done with it by the time it finished? Or am I just expecting too much? I'd genuinely love to know the thoughts and feels of other long-term Dragon Ball fans when looking back on Super.