For many geeks of the modern era, it's hard to recall a time when Dragon Ball wasn't part of our lives.
Going from a beloved anime, to video games, to popular card games, Dragon Ball continues in upward strides toward the peak of geekdom- for many people, anime is an Everest, and Dragon Ball is the peak.
I grew up on Dragon Ball, and revisting it in recent years has had be craving to explore the world of Goku and his friends in my favourite environment- tabletop! But where should I begin?
I spoke with Gary Baker, an enthusiastic Dragon Balla Super Card Game player, and Dragon Ball fanatic!
'The Dragon Ball Super TCG is both easy to learn and play casually with your fiends while also having great game mechanics that can interest the most competitive TCG player,' Gary said of the game, 'all while including characters from the many series of the Dragon Ball universe.'
That last part is the one thing that will draw someone like me into a game like this. I've loved Dragon Ball since I was a primary school kid, and if anything surprised me as I grew up, it's that I continued to have an endearing love for Goku, Vegeta, and the rest of the “Z Fighter” crew.
'100% that’s one of the great things about this game.' Gary said of the Dragon Ball IP. 'You may not have even seen some of the characters on some of the cards before because of how long Dragon Ball has been going, but the gameplay is so enjoyable and interactive that even if you have never seen the show you will be able to jump in and have fun.
'Fans of the show will appreciate the art of some iconic moments.' Gary added. 'This card game takes characters from the whole Dragon Ball franchise so you will see characters from Dragon Ball; Dragon Ball Z; Dragon Ball Super; Dragon Ball Heroes; and Dragon Ball Xenoverse.'
Until I spoke with Gary, I wasn't aware that the Dragon Ball Super Card Game focussed on anything outside of the eponymous series- and now I'm more keen than ever to try it!
'Anyone interested in learning the game should pop down to their local game store and catch up with their local players and store staff,' Gary said. 'The Dragon Ball community is amazing at helping new players get started and teaching them the game.
'Also- look out for our stands at other events such as PAX and Madman where we will often be out running learn to play events and tournaments!'
As we've seen across the series of articles on various TCG's, community is paramount to not only keeping a game alive through supportive networks for deckbuilding and tournament play, but also for being open and inclusive for new players.
'The community are so welcoming to each other and new players and help each other.' Gary told me. 'Seeing everyone come together and have fun at local tournaments and major events is great. I can’t speak highly enough about the players in our community!'
Gary outlined for me the two biggest pillars of the Dragon Ball Super Card Game Community, and while I wasn't surprised (it seems to be a recurring theme across communities for successful games), I was happy to learn that Dragon Ball Super is no exception.
'Firstly,' Gary said, 'the competitive players and high level events such as championships and nationals, watching some of the top players in the Dragon Ball community come with their best decks and battle it out for first place. They always inspire me to become a better player.
'Second,' he went on, 'are the amount of young and upcoming players. I’ve had Dragon Ball in my life since the 90’s and the joy it bring me to see the franchise I love getting passed onto a new generation of card game players and fans of the show is immeasurable.'
I'll second that last part, for sure! I was so happy when Battle of Gods released a few years back, and allowed an old and new generation alike to fall in love with Dragon Ball!
But, as pointed out, Dragon Ball Super isn't just for fans of the show. Competitive players as well have more than their fair share of events and support to keep their drive for the prize- or perhaps they'd prefer 'their drive to be the strongest in the Universe'?
'The next thing I have my eye on is the 2019 National Championship on November 2nd and 3rd.' Gary told me. 'I'm looking forward to seeing the best of the best take each other on and who comes out on top.
'I'm also going to be looking out for some spicy left-field decks that no one is expecting that might take out the competition.'This will be the best chance to challenge players from all over the country!' Gary went on. 'If you haven’t bought your tickets yet make sure you don’t miss out. This year’s nationals will be bigger and better than last year and well worth the trip.'
I always end these discussions by asking community members what their personal favourite thing about the game is- Gary didn't dissapoint.
'Where to start? The art. The gameplay. The community. The franchise.
'It’s seriously hard to narrow it down to one thing as I honestly love so much about this game. Like many people, I started to collect this game because of my love for the Dragon Ball franchise and the card art, I then learnt to play the game from the great community at my local game store back in set 1 and haven’t looked back since.'
'I look forward to seeing where this great game goes,' Gary added. 'It has grown so much since I started back in set 1 and it is still growing strong.'
If you're interested in trying out the Dragon Ball Super Card Game, -and how could you not be after hearing what Gary had to say?!-, then head on down to your local Good Games store today!