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"Dragonball GT Volume 1" Get your Game(boy) on?

At the end of Dragonball Z, the world was at peace once again. Goku was training Ubuu, the reincarnation of the evil Buu, into a young warrior on the side of good. The daughter of Gohan and Videl, Pan, was showing her strength at the World Martial Arts Tournament. All was well until an old enemy from Goku’s childhood days came back. When he accidently wishes that Goku was a child again, the Black Star Dragonballs are scattered throughout space. Goku, Trunks and Pan must track them down, but now they do it in the palm of your hand in their first Gameboy Advance Video cartridge.

Wow, Dragonball GT. If you don’t have an opinion on the series, at least rent a DVD volume. And if you don’t have an opinion on the dub (or outright hate it), avoid this cartridge. In fact, if you’ve seen the series in any form, and don’t have a burning desire to see two edited dub Dragonball GT episodes on your Gameboy Advance (or Gameboy Advance SP, or Gameboy micro, or Nintendo DS [as I watched it], or Nintendo DS Lite), avoid this at all costs.

Dragonball GT is the sequel series to Dragonball Z in which Goku is turned into a child. He wouldn’t have a problem with that, if it weren’t for the fact that the Black Star Dragonballs, after use, will have the planet the wish was made on explode in one year if the balls are not returned. Therefore, Goku, Trunks and Goku’s granddaughter Pan (AKA Scrappy-Doo) must fly into space to track them down.

Gameboy Advance Video is a line of cartridges for the Gameboy Advance line of systems (although, not playable on the Gameboy Player due to the potential copyright problems from people recording the output to VHS) which severely compresses episodes and/or movies to cartridge size. Various shows were released in this format, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sonic X, The Fairly Oddparents and movies such as Shark Tale and Shrek.

As previously noted, the primary problem with this format is the severe compression. Videos appear as they would on an iPod Video or cell phone. Also, the audio is very quiet, no matter how you actually listen (headphones, the superior DS audio tech, etc.) With the lack of space on a GBA cartridge, no extras are available. All you have are chapters, brightness control, skipping, and pause. Purists will complain about the lack of a second audio track (Japanese doesn’t exist in these cartridges), and adult fans will lament the fact that these are the edited episodes.

I picked this up due to its incredibly cheap price ($4 on clearance at Target) as a novelty item. Don’t make the same mistake as me. It’s understandable why the line died off after a while. Conversely, if they upgraded the line for the DS (allowing video to play on the top screen, touch controls on the bottom) with its capability to hold much more space and higher video/audio quality (Nintendo themselves released a trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on a DS card at a convention, an item which has become highly sought after by collectors), it may see renewed success.

Episodes included on Dragonball GT Volume 1 Gameboy Advance Video
Episode 1: “A Grand Problem”
Episode 2: “Pan’s Gambit”

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