Advanced Adventure definitely captures the spirit of the Dragon Ball universe.
Advanced Adventure ambitiously distills the entire 153-episode run of the original Dragon Ball series into 15 side-scrolling levels. Every important event in Goku's childhood is covered, from his first meetings with Bulma and Master Roshi, to his conquest of the Red Ribbon army, up through the aftermath of his first encounter with King Piccolo. Dozens of characters made appearances in the show throughout the years. Somehow, the developers have managed to cram most of them into this game, either as actors in cutscenes or as one of the many bosses Goku must fight in his never-ending quest to gather the seven dragon balls.
To say that the story mode gets off on the wrong foot would be an understatement. The first level is a plain jungle path filled with generic monsters that seems to go on forever. To make matters worse, you initially only have access to Goku's basic punches and kicks. The next level sends Goku into the sky atop the flying nimbus, which would be sweet, except that there are only a few blue lizards and a single shape-shifting boss to fight.
Thankfully, as you play through each subsequent level, the game gets better and better. Later levels introduce platforming sections, multiple paths, and secret rooms. Fans of the show will recognize the many enemies populating each level. Most levels have a boss at the end, in the form of one of Piccolo's underlings or some large contraption developed by the Red Ribbon army. New combination attacks, stick attacks, and spirit attacks are added to Goku's repertoire as you collect the various items situated within each level. Airborne flying nimbus levels and one-on-one matches are interspersed between the standard levels. The nimbus levels are mainly for show, and the outcome of one-on-one matches generally depends on who attacks first, but both are welcome diversions from the standard beat-'em-up levels. There are even a couple of minigames.