the thing with dragonball is that's what the manga was called throughout the run
the anime there's a time where they just started calling it Z at a certain point, not sure if that's because they switched studios or what
I think at some point Toriyama just didn't want to do it anymore that's why it feels like a lot of the fun got sucked out of it and the powers became more ridiculous.
Dragonball is definitely more of an adventure.
I know at some point Toriyama wanted Gohan to become the main character and boil the story down to simpler elements, I think that's what the Saiyaman mini-arc was going to be about but I think it probably got a poor reaction from fans so he did 180 and pulled Buu out of nowhere.
I think in part this is also what the early part of GT was also, with Goku turned into a kid, but it also did a 180 and went super serious. For whatever reason one of the most straightforward and dumbest shonen battle manga was extremely popular in Japan.
Usually with those kind of stories there are normally like tricks and techniques involved, you know someone uses poison, or sets elaborate traps what have you. With the exception of the lil green fucker on the Ginyu force there is really nothing like that in DBZ whatsoever it's just yelling and screamin and throwin energy balls.
Basically, yeah, normally what makes a shonen/manga anime good like that to me is balancing character development to the overall conflict and tying it into whatever battles are going on. One Piece is really amazing at this. Black Clover was really good at this early on, and the first part of Naruto prior to the time skip was actually pretty fucking good at it.
Dragonball was really pretty simplistic in regards to that stuff but was always really fun in the early parts. Goku was sort of like Hank Hill>I may not know exactly what's goin on here but I'm gonna kick ur ass
as this goes on for 400+ episodes, into GT then the massive retcon that is Super and very very little changes, even with all the new "lore and world building" they dump on you, you know none of it matters as Goku is just gonna hit a new form and kick some more ass.