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Game review: Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

28 Jan 2020

Over the years we’ve seen a lot of Dragon Ball Z games get released. Most of them were fighting games, although this year’s release called Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is slightly more different from the rest. This is because this most recent video game is a free roaming action RPG as opposed to a standard fighting game. 

There hasn’t been an adventure based Dragon Ball Z game since the old Legacy of Goku games released on the Game Boy Advance at the start of ‘00s. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a modern action RPG featuring most of the cities and locations that were featured in the popular manga and anime series. 

Despite the name of the game being called Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the game actually allows you to play as more characters than just Goku/Kakarot. When Goku is usually out of commission, you’re free to play as the other Z fighters including the likes of Vegeta, Gohan, Piccolo, Trunks and more. 

The one thing that might already disappoint some DBZ fans is the fact that the game does not include an original storyline. Kakarot features the same Dragon Ball Z storylines we’ve all experienced multiple times before and this makes the game very predictable. As expected you go through the Saiyan Saga, Frieza Saga, Androids Saga and it ends with the Majin Buu Saga. 

The only sagas from the anime that aren’t included in the game are the Garlic Jr. and World Tournament sections. Sadly, the game does not feature any of the newer stories from the Dragon Ball Super series which is a huge letdown. That said, Dragon Ball Super content could be added in the future as DLC stories instead…

Aside from the same old storylines being used, the rest of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is very enjoyable. Visually, the game is very eye appealing because you get to roam around the many famous locations that featured in the anime/manga. It feels so cool visiting the likes of Goku’s house or flying around the planet of Namek just to name a few. 

The character models and cutscenes are also great because the game uses 2D style graphics that make it appear as if you’re watching the anime itself. The only downside to the game’s environment is the fact that this isn’t an interconnected open world video game. 

Instead, the game is separated into many smaller districts and you just need to fast travel to a location if you need to get somewhere. This isn’t really a bad thing, although the loading times are quite long if you want to bounce from place to place finding all of the seven Dragon Balls.

As for the gameplay, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot features a modified fighting engine of the previous Xenoverse series of video games. The game takes place from an over the shoulder perspective and you can use many of the fighters’ famous special moves and more if you have enough ki in your arsenal. 

The many fights you partake in get a little repetitive because every main character you have to face has up to five life bars. The game does not feature any difficulty setting so you will have to master the game’s controls early on if you want to succeed all the way until the end. 

I actually found the game to be harder in the beginning because you don’t have enough money to buy V drinks to replenish your health and your special attacks aren’t powerful. As you progress further into the game though, you can hoard as many V drinks you can afford and you can also upgrade the power of your special attacks. 

Upgrading your special attacks can feel tedious sometimes because you have to collect many coloured orbs that are located throughout the entire world. However, you can also earn orbs every time you win a fight so that makes the process less monotonous. 

Once you get further into the game, you also have more members in your party. You can tell them what attacks you want them to do and they are very helpful if you need to fight a hard boss or multiple enemies all at the same time!

What makes this game more interesting than other DBZ titles is all of the different side activities that you can do in the open world. Some activities you can do include fishing, driving, cooking, hunting and much more. 

I will say some of the side quests aren’t really that exciting though because they mostly require you to find ingredients or fight the same Red Ribbon Army robots. However, doing side quests are important because they give you lots of experience points to level up the characters!

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot also features both English and Japanese voices so you can choose the language you want to. The music is also from the actual Japanese anime so this should give nostalgia to fans that watched the original cartoons. Sadly, the North American music isn’t featured in the game though so this might bother some fans. 

Anyway, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a fun game for fans of the series as it features everything you want from the Dragon Ball Z franchise. Sadly, no Dragon Ball Super content is included in the game yet although DLC could be added in the future. 

Verdict: 8.0/10