Review | Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS4)

It’s Over 9,000

There is no better way to kick of a new year of gaming with the first major title of 2020, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. This is both a unique entry into the franchises long gaming history and a baffling one as nobody thought of this sooner

Past titles have been just fighting games or beat’em ups (which makes sense). Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is unique as it’s an open world role-playing adventure. That short description should be enough to spark ones interest. The best part is that it works out due to its quality gameplay and a balance in the nostalgia factor.

The concept is so brilliant that it’s surprising that nobody thought of this sooner.

Work and Train

If you grew up watching Dragon Ball Z on Toonami, then this game will take you back to those good ole days. This game was made by fans for fans and it’s not afraid to admit it.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a retelling of the original anime. It starts with Goku battle with Raditz and ends with the final battle against Majin Buu. Fans are given the chance to relive all of the most iconic moments from the series. There really isn’t much to say as it’s a faithful retelling with a few minor changes. The changes were not too serious as they were made to accommodate the gaming medium.

Bringing the series to life is made possible with its quality visual design (that actually makes it feel like an interactive anime). Helping to bring it to life is a familiar cast. Returning are the likes of Sean Schemmel, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Sonny Strait, and the legendary Kyle Hebert.

The gameplay uses the standard mechanics of an open world RPG mixed with that of a fighting game. Players get to explore a world they have seen either in the manga or anime. Every iconic or memorable location can be visited. The combat mechanics are the basics seen in most Dragon Ball games. The difference being that it has been altered to be more appealing to everyone.

Obviously; fan service and nostalgia are Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot biggest assets. However that is not a bad thing as the game is not too dependent on it thanks to its quality gameplay. Players grow as a character by over coming the many challenges presented. At the same time they could explore the recreated world of the Dragon Ball franchise. There are also plenty of mini-games and side quests to complete.

DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT

Push Through the Pain

The biggest concern one might have about open world titles is if it they make use of the concept. Too many titles feel bigger is better but fail to add any substance to their world. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot avoids tossing players into a barren world. Instead the world is broken up into smaller sections that have a balance between wonders and activities.

Where it fumbles is in regards to the tutorial along with the progression being way too grindy. It’s not so bad that anyone would rage quit but these hindrances are annoying at times.

To its credit, tutorial is very helpful in regards to the basics. But as the game progresses there are details and information that is overlooked. This obviously will get frustrating if you’re stuck in the journey. Thankfully there are so many fans who have posted their own guides online.

Trying to level up before a major battle is an extremely grindy processes. I get it’s an RPG and you need to work hard to level up. But the grind is more on par with mobile games or titles with “pay to win” mechanics. Thankfully this is an honest game that requires players to actually work for their achievements. On the plus side, the major battles are rewarding.

DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT

Looking Beyond What we Want

Honestly, these shortcomings are just minor inconveniences that could easily be forgiven. Despite the issues, at minimum I’ve been able to enjoy a solid two hours of uninterrupted gametime.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a different gaming adaptation to aims to appeal to devoted fans of the series. In doing so it goes above and beyond to recreate one of the most ionic series. It spears no expense thanks to its creative gameplay, faithful story and bring back the most of the original cast.

DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT Yamcha

Next Time on Dragon Ball Z

Taking the concept of an open world RPG and going all out on the nostalgia, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a retelling of the iconic series. It gets so much of the experience right with very few mistakes. It truly is a tribute to a series that introduced a generation to anime.

Disclaimer: The game used in this review was provided by Bandai Namco via fortyseven communications.

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$1.00

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS4)

9

Excellent

9.0/10

Pros

  • It's a retelling of an anime that defined so many youths.
  • A solid cast that fans are familiar with.
  • Plenty of nostalgia and fan service.
  • The open world is done right.

Cons

  • Tutroial leaves out so many important details.
  • Progression is unnecessarily grindy.
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Author: Stan Rezaee

Stan Rezaee is the founder and Editor of 8Bit/Digi. He is a journalist and gamer from the Bay Area who has been writing about the medium for over five years.

9 thoughts

  1. Despite how shitty 2020 has started, it’s good to know the first good game of the decade is an open world Dragon Ball Z game

  2. Naruto would make a better RPG game than DB since there really isn’t flying and planet destroying powers all over the place.

  3. Might give it a buy when the price goes down, but playing through the same sagas over again is a negatives for me. Would have been cool if they implemented Dragonball or Super as part of the campaign as well. With that being said, this seems like what that other shit game should have been.

  4. Fuck this game and series until everyone invoved apologizes for how badly they slandered Vic Mignogna. No solid proof was shown he did anything wrong but Funimation Bandai Namco and Crunchyroll stabbed him in the back.WHAT HAPPEN TO INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY????? So the opinion of some pissed off chicks is more credible than the legal system? Vic Mignogna did nothing wrong!

    #FreeVic

  5. Honestly I was not going to get DBZ Kakarote after reading some poor reviews but I feel this one was more honest from a fan perspective. I’m glad you convinced me as I’m loving it.

  6. I will never support this franchise until Funimation apologizes to Vic Mignogna. His career was derailied by rumors of a few talentless hacks who are too fucking ugly for an ass slap. So sad nobody does a real investigation but instead peddles to SJW mob justice.

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