It’s Over 9,000
There is no better way to kick of a new year of then 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. How did nobody thought about turning Dragon Ball Z into an RPG 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8Bit/Digi is an independent news outlet that provides an insight into the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Help Support 8Bit/Digi
We are an indie media outlet that provides an insight into the gaming community and industry of the Bay Area. Please help support independent media by donating today.