Dragon Ball Z Kakarot (PS4) | Review – A Classic Retold

Developer: CyberConnect2

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Release Date: January 17th 2020 (One day earlier in Japan)

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

 

A faithful retelling of a wonderful franchise.

Premise

The legendary saga of the Super Saiyan is back. In this game, The Dragon Ball Z saga was adapted in a beautiful open world, and filled with RPG elements. It spans from the arrival of Raditz all the way to Kid Buu, plus it has many side activities, some of them from filler episodes. How is this new take on an old story work? Time to find out!

Gameplay

Going straight to where it matters, the combat in this game is very satisfying. You can fight with your fists, use Ki blasts, and even the powerful attacks that are quite famous in the franchise. As the story progresses, transformations, another trademark from Dragon Ball, also become available. You can play as Goku, Gohan, Vegeta and Piccolo, although the game will choose the character as the script demands it. Still, after you beat the main story, you can change characters at will.

The game also has minigames, such as driving, fishing and so on. You can also collect orbs scattered throughout the map, which are used to unlock new skills. You don’t need to be on the lookout all that much, since missions also give them as rewards. Still, flying around just getting them proved to be quite relaxing, at least for me.

A fair warning: This game lacks a genuine tutorial. Personally, I enjoyed learning how to play by myself, but simple texts at the beginning are all the tutorial you’ll get.

Fight like a Saiyan.

Story

This part gave me mixed feelings at first. After all, this is a retelling of the Dragon Ball Z arc, which, let’s face it, most games of the franchise already did that. So, yet again, the same story is being told. However, this retelling is so detailed, that it actually dragged my attention as things went on. It help me remind things I didn’t remember, and they still added characters that are exclusively from other games in a very natural way. If you like the other Dragon Ball games, you might get a nice surprise here. Not to mention that the retelling is very faithful, and it has beautiful graphics. Seeing Goku’s first transformation really excited me, not to mention Gohan’s first time as Super Saiyan 2. Nostalgia will take over pretty fast.

Dragon Ball RPG

As previously mentioned, this game contains many RPG elements in it. You can fish and cook meals, giving both temporary and permanent status boosts. There are plenty of side quests (note: they’re missable, so do them right away) and you can also summon Shenron for special things. A very trendy formula with single player games nowadays.

The only problem with its exaggerated RPG elements is the “open” world. It’s not really open; it is separated in many areas that require to be choosen in the World Map Menu. But that in itself is not a bad thing. After all, the map is big enough to allow fast flights over it. The problem is the excessive loading time whenever you want to change areas. There’ve already been two updates to adjust loading time, but it can still be very annoying, especially with missions that require you to change areas constantly.

Oh, and don’t worry about grinding, the main and side missions alone are enough to keep your level in check.

Use the Training Ground to unlock special skills.

Conclusion

By adapting a classic with such faithfulness to the original source material, all the while offering such amazing graphics and gameplay, this game is the definitive Dragon Ball Z experience. It might catch some people not used to Japanese RPGs off-guard (they have a lot of texts, for example) but still, the wonderful gameplay, nostalgic story and beautiful characters and scenery are more than enough to please the fans of the saga. There’s also DLC promised to look forward for in the future, too. For those who are fans of good ol’ Single Player games and RPGs, this is a top choice. Unleash your Ki and lay waste on your oponents!

Actual review score: over 9000!

Rating:

5 Stars

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