Dragon Ball Z has been around for so long now, that old farts like me who watched the series in the afternoons as a teenager have revisited the story so many times.
Whether it was reruns, a shortened but still too long Dragon Ball Z Kai series, the numerous games of multiple genres that skimmed through the plot, and so much more media.
The Xenoverse games at least added a spin on the plot to give some new variety to an old story, so why on earth would you want to play another game that retreads the same old plot again? In short, because Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is amazing.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot tells a reasonably comprehensive version of the Dragon Ball Z series, starting with the Saiyan Saga and finishing with the Buu Saga. Fortunately it does skip some big chunks of the series, like the fake Namek saga which was a frustrating slog watching on reruns, and the Garlic Jr. Saga which does fill in a decent chunk of time.
Do you remember the Other Worlds Saga?
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot doesn’t. For the most part it absolutely makes sense to cut some of these filler sagas out because the game is long enough as it is, but in its own way it adds new filler in.
The game itself sits in two genre camps.
The fighting is pretty close to as good as Budokai games, but the majority of your time you explore a relatively open world completing side quests and levelling up.
This balance is important as the fighting is half of what Dragon Ball Z is about, so it being a smooth and fun experience is so important, but the RPG elements is what makes Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot unique enough to justify witnessing the story all over again.
The open world allows you to fly around earth, King Kai’s planet, and during a certain Saga Namek where you can fly to a marker to keep the story going, or fly around attacking enemies in the wild, collecting resources for cooking and car building, or hitting the aforementioned side quests which vary from interesting battles, to repetitive collection tasks. Though they get a little boring, the rewards can be great.
Plus flying around the world feels so fun that I wound up spending far too much time, achieving little which is the mark of a great, open world game.
Some content that was cut I hoped they would do something cool with such as Goku whipping along Snake Way which could have made an enjoyable little mini game. But even that I am torn on because that could have been an easy way to accidentally make a tedious section, and there is stuff I am glad they cut such as Fake Namek so this is only a little bit of an issue.
There is also a system where you collect character coins which you put on a selection of boards to boost stats and bonuses like EXP or item collection. Each coin has areas it is most proficient, and you can also collect gifts which boost certain stats. I spent a lot of time trying to optimise that and that got boring quickly, but I am nit picking now.
The biggest asset is all of the small details in the game.
The game looks absolutely stunning with the developers managing to absolutely nail cell shaded style in a 3D world in a way that is better than I could have imagined. But that world is that much better because of the people walking around, the trees and other details populating the world, and the way the ground and small mountains rip up as you fly fast along side, or through them.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the RPG I didn’t know I needed before it was announced, but I am so glad I have it in my life now. It’s such a fun romp for old and new Dragon Ball Z fans.
I hope to Beerus that they don’t release the fake Name Saga as DLC as I may go postal.
Released: January 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Developer: Cyber Connect2