Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is without a doubt a game I’ve wanted to play for a long time because it tackles the Legend of Goku in a way I love with an interactive role-playing game (RPG).
I always looked at Dragon Ball Z and the stories from Manga and Anime and kept telling myself how this would be a game I wanted to play. When they finally announced it, however, that is when we wonder if it was the right idea.
Just like anime can be seen as a blessing and a curse and in this regard, it hits a bit of both. In Dragon Ball Z Kakarot you’re guided through the moments of the show with the aid of its narrator. But to stretch the plot of the game out at times it will give us the players extra narrative that doesn’t affect the story in any way shape or form. The most notable part of this is when Goku is talking to King Yema in the afterlife after he’s passed away and King Yema then gives us a quiz on how important his job is for the next twenty minutes.
I understand why this is a thing however, RPG games would progress too quickly if the player sticks to a strict liner story. Dragon Ball Z Kakarot faces this issue however because the story is very strict, and very linear so Bandai would have to find creative ways to extend gameplay. But this then leads to the next problem of “Orb Gathering” since they’ve taken the opportunity to create an RPG based around everyone’s favorite Shonen Hero Goku we need a means of progression and despite Bandai announcing early on that Goku’s stats will be permanently affected by eating food. We didn’t learn until playing that unlocking moves will be from “Collecting Orbs” and training with other characters.
We go into this expecting something involving training but when the player is forced to fly around and collect orbs the game begins to get tiring. It is a bit forgiving in this aspect however as we are capable of collecting them from combat as well! But this also then leads us into tiresome repetitive combat. Much like how in Final Fantasy we have random encounters to help power us up by defeating tough enemies Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has a similar method; using simple one-hit button moves much like the Batman Arkham series.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot takes the same approach they’ve done in Dragon Ball Xenoverse offering light attacks and heavy attacks by mixing in special moves and passive moves for combat with our enemies, to which they appear far more frequently than I would like in the game and becomes so repetitive it hurts.
Despite all of these flaws, however, there is one that overshadows them all and that is the narrative you might be thinking. How can they mess up the Dragon Ball Z narrative? Honestly, they can’t, and remember when I said just like the anime it can be a blessing and a curse? The problem is the narrative is quick and so is the game. Because it sticks to the Dragon Ball Z narrative religiously it leaves no wiggle room and so we have left we a game that players can beat quickly with those few extra moments of narrative used to stretch it out, or if you’re a completionist grind it out.
This by no means, doesn’t mean the game isn’t enjoyable I still love its flaws and all! Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a very enjoyable game that can catch the attention of anyone whose never seen the anime or read the manga. It can even help us feel a part of the story like we’ve never been before, I know growing up in my neighborhood a lot of the youth I knew looked up to Goku as an inspirational figure and I feel this game helps us reconnect in that way to something we’ve loved our whole lives.
Would I recommend Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot to my friends, family, and everyone else?
Despite all its flaws, and issues I really would because It’s a game I enjoy.
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