Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Review – Goku’s Legacy Retold for a New Generation
Full Disclosure: This game was purchased with my own funds, all opinions are my own, and no one reviewed this content before it was posted.
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is an action-adventure game. It follows Goku and his friends from the beginning of the Saiyan saga to the conclusion of the Buu saga. It was released for PS4, Xbox One and PC. I played the PS4 version on a PS4 Pro.
This isn’t the first Dragon Ball action adventure game. There is a long history of Dragon Ball RPGs, going back to the Nintendo Entertainment System. A turn based RPG was present on the Super Nintendo in Legend of the Super Saiyan, and the GBA had the top down open world action game trilogy Legacy of Goku. A notable 3D attempt was made on the GameCube/PS2 in the form of Dragon Ball Z Sagas but it kind of missed the mark.
It is an almost open world. The world is divided into large areas which can chosen on a world map. This is much like the Legacy of Goku series in the later two games. The player can explore these areas, encounter NPCs and enemies, and collect orbs that can be used to level up. You usually play as Goku but other characters become available as the story dictates.
The fighting system is like Dragon Ball Xenoverse. It is fully 3D and attacks are easy to pull off being selected from an equipped list and a face button. Items can be consumed via a menu also to restore health and stamina. As long as you remember to stock up on healing items you’re never in much danger. All the signature attacks of each character are here - including the Kamehameha, Gohan’s Masenko and Piccolo’s Special Beam Cannon to name a few.
I enjoyed that transformations are something accessible in the fights. I also liked that less relevant transformations like the Kaio-ken remain available well after they had left in the anime.
Like Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse, it is a lovely cell-shaded look that matches the anime. Memorable locations including Kami’s Lookout, Planet Namek, World Tournament stadium and Kame House look exactly as you remember from the anime.
The graphics shine when it comes to the fights. Much care has been taken to make sure that the Z-Fighters and enemies alike look as they should.
My only complaint is that the fodder enemies could use a bit more variety. The game leans a little too heavy on colour variations a bit too early.
Most of the voice actors from the anime seem to have returned. Everyone
sounds like I expect them to and thus each cutscene sounds much like it
did in the anime.
The attacks also sound like their anime counterparts. There is appropriate impact as enemies get hit with energy blasts.
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is a lot of fun and is a faithful recreation of the Dragon Ball Z story. I would love to see the engine applied to the original Dragon Ball, GT and Super one of these days. Because as much as I love the Z story, we’ve played through it across various genres many times already.