Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot brings something new to the table
Bandai Namco are known for their incredible output when it comes to anime fighters, specifically Dragon Ball games which have been coming out almost annually at this point. Recently Bandai has made an effort to try and diversify their Dragon Ball line-up, giving players Dragon Ball FighterZ, one of the best fighting games of the generation. It looks like the Japanese publisher isn’t giving up yet when it comes to pushing the boundaries. Enter Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the latest anime game that attempts to do something no other DBZ game has done before.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot differs from every other DBZ game released in the past decade by allowing the player to feel part of the Dragon Ball world. Most anime games involve players following the standard story beats as they fight their way through enemies until you eventually take on the big villain. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot wants you to relive Goku’s story right from the beginning. This isn’t a simple case of fighting everyone in order, in this game you essentially play through the anime (at least from what we have seen so far).
Our time spent with the game at Bandai Namco’s offices in London had us going through two sections of the game: exploring the town right before the big fight with Raditz at the beginning of the game, and the climactic fight between SSJ2 Teen Gohan versus Perfect Cell. Both of these sections showcased completely different aspects of the game, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the full release in 2020.
The RPG elements in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot are pretty much what you might expect from any game, except this time they feature a DBZ twist. As Goku, you can fly around the town looking for odd bits to do in order to help out the citizens. These missions vary from Goku having to beat up some thugs, to searching a specific area in order to find a unique item. As this is an RPG, you do have a leveling system that you’ll need to stay on top of in order to defeat some of the bigger enemies. Completing these side quests will award you the experience points needed to level up, allowing you to increase the size of your health bar and deal more damage.
This game is for the most hardcore DBZ fans
Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the game will be spent in fights, and this is where Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot really shines. CyberConnect2, the team that worked on the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm series, are leading the charge with Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. The Ultimate Ninja Storm series is known primarily for its combat as the fights are made to feel like a playable anime battle. The developers took the same approach for the Naruto games and have brought that to DBZ, making each fight feel as epic as they did in the anime. The combat is similar to that seen in the Dragon Ball Xenoverse games, except every attack feels like it lands with much more of an impact than before. This heavy-hitting action is exactly what we want to see in a DBZ game, it’s not only very fun to play but it also looks incredible too.
As the second mission highlights, though the game is named after Goku, he isn’t the only character you will get to play as. So far we know you can play as Gohan (both Kid and Teen versions), Vegeta, Piccolo and Future Trunks. The game takes place throughout every DBZ saga, starting with Raditz and ending with Kid Buu. In the two gameplay sections we got to play, the Goku vs Raditz fight happened at level four, whereas the Gohan vs Cell fight was at level forty. This would suggest the Buu saga ends at around level one hundred.
Never before have fans had the chance to relive the hilarious filler episode of DBZ where Goku and Piccolo get their driver’s license. It’s clear to see that the developers working on this are huge fans of the series, to include a deep cut like this (and presumably many more) is something only the most hardcore DBZ fans will appreciate. We know the developers have included more obscure callbacks like this, including Vegeta wearing his ‘BADMAN’ pink shirt from Bulma.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is shaping up to be one of the most unique DBZ games of all time, and we cannot wait to get our hands on it. Fortunately, the wait isn’t that long as Bandai Namco has confirmed the game is set to release on January 16th 2020 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.