Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot provides an open-world experience with a plentiful amount of side quests (although very shallow and basic), people to interact with, large areas to explore and all kinds of things to collect and gather. The combat is fast and exciting and the character progression is detailed with several different ways to upgrade and power up your team. The main narrative follows the entire Dragonball Z arc, from Radditz to Buu.
The combat mechanics are simple at first, however, progressing through the game and living up the skill tree will yield to a more complex fighting system.
The power creep makes even the toughest the game has to offer more than manageable. Melee vastly out damages ki attacks, especially in battles where the enemies are a higher level than you, cancel a melee combo by dashing before the final hit for long and endless hit chains!
I’m amazed that a controller has enough buttons to compensate for the number of battle Commands. The combat system is fun but it can become pretty repetitive, like just mashing the circle button can win most fights in the overworld when enemies attack.
The cut scenes are beautiful and really close to the show but not as lengthy, like hrs of Goku charging the spirit bomb to hit Frieza, is now about 3 mins. Which is an improvement in my opinion over the source material. The orbs to use to purchase new moves are not difficult to grind for and are actually very easy to get but consume a bit of time to collect. Almost feels like collecting rings in the original Sonic games.
The leveling system is not too hard with multiple boards that have certain themes for each board. It’s almost like a blank ability list that has random paths to each node that creates a grid to each center character that governs the board. For instance, chi-chi is overcooking skills, Balma over tech.
Basically, you earn coins of characters, place them over blank nodes and it levels out the board. Which in turn gives a bonus to leveling, combat, exploration, ect. You can place certain characters by each other to create a specific bonus tied to their combinations and even level each coin to give additional bonuses and perks. Overall the combat may not be as in-depth as other Dragonball z games but everything else makes it a unique journey through the game.
The story and narrative are interesting enough although not every line is voice acted and you’ll be subjected to a lot of soundbites, lengthy cut scenes and the number of loading screens is obnoxious. It did seem as though some rather important story elements, (Gotenks for example) were omitted from gameplay and referenced in cut scenes, or on some occasions, the narrative simply informs you “This happened while you are gone”.
I highly recommend it to any long-time fan of the series and again, the moments where say Goku and Vegeta are battling or teaming up to fight the Ginyu Force are just so much fun with the banter and especially the fighting itself. All the moves and techniques from the Spirit Bomb to the Gatlick Gun, you do not want to miss out on Dragon Ball Z Kakarot!