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Review Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

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Release: 17/01/2020
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Developer: CyberConnect2
Genre: Action, Role-playingXBox One Reviews
PEGI: T
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7.5 - Gameplay
           
 
8.0 - Video
          
 
7.0 - Audio
          
 

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When I was younger, I actually remember my father of all people, enjoying DBZ. I would often see him watching them on Cartoon Network, to be honest I was intrigued but never quite a fan. Many folks have told me it’s better to not watch them on TV, etc etc. But that was the exposure I had, I did like the action and story, however it was painfully slow and dragged out in twenty minute bursts of people yelling AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH to charge up to throw a punch or Stone Cold Stunner, I don’t know. But yea, Dragonball Z was part of my childhood by proxy.

Anyway with that being said: IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE STORY LINE OF DRAGONBALL Z, JUST SKIP THIS ENTIRE GAME. It’s ok, it’s not a bad thing. Not every game is for every person. I will preface this by saying this game does not hold you hand with storytelling or anything and it encompasses the ENTIRE SERIES RUN.¬† So if you don’t already know all the characters and what happened in Dragonball, the story and purpose doesn’t do much. For instance the first mission you get in the game is helping the old man (Master Roshi) find his porno mags that a giant sea turtle stole from him. It’s ok, I’ll let you go back and read that again. But lets get into the actual review.

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So the story as mentioned above takes place during the entire DBZ saga from the Saiyan Saga all the way through Majin Buu, so there is alot of meat on this bone. The cut scenes are beautifully done and look like you are simply watching the show, heck most of the game looks that way. It ran very smooth for me during my game play time with zero issues, decent load times, and no frames issues. The game does an excellent job of capturing the speed and power of the attacks the various characters perform, they have a certain weight to them for sure. Combat is good and feels like how a DBZ game should with a plethora of over the top insane moves to pull off as your characters level up, train, and evolve (sounded like Pokemon there for a minute). Voice actors are good and authentic to the experience, whether playing in Japanese or English.

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Now where the game falls a little flat for me is the RPG elements of the game. So clearly this is intended to be an RPG game above all else, but it often doesn’t feel like it. The upgrade tree is reliant of you flying around collection orbs to unlock the moves as opposed to an experience based upgrade tree (the game also doesn’t really explain this to you, and I figured it out while exploring menus later on) There is a half baked cooking element to the game to heal and give your character buffs that ties into a fishing mechanic (cause every game needs fishing) for ingredients. The open world environments are beautiful and do feel alive with enemies, people, dinosaurs, and so on so there is always something to check out. However the side quests are often uninspired and require you to float around the map collecting items and turning them in without much of a story connection. One of the other downsides to this (which isn’t really the games fault) there are a lot of jerks in DBZ, like seriously everyone is horrible in either the way they talk to each other, the way they flex their power levels, or skills (even among friends) and it gets a little annoying. It’s like listening to a group of meatheads at the gym talk about how they can dead lift this or did over 9000 (see what i did there) reps last week. The highlights of this game are easily the bigger boss encounters which are crazy, fast, tough, and destructive which can make for an extremely fun time.

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All in all Kakarot makes for a really fun experience that is greatly enhanced if you have the knowledge of the source material and are willing to learn RPG elements that are different than standard protocol. This game is an easy recommendation to any DBZ fan, and a fun romp for those that aren’t if you are curious and have¬† some extra $$$ lying around.

 

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blank Kevin Austin has been in gaming journalism in one way or another since the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube. Married and father of 3 children he has been gaming since the ripe age of 6 when he got his first NES system and over 30 years later he is still gaming almost daily. Kevin is also co-founder of the Play Some Video Games (PSVG) Podcast network which was founded over five years ago and is still going strong. Some of his favorite gaming series includes Fallout and Far Cry, he is a sucker for single player adventure games (hence his big reviews for Playstation), and can frequently be found getting down in one battle royale or another. If it's an oddball game, odds are he's all about it.

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Twitter: @PSVGKevin