Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot PS4 Review
Bandai Namco is trying something different this year with the annual Dragon Ball title, after two massively popular Dragon Ball: Xenoverse games and the arcade fighter Dragon Ball: FighterZ by Arc System Works. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot changes the concept of the regular DBZ game by making it an entirely open world and adding essential elements of Action RPG. Let’s find out if the experiment with Bandai Namco is paying off. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot PS4 Review
Dragon Ball Z was the first Anime I’ve ever seen and helped to introduce me to other media in Japan. Honestly, I’m still a big fan of the show and still binge the Dragon Ball’s last few episodes: Great that I missed but it’s getting really hard to be excited about every new yearly Dragon Ball title. I was really excited when Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was revealed as Dragon Ball ‘ Project Z ‘ an action RPG set in the Dragon Ball universe. However, I lost all my enthusiasm when I read the press release which said the game would follow the Anime plot. After all, we’ve been playing the same story for two decades of games now, again and again. So keeping my expectations in check, I started the game. During my initial few hours, the main thing that came to mind was that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is very different from games that came before it. The game definitely gives off a vibe of the excellent GBA based Dragon Ball Z: Legacy of Goku games.
Dragon Ball Z: In the first few hours, Kakarot is a very slow burn as the game introduces you to the different systems at play. The game has very strong RPG elements at play, such as extensive stats for each player, food bonuses influenced by Monster Hunter, player relationships influenced by Persona and community building and more. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot does things very differently, which leads to a lot of padding, unlike previous Dragon Ball titles which focused on pure action. The game looks like it could have used more development time to flesh out the game’s systems and content because even though the ideas portrayed throughout the game have potential, their execution fails most of the time.
Unlike the Xenoverse games where the grinding was enjoyable because of the combat systems and the complexity of the co-op gameplay, the combat system in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is in my opinion very downgraded. Developer CyberConnect2 obviously concentrated on making cinematic battles, which led to less enjoyable. You get the normal third-person viewpoint in fights, with the choice to fight on the ground, or in the air. The combat feels familiar not to alienate the fans, who have been playing the Xenoverse games for so long, but the battles sound clunky overall. Unlike in the Xenoverse games, which felt like a tight combat experience with consistent gameplay, Kakarot feels like you’re most of the time playing an interactive episode of the series, with sometimes a new attack being added as a new gameplay element rather than relying on ability to win a combat. Don’t expect the title of a ability showcase like FighterZ with Kakarot, most battles here are only won on the basis of who manages to land more first attacks.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has its obvious shortcomings but I believe it’s a great addition to the portfolio of Dragon Ball games because Bandai Namco is finally willing to take drastic risks with the franchise. I just hope there’s a more polished sequel and maybe an original plot, as the shown off systems definitely have potential.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has its obvious flaws, however, I feel it’s a welcome addition in the Dragon Ball games portfolio due to the fact that Bandai Namco is finally willing to take drastic risks with the franchise.
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Relive the story of Goku and other Z Fighters in DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT!
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