DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT / DEVELOPER: CYBERCONNECT2 / PUBLISHER: BANDAI NAMCO / PLATFORM: PC (REVIEWED), PS4, XBOX ONE
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is an open world third-person fighter RPG. Its story parallels that of the Dragon Ball Z anime, which follows on from the original Dragon Ball anime. You begin as a grown up Goku, with his young son Gohan. As you take your son off to meet your old friends, you are attacked by a mysterious man claiming that you’re from another planet and he is your brother. After losing a battle to him, he kidnaps your son and you go after him by teaming up with your old foe Piccolo.
Enjoyably traversing through the world speedrunning, swimming or flying, you’ll bump into enemies at which point the game quickly transitions into battle mode. Here, you’ll fight in mid-air where you’re able to shoot projectiles, engage in melee combat, block, dodge, counter, use special moves and implement support attacks from your companions. The battle system is fun, and certainly different for an RPG. It’s not quite deep enough to want to be doing it constantly but it’s generally enjoyable.
The cel-shaded art style works well and looks great. Combined with the excellent voice work it all helps to make you feel like you're playing the anime. The world itself, however, is sparsely populated by very lifeless characters.
On the RPG side of things, you gain experience through completing the main story or side quests, and levelling up increases your stats. Quests also result in meeting new characters to add to the Community Boards - these basically involve linking characters together and giving them gifts to grant you various bonus stats. Fishing and “hunting” animals and cooking them for food can also give you a boost. You can learn new special attacks to use in battle, as well obtain items.
Its lifeless world and lack of depth in combat might bring the game down slightly, but DBZ:K's story, art style, voice acting and fun traversal mechanics make it worth checking out for any Dragon Ball Z or JRPG fan.