Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot First Impressions (PS4) – A Lifelong DBZ Fan’s Perspective

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the latest game to feature Son Goku and the colorful cast of Saiyans, humans, aliens, and dragons from the anime. Having been a huge fan of the Dragon Ball franchise, I was ecstatic when the game was announced by Bandai Namco. The last DB game I played was Xenoverse 2, which left a sour taste in my mouth. However, after spending just above 5 hours with Kakarot, I can confidently say that it is one of the strongest games in the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot retells the entire DBZ saga from the manga and anime. This covers all the main sagas, such as the Saiyan Saga, Frieza Saga, Cell, and Buu saga. While the primary protagonist is Goku, there are moments when you get to play as other supporting characters. The game is a single-player semi-open world JRPG, which translates to ‘awesome’ just in the premise. I’m happy to note that in practice, the game (mostly) holds up to its gargantuan promise.

Before Kakarot, I was a big fan of the Budokai Tenkaichi games. That series had perfected the combat system that an action-packed franchise as Dragon Ball needs. While it may look a bit rusty now, the series is still a lot of fun to play. So as I sat down to start playing the latest game from CyberConnect2, I was hopeful of getting the same enjoyment out of this. While Kakarot doesn’t include any multiplayer component, it makes up for it by the vast amount of coverage it provides.

After 5 hours of gameplay, I’m still only in the Saiyan saga. That tells me one thing – this is one long game. Other reviewers have already noted the game to be upwards of 30 hours long. The world of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is full of side quests, character interactions, decently long story cutscenes, and epic boss battles. Flying around West City while riding the flying Nimbus brings great joy, one that only a fan of the series will know about.

Flying in DRAGON BALL Z KAKAROT
Flying and combat in DRAGON BALL Z KAKAROT

But enough about the nostalgia. Let’s talk about the main reason why anyone buys a Dragon Ball game – the fighting. Kakarot has a similar combat system as that of Budokai Tenkaichi. So much so that in my recent comparison with it (click here) I found more in common with Kakarot. The controls aren’t exactly the same, but they’re fine. It took me quite some time to get adjusted to some odd choices in the control scheme (seriously, R2 with Left stick is to change altitude?) but after a while, I got the hang of it. It’s during the aforementioned big scale battles that the controls flow together.

That’s about it for now. Stay tuned for our full review of the game, which will be up the moment I find time to finish it.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is now available to purchase from Steam or the Console storefronts. Buy it from Amazon here.

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