Dragon Ball Z is no stranger to getting its story adapted to the medium of video games, with more than 30 titles to its credit, some going back as early as the 1980s and others only available in Japan. But it has never been presented in such a way as to make the story the protagonist as opposed to taking a back seat to the action. Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Hack is the DBZ canon’s most detailed and caring reconstruction ever to have been, telling the story through a free- action RPG lens rather than a straight- fighting game like Xenoverse or FighterZ. It’s just as rough around the edges as the personality of Vegeta, but underneath it all is a game filled with nostalgic love for the source material.
Kakarot strikes an uncommon blend between genres between a battle arena game and a semi– action-. In other words, it feels like a Dragon Ball controlled version of Yakuza in its free- parts, and then changes to a standard fighting game like Xenoverse / Tenkaichi once it starts fighting. And as a warrior on the battlefield, that’s perfect. Gameplay is quick, based on one- combos and a versatile range of four special moves, but filled with little intricacies that go a long way in keeping the action from being ever thoughtless. You’re still still locked on and tied to your opponent, allowing you to move easily to, away from, and circle the midair around them, and you can switch between goals with a quick right stick flip.
Although this can sound very button- – and to some degree it is – it is a method of fighting that also requires you to be sensitive to what your adversary does. Most enemies have deadly attacks that absorb strikes to deal with one of their own that can suddenly halt you in your tracks and leave you stunned, requiring you to carefully balance offensive and defensive options that are extremely mobile. Fortunately, Kakarot’s combat is smartly built so you can always stop canceling from a combo and getting the hell out of the way when you can see something dangerous is clearly being telegraphed.
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Ki control is also very critical, as your ki meter determines not just your unique use of moving but also your ability to use vanishes to close and punish projectile attacks instantly, your ability to use a super dash to chase enemies after knocking them away, your ability to use a burst of energy to knock an enemy away when they’re about to break through your guard to, of course, your ability to knock your opponent away I like Kakarot’s way of using Ki, linking it as many useful defensive techniques as it does offensively, making it a valuable rechargeable tool during combat.
There’s also a stress gage that fills over the course of a battle, and once it’s full you can activate a Surge mode that allows you to cancel special moves within each other. Which means you could string a series of kamehamehas together, one after the other, for huge harm – as long as, of course, you have the ki for it. It’s a nice trump card to get tough once things get, and particularly satisfying because you get an amazing “Super Finish” animation when you end a battle with a beam attack that is powered by Surge.
All these minor intricacies add up and elevate what would otherwise be a very simple but flashy method of fighting.
Because Kakarot is one- only and need not be designed with competitive play in mind, developer CyberConnect 2 was able to go a little crazy with its enemy design and give them special movements that would normally be too powerful in PvP. For example, Cell can break into about 20 weaker versions of itself, all of which begin to prepare attacks aimed directly at you, while Kid Buu and Frieza can create planet- energy bombs which force you to rush out of the blast zone or suffer massive damage. It makes these villains feel suitably heroic for war.
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All these minor intricacies add up and elevate what would otherwise be a very simple but flashy method of fighting. That said, Kakarot is a long game, about 33 hours clocking in for me, and by the time I was about halfway through it, I felt like I had seen just about all it might throw at me. That made the last half a little less thrilling and demanding than I’d hoped.
Sidetracked Though Kakarot works well as an arena fighter, mainly by keeping the action very similar to previous games, it is weighted down by its RPG-. Sidequests are almost always painfully simplistic, focusing much too much on banal tasks such as finding ingredients for a chef to make you a soup, having mechanical parts for Bulma to fix a rig, or protecting a helpless NPC by battling the same three generic Red Ribbon Army robots that you’ll blow up a million times during the campaign. Worse still, the EXP offered to complete most of them only pales compared to the amount you get to beat main quests, making them feel extremely unrewarding too.
There are a few sidequests I’ve encountered that have broken the mold, including an excellent one involving “Yamcha’s ghost,” which has you chasing around an imposter Yamcha as he goes on different dates after the Saiyan saga events. I’m not going to spoil the quest’s main reveal, but it ended up being really sweet and a perfect example of how sidequests could be used to tell interesting stories about existing characters. If more sidequests were like this, Kakarot would have been a much better game as a whole rather than a bunch of different variants of find, collect, and secure quests.
After that, Kakarot’s other RPG features just kind of get in the way. Roaming enemies in the field are nothing more than annoyances because the EXP they bring is hardly a drop in the bucket when it comes to what you need to level up; other abilities on the skill tree are frustratingly confronted with challenges that are almost always more hassle than their worth or against enemies that are so weak that they can’t even damage you; and fishing and ba
You can also gather different cooking ingredients to make dishes that will have temporary or permanent bonuses, or you can save certain dishes to have Chi- make a full course meal for huge increases in your stats but that seldom pays off. Although thematically amusing, cooking is essentially a lot of boring and repetitive work that is often better off completely skipped, particularly as you get all the status upgrades you need by playing through the main quest through natural level-.
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Next Time On Dragon Ball Z Where Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Crack shines brightest is the most detailed retelling of the Dragon Ball Z storyline in its entirety. Die- will no doubt find some pieces that are left out, like Trunks ‘showdown with Cell in its Ultra Super Saiyan form (or Super Saiyan 1.5, or whatever you want to call it) but, for the most part, CyberConnect2 did a very good job of condensing well over 100 plot episodes into a single video game.
What’s particularly interesting is how Kakarot doesn’t shy away from the less fight-, more character- moments, such as Gohan’s Piccolo training, Gohan’s entire Super Saiyaman substory involving him and Videl, or Vegeta actually calling Bulma by her name and not just “woman.” The result is a simplified version of Dragon Ball Z Cheats that really focuses on the growth of its characters, stated in the article.
Unfortunately, not all of the major moments are produced equal, and the consistency of Kakarot’s cutscenes is a little inconsistent. The most crucial moments in the plot, such as the ends of each saga, Vegito’s fusion, multiple deaths, and more, are designed with the kind of care and detail you’d expect from CyberConnect2, the developers behind similarly faithful games like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm. But still people feel like they lack a certain degree of shine. Many lack classic lines or frames, some have static animations, awkward line reads, and one scene was also entirely without sound effects.
It is really the Dragon Ball Z story’s best video game retelling, but it’s unfortunate there’s still so much scope for development.
The lack of consistent polish often sometimes makes its way into the gameplay, with lots of annoyingly repetitive lines of dialog while traveling across the open world. I believe I speak for all of mankind when I say I don’t have to hear Goku tell variants of “This looks like a great apple” every time he flies through a dumb apple tree, nor do I have to hear Gohan say “I believe I can handle this” every time he skips past a poor enemy every 10 seconds.
The high moments are high enough that I still believe the Dragon Ball Z story is really the best video game retelling, but it’s disappointing that there’s still so much scope for growth.
The Verdict If Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Trainer is at its best, that’s great. With beautiful visuals and effects, the big moments of each saga are brought to life impeccably – but more than that, Kakarot also shows love for the smaller, more character- moments which first made fans fall in love with the anime. As a result, Kakarot is a great way to revisit the Dragon Ball Z story, whether you’re a fan or looking for a first- in. Although backed by extremely solid combat, however, it also comes with significant disadvantages such as poorly implemented RPG mechanics, a general lack of polish, and some deceptively shallow and boring sidequests.