I’ve actually been massively on the fence about Dragonball Z: Kakarot pretty much since it’s release – I personally haven’t been in love with a Dragonball game since Tenkaicihi; I mostly blame this on my over-indulgence on the series as a kid, having watched it through twice as a kid and then playing it through again in a video game, I’d had my full of Dragonball Z, especially in the basic style of open combat play… However a new current-gen RPG was announced, and my interest was piqued. It ended up being one of the games I was most looking forward to playing at EGX, but unfortunately the 20 minutes I got to play weren’t exactly mind blowing, so I was hoping when I got my hands on the full product it would change my mind. Please be aware this is a first impressions of the game, this is kind of because I bought a Switch, and after playing a couple of hours I didn’t want to play a lot more..!

First thing to talk about I suppose is the combat, and to be honest it feels a little empty and not heavy at all; there’s just no meat on them darn bones! All of the moves you’d want are there, but it feels too light and button mashy – There wasn’t a lot of skill apart from trying to time blocks to teleport behind your opponent and do a quick counter blow. I feel that I only really enjoyed it in proper boss fights (eg Raditz), but generally in the open world it was really easy and button mashy (yes there’s that technical term again); all you had to really do was hit circle a lot to punch/kick their health bar away, and only use the super moves for laughs. It does look cool as you’re teleporting around and switching between opponents but there just isn’t any challenge until the big boss fights. Yes, I am still very early in the game, but there was a very clear difference in the difficulty in general play to boss fights; I understand this is probably because that’s what you’re working towards, but I still like a challenge in my open play, I don’t want to fly around being bored in an open world which is well… Really open.

The game is focused around you following the storyline, with the occasional side quest to fly to which is generally “oh hey, there’s this guy I haven’t seen for years, he wants me to collect or fight something”… No meat on the DAMN BONES! However, you do earn Soul Emblems from doing this; more on this later. Then you have the map, which does look like it’s been ripped straight out of the anime, but there isn’t a hell of a lot to do in it. I got excited at the prospect of hunting dinosaurs, but you just have to aim a ki blast well, and then it’s hunted, done, no big time battle to the death, this made me sad. There are also orbs to pick up, which benefit various traits, but again I couldn’t be bothered to fly around collecting them to make myself better, especially as there hasn’t been a huge challenge yet…

The only other thing on offer is picking up ingredients for cooking meals, which give you boosts in battle, and apart from a very basic fishing mini-game this is also a little tiresome. One thing I do like about the general gameplay is the community boards, which are essentially how you level up. Each trait of your gameplay has a different board, Z Fighers (for fighting), Cooking, Support, etc. The boards have character icons placed on them which then raise that particular trait; you then need to place the Soul Emblem, earned from missions and side quests on the relevant board – Gohan on Fighters, Chi Chi on Cooking, etc – You can then level up the individual emblems with gifts earned to improve that particular skill. At the moment this is the one part of the game that would make me want to play it more as it adds a sort of collecting and levelling element and just something very different.

I am not going to go in depth on the story; suffice to say if you’re aware of the story, well… Here it is again. If you are young or you don’t know the story very well, this game will be amazing to you as you get to play as different characters depending on what’s happening in the story, fighting various tough enemies and learning about the characters and even their back stories in Dragonball. However, if you’ve watched the anime, or played ANY of the DBZ games (which many of us have), you’ve done it. Yes there are little new additions, but nothing that’s going to make you blow your Dragonballs… Sorry. It is a good story, but I don’t need to hear it again; I don’t understand why they don’t create a game in the Dragonball Super storyline, or even Dragonball, We’ve done Z, we know Z; let’s move on. But we won’t, as I imagine Kakarot will get at least 2 more games to finish the Z story line…

Anyways, I don’t want to rant too much. It’s not an awful game at all, but it really gives me no reason at all to play it over anything else in my library at the moment. I’m the wrong target audience, simply because I know the story and I need more challenge in my gameplay (he says whilst currently playing Pokemon Let’s Go). I will play this more and give it a chance, but these are my thoughts for now!

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