Even if you’re not an Anime or Manga fan, it’s likely you are at least vaguely familiar with the Dragon Ball franchise. The series started life as a Manga, way back in 1984 and has been consistently coming out with new material ever since. . . and much like material adapted from American Comic Books, we’ve seen the same stories retold in various formats, multiple times. In 2020, Bandai Namco will be releasing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, a video game for the PS4 and Xbox/Windows, that will retell the Dragon Ball Z story one more time.
While most of the Dragon Ball games so far have understandably been fighting games, Kakarot is an RPG. The demo I played through at E3 gave us about 20 minutes of gameplay from early in the game. I was dropped into the story as Goku and Piccolo are on their way to save Gohan from Radditz. Along the way, we were able to stop by villages and run errands for people and get into random battle encounters.
The battle mechanics felt similar to most modern RPGs, it was nothing to write home about, but I also can’t really complain about anything in that are either. Story-wise, while there is some added story elements, such as running into characters we’ve only had a cursory introduction to or haven’t seen since Dragon Ball. . . by the end of the demo, it just felt like another rehash of Dragon Ball Z.
Is This Dragon Ball Z Kakarot… Necessary?
Necessary? No. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. For avid fans of the series who have always wanted to “live” the story, this is their chance. The graphics are crisp and fluid and more or less look like you’re watching an episode of the show. While series like Star Trek have gone back and remastered the original episodes into HD and added new special effects, that’s a bit more complicated to do with animated TV shows. For all intents and purposes, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is like getting an HD remaster along with added bonus materials. . . and as long as you don’t mind having to battle your way through the series yourself, this isn’t a bad way to rewatch it.
While we don’t yet know how much of the series the game will cover, it could dive into GT, any of the films, or even Dragon Ball Super, the current series. Personally, I don’t think this game is for me. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s going to be good, I just think I’d get bored with it. If this had been an all new adventure with a story we hadn’t seen before, I think I’d be more excited about it. But then again, I’m not really a die-hard Dragon Ball Z fan. However, that being said, I do enjoy the show and the films.
What about you guys? Is this a game that piques your interest? Are you excited by the thought of fighting your way through your favorite battles from the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Also let us know if you want to see us stream the game on Twitch when it releases next year.