Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is based on the hit anime and manga, Dragon Ball. The story begins with Goku, now an adult, having defeated the Evil Piccolo Jr at the World Tournament 5 years prior, now living peacefully with his wife Chi-Chi and son, Gohan. However, this peace is short-lived when a warrior from outer space turns up, and claims to be his brother. Battle your way through 4-action-packed story arcs as Earth’s greatest warrior, and protector, Goku, as he attempts to protect the world from powerful super villains. The story is told through a combination of top notch animated scenes, and the in-game engine, which all look incredibly faithful to its source material.

With this title being an Action-RPG, the control system is vastly different from most titles based on the Dragon Ball franchise – the majority of which are fighting games akin to the likes of SoulCalibur and Tekken, only with the Dragon Ball style and flair. With the Dragon World being bought to life, you have a semi-open world to explore! As you start the game, you will have access to the nimbus cloud, you’ll also be able to fly around solo or travel on foot. You can even (at a later point in the game) obtain a driving license through a sub-quest and drive a car. This being said, each zone is separated by story progress – but you are free to explore to your heart’s content before you progress to the next area by forwarding the story. Each area has a variety of sub-quests for you to enjoy, completing these will level-up your character (as you play through the game, you will change characters at certain points) and at the same time, give you a variety of items and EXP on completion, you may also unlock even more quests.

 

A big part of levelling-up your character are the Community Boards, these are broken up into 7 different categories, each of which will grant players a series of bonuses based on how many Soul Emblems you’ve put into them and the level that you’ve reached. So, reaching Level 8 in the Z Warrior one will grant you 8 different skills. If you max out your training Community, you will achieve +100 EXP from being successful in battles etc.

Another big part of the process, is cooking – you can level-up your stats rather quickly by hunting animals (even dinosaurs!) and completing simple sub-quests, and fishing. It’s worth noting that you can buy ready meals, but it is far better to have Chi Chi (Goku’s wife) to cook a meal for you, and this will permanently raise your stats, this will involve collecting a list of food which will include hunting. The further you get through the game, the more dishes you will unlock, which will have better bonuses.

Unlocking special moves is also dependent on story progression, for example, you won’t have access to the Kaio-ken technique until you have trained on King Kai’s planet. Speaking of moves, combat in Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is a lot like the fighting games, you have complete freedom of movement within the entire area of battle, and various buttons for melee, Ki blasts and flash step to name but a few.

 

For anyone who has watched the anime, the game has two voice options, the original Japanese voice-over, and English dub from US Sony owned distributor, Funimation. The voice acting is top level across both languages; I personally prefer the dub, as the cast are very experienced, and instantly recognisable. So, whether it’s Masako Nozawa or Sean Schemmel, you’re in for a real treat. Music for the game is very impressive indeed, and the soundtrack features BGM produced by the legendary Shunsuke Kikuchi, which on this occasion has been reproduced faithfully for the game. Both title songs from fan favourite artist (someone I’ve had the pleasure to meet, and talk with personally) Mr. Hironobu Kageyama such as “Cha-La-Head-Cha-La“, “We Gotta Power” and ending song “We were Angels” are all included.

To conclude, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot‘s story may be familiar to every fan out there, but don’t be put off by that. This game is quite simply the definitive Dragon Ball Z experience for the hardcore fans, new and old. It’s the perfect game that encompasses the true spirit of the Dragon Ball world, and whilst you are playing through the story as we all know it, there are still new experiences to be had in the sub-quests, such as new interactions with characters from Goku’s past, and an all new character from series creator, and mangaka, Mr. Akira Toriyama. Simply put – adult Goku’s story is told with a very impressive amount of content, and developer CyberConnect2 deliver the ultimate experience a lot of fans (me included) have waited a very long time for.