The legendary Super Saiyin Goku and all the Z Fighters blast onto the Nintendo Switch in CyberConnect2’s over the top action RPG, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens Set, collecting the original adventure and two new story DLC packages. As the longer than normal title of the game suggests, get ready for the ultimate Dragon Ball Z adventure!
Picking up after the events of the original Dragon Ball anime and manga, this game follows Son Goku through his many intense battles which have defined action anime for close to 40 years. I was initially reluctant to start the game because there have been countless games that have chronicled the story of Dragon Ball Z and I thought that there wasn’t much DBZ: Kakarot could do that other games haven’t already done. Well, I’m happy to report I was wrong!
For long time fans of the series this is a dream come true. It may sound cliché, but this game truly puts you in the shoes of Goku, as you eat, train, and fight as him and the other Z Warriors throughout the roughly 40-hour long story. Each major story arc from the Saiyin Invasion Saga to the cumulative battle with Majin Buu; every fight is here and more. The Switch version includes the story of Future Trunks and Gohan fighting the androids as well as story content from Dragon Ball Super.
Speaking of story, DBZ: Kakarot is massive. I thought that the game might skip a few story beats, but it doesn’t deter from the source material very much at all. This can seem a bit long and drawn out at times, but when it comes to Dragon Ball Z that’s what it’s always been about.
In true RPG fashion there are huge open world environments that fans of the series will instantly recognize, populated with tons of characters, plenty of side quests, as well as a scattering of Easter Eggs to discover. Many of these characters and side quests are actually reminiscent of the original Dragon Ball manga, which serve as great nods to the source material without breaking any of the established canon.
The combat in the game is fairly similar to other 3D Dragon Ball or anime fighters with small variances, such as the ability to transform mid-battle or call in support characters for assists. Overall, the battles weren’t super difficult — mainly because this is an RPG and characters level up quickly before the big boss fights. I didn’t have a problem with this because that’s how I normally play RPGs: always over-leveled.
Each character has a robust skill tree that can be used to unlock new attacks and power-ups by collecting Z Orbs in the overworld. This was a bit tedious for me, but the rewards of unlocking signature moves felt worth the grind.
The game originally launched last year on PS4 and XBox One and is now playable on next-gen consoles due to backwards compatibility. This made me wonder if the Nintendo Switch version of the game would run poorly or look noticeably downgraded, but I am pleased to say that it looks amazing. In my entire run with the game I have not noticed any framerate or texture issues playing the game both docked and in portable mode.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot boasts beautiful cell-shaded visuals that really help it stay true to its anime source material and are part of the reason why it looks great on the Switch. This may be due to the fact that CyberConnect2 worked on the Switch version in house instead of handing it over to another studio to port. The quality does show and it was worth the wait for it on Nintendo’s console.
DBZ: Kakarot captures the essence of what makes Dragon Ball so endearing as a pop culture icon. From the title cards at the start and end of each story arc to the thumping soundtrack lifted straight from the anime, it oozes love through its Saiyin pores. The game is playable with the full English and Japanese cast as well, lending to the already superb atmosphere of Dragon Ball.
If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball and were originally hesitant when this title initially launched last year like me, now is a great time to dive into the colorful world of Dragon Ball Z and experience all of the pulse-pounding action you’ve been missing. Now on the go!
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens Set Review
- Graphics - 9/109/10
- Sound - 10/1010/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Lasting Appeal - 9/109/10
Final Thoughts: EXCELLENT
Eat, train, and fight like Goku and all the other Z Fighters now from the comfort of your Flying Nimbus! The Switch version is a great way to play through this lengthy game!
Tony has been gaming ever since he could walk. Pokémon Blue Version helped him learn how to read. His greatest accomplishment is not just having played the entire Kingdom Hearts series but also understanding it.