In 2020, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, published by Bandai Namco and developed by CyberConnect2. It was a unique retelling of the Z series, focusing on the major stories from the Saiyan Saga all the way to the Majin Buu Saga, and even included some memorable moments from some filler episodes.
Since that year, various updates and additional stories have been added, with new story arcs, missions, and playable characters from the Dragon Ball Z series, and even the follow-up series, Dragon Ball Super. Now, in 2023, an upgraded version of the game is available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
This review will be focusing on the upgrades, DLC, and improvements over the 2020 game. To read our original review from 2020, be sure to check it out at the following link: https://www.mkaugaming.com/all-review-list/dragon-ball-z-kakarot-review/
The DLC includes four whole new adventures taken from the Z and Super series, Tao Pai Pai Pillar, Dragon Palace Bowl, and Steaming – Hot Grilled Fish. The Tao Pai Pai Pillar is actually the pillar used by Mercenary Tao in the original series to help him fly across long distances.
In this game, that same pillar can be used by Goku to do the same. Even though Goku can fly himself, it’s still a fun feature to play around with as it keeps a record of your longest distance thrown by aiming the pillar at certain angles and filling up the power gauge. The two food items, Dragon Palace Bowl and Steaming – Hot Grilled Fish are handy to upgrade Goku’s stats.
The real fun is in the four new adventures which include parts 1 and 2 of ‘A New Power Awakens’, ‘Trunks – The Warrior of Hope,’ and ‘Bardock – Alone Against Fate’. These can be accessed anytime in the pause menu, no matter where players are in the main game.
Part 1 of ‘A New Power Awakens’ is the retelling of the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, which was expanded upon in episodes 1-14 of Dragon Ball Super. The story focuses on the invasion of Lord Beerus, with Whis and Goku attempting to achieve his Super Saiyan God form in order to take on the God of Destruction.
Part 2 of ‘A New Power Awakens’ focuses on the Resurrection F story arc from the movie Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, which was later expanded on in episodes 15-27 of Dragon Ball Super. Frieza is resurrected and sets his sights on earth once again with an entire army, but the Z Fighters prepare for his arrival. This is also the reveal of Golden Frieza, creating an even bigger challenge that really pushes Goku and Vegeta to their limits, who even achieve their own new forms. Unlike the other DLC stories, the main game and Part 1 of ‘A New Power Awakens’ must first be completed before starting Part 2.
‘Trunks – The Warrior of Hope’ tells the story of Trunks travelling back in time to save his future after almost the entire human race was wiped out by Android 17 and Android 18. Players take control of the future version of Trunks and will play through the entire saga by training with Gohan, fighting the Androids, travelling back in time, and more.
‘Bardock – Alone Against Fate’ is the prequel story of Bardock, the father of Goku. Players will play through the events of Bardock turning on and fighting back against Lord Frieza to prevent the extinction of the entire Saiyan race and the destruction of Planet Vegeta.
Each DLC story will provide roughly two to five hours of gameplay, a real fan service for any Dragon Ball fan, allowing them to explore many familiar locations, and battle various enemies and iconic villains. The original voice actors in both English and Japanese also return to lend their voices to their iconic roles once again. The overall presentation and music has everything that makes this a true Dragon Ball game.
Being an upgrade for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, there are a fair few graphical upgrades over the previous gen versions. The characters still look fantastically cel-shaded, making them look like they were taken straight from the anime. The environments look better than before and even more realistic, even if some parts still look outdated.
Although as mentioned in the original review, the cel-shaded characters look out of place amongst the realistic-looking surroundings, and that’s even more apparent now with the upgraded visuals. Thankfully, it’s not something that greatly affects the overall experience, as players will be more focused on the on-screen action and stories unfolding.
The combat pretty much feels the same as before, providing those fast-paced, hard-hitting, earth-shaking battles, but those fights can still feel repetitive after a while. There are also still major camera issues when facing multiple enemies at once, and there is still a large amount of grinding required to progress through the game. Unfortunately, this upgraded version of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has not improved on most of the issues from the original game.
Even though the drawbacks are still prevalent across the main game and carry through in the DLC stories, the overall excitement of a Dragon Ball battle is still one of the game’s best features. Hearing the original voice actors in either language will also bring back a ton of nostalgia, as players relive multiple sagas throughout the Dragon Ball Z franchise. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and all its additional story arcs are a must-buy for any diehard Dragon Ball fan.
- Reliving the famous Dragon Ball Z series
- Reliving additional Dragon Ball Z popular story arcs
- Fast paced, hard-hitting and earth shaking battles
- Familiar character voices in both Japanese and English
- Cell shaded character graphics make them look like their anime counterparts
- Fights can still feel repetitive after awhile
- The large amount of grinding required to progress through the game
- Same major camera issues while facing multiple enemies
- Upgraded visuals make the environment graphics look even more out of place than before with the cell shaded characters