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Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot PlayStation 4 Game Review

Relive the entire Dragon Ball Z Story in this new Action-RPG

Reviewed by on Jan 28, 2020
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot once again takes players through the beloved anime that inspired a generation, but does it do enough to separate itself from all the games that have come before? See what Kidzworld thought of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot!



New Game, Old Tale

My opponent is quick, forcing me to dodge furiously as Ki Blasts roar past Goku and blows are furiously exchanged. The ground below is torn to shreds as my attacks miss, and my opponent zips toward me. The two warriors brace for close quarters, exchanging punches and kicks faster than you can see. I block, zip around their rear and deploy a Kamehameha, sending the huge Saiyan in front of me into the earth below, and the fight ends. These moments of action are where Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot shines brightest, much like the anime it recreates with great detail. However, the game never really lives up to the potential of an Action-RPG set in the DBZ universe because of it. The game's huge task of letting you play through the entire main story of the series, with new side quests and activities peppered in makes it easy to pick up and play if you are unfamiliar with the show, but longtime fans have most likely done this all before.

There are moments of greatness in Kakarot, though. The fighting system is always a visual treat that you can learn quickly, so you feel like a great Z Warrior right out of the gate, and the way the story meshes with the RPG gameplay means each iconic battle feels just as challenging as it should. I can't help but wonder if making an all-new story to experience this world would have been a better move for this particular game, but if you go in knowing you will be experiencing familiar territory, there is a lot here for fans and newcomers to appreciate. There are side-quests in the game, some that cover unfamiliar ground to the tried and true DBZ story that can be fun, but many don’t feature full voice acting, so they feel noticeably less compelling as a result.

Piccolo is one of Goku's earliest enemies, but becomes a trusted ally.Piccolo is one of Goku's earliest enemies, but becomes a trusted ally.

The Story of Goku

The game takes you through the entire "Dragon Ball Z" story, even starting with the original show's theme song at the beginning of the game. You don't get to experience every single episode of course, but the main story is all represented here. If you have never seen the series, you'll be able to jump in easily. There is a detailed codex in the game that lets you read up about the world, characters, and technology if you're new to DBZ, or just want a refresher. The game picks up right at the beginning of Z, but kind of expect you to know the basics of the original series, "Dragon Ball". So, if you're jumping into this world for the first time, I would recommend reading a story summary at the very least to catch you up. Once you get into the game though, following along is incredibly easy, and I felt like each event was given enough time and the story never felt rushed.

The gameplay itself, on the other hand, is a different story. Since the game has so much ground to cover, it often feels like you are being pushed along to get to the next story beat. There aren't many times when you are left to your own devices to explore, conquer side quests or just exist in the world. They do come, but the promise of letting you live in the DBZ universe feels a bit underwhelming here. There are other activities to take part in like fishing, hunting and talking to townsfolk to help break up the repetition, but at the end of the day, these are characters that live to basically eat, train, and fight and the game doesn’t shy away from that.  

Each character levels up and gets stronger as the story rolls on. Each character levels up and gets stronger as the story rolls on.

Combat and Abilities

"Dragon Ball" has always put larger than life powers and battles front and center, and the game doubles down on that. Where most DBZ games focus entirely on the combat, though, experiencing almost every bit of travel, dialogue, fishing, hunting, and exploration makes the fights hit harder when they do come. The combat system is intuitive, easy to pick up and have fun with and stays entertaining throughout unless perhaps you have played numerous "Dragon Ball" games. Goku is the star of the show, but you will also play as several iconic characters including Gohan, Piccolo, and Vegeta. Each character levels up separately and has unique attacks and abilities. Goku can harness his Kaio-ken to give him an edge against his opponents (at the cost of draining HP) and later his Super-Saiyan form. Goku becomes powerful in his own right, but some of the most fun battles are when your main character is partied up with one or more others like Krillen or Yamcha. Support characters can deploy support attacks in the thick of it to give you an edge when things look tough. Managing both your characters' special moves and strategically blasting away with your party members’ attacks gives the battles where those opportunities do show up more engaging than your typical 1 vs 1 affair.

When exploring the world, you can engage in easier, optional encounters with repetitive enemies for experience points, and just to show off your skills. The boss battles are the game’s bread and butter, and like the show, you’ll often engage the same foe multiple times before a certain storyline’s conclusion. In between fights and story moments, you get a chance to explore several large overworld areas where you can collect gems, hunt game, talk to NPCs, or challenge enemies in random encounters. Traversing these areas is often really fun, with the playable characters being able to fly or run across them at breakneck speed. Exploration isn’t the name of the game, though, and you’ll often be pulled back into a cutscene or battle before you can truly appreciate the sights.

Kakarot lets you relive so many iconic moments from the anime.Kakarot lets you relive so many iconic moments from the anime.

Community Board and Meals

A really interesting part of the game is the community system. Goku often has to lean on his friends for support, and the player gets an active role in deciding who would work together for the greatest effect. There are multiple communities to customize, like Goku’s fellow Z Fighters, and each character gets a special token assigned to them. When you link certain characters that work well together on the board, you get certain stat bonuses linked to that group of characters skills. Figuring out where to place each of Goku’s friends and allies can be a fun challenge in of itself, as you can mix and match groups to best suit your certain playstyles. And to give you an edge in battles, characters like Chi-Chi can cook stat-boosting meals to aid you in combat. Whether it be with ingredients you hunt or buy from towns sometimes going into a fight with a good meal can make all the difference.

Collect or buy ingredients to cook the perfect meal.Collect or buy ingredients to cook the perfect meal.

Final Thoughts

Once you realize what Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is actually setting out to do, it is hard not to have fun. It might not have the trappings of a great RPG, but the sometimes exhilarating combat system and the painstaking recreation of the entire DBZ story is commendable. Traversing the world can be a blast in of itself, as you fly, run and jump across the various areas Goku and friends find themselves in and the combat remains a challenging and visual treat. It is just a shame that you don’t get a bit more time to appreciate and take in the world. Had this game opted to pursue its own story and embrace its RPG roots with a bit more player freedom, we may have had a Dragon Ball game that is easier to recommend to veterans as well as newcomers, but as a package, Kakarot bundles together a whole lot of "Dragon Ball Z" to enjoy if you don’t mind treading familiar territory and watching a lot of cutscenes.

Goku can fly by himself, or with the help of the Flying Nimbus.Goku can fly by himself, or with the help of the Flying Nimbus.


  • Simple but Engaging Combat and Traversal
  • Covers the Entire DBZ Story Start to Finish
  • Gorgeous Anime Visuals at Times


  • Very Linear
  • Can be Repetitive for Longtime Fans
  • RPG Systems Don't Get Time to Shine

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Game Rating: 3

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot's Box Art.Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot's Box Art.

Available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC


Share Your Thoughts!

What do you think? Do you want to relive the Dragon Ball Z story in this new game? Who is your favorite DBZ character? Let us know below!


By: Noah Friscopp