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Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Game Poster Image
Anime adventure for fans is deep on content, light on fun.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While characters like the main protagonist, Goku, believe they're saving the world from evil, quite a bit of the gameplay focuses on fighting, which isn't very positive. In fact, in one early scene with his son, Gohan, the hero tells him how much he likes fighting and would train his son to do the same.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Goku is a young dad who wants to take care of his family, but he enjoys fighting quite a bit -- based on his comments and actions -- which might be considered negative. Also, some might not like that he goes home and within a minute asks his wife to make him lunch.

Ease of Play

This game isn't too difficult to pick up and play. There's a mandatory tutorial early on, where you must fight an enemy in a 3-D space (suspended in the air), but you're taught the controls as you go along, so there's no space to practice before you've got to use these abilities to be successful through the story.

Violence

While there's no blood or gore, there's plenty of violence. Much of the gameplay involves martial arts fighting against enemies, whether it's punches and kicks or energy blasts. Some non-playable cut-scenes have violence, too, such as someone's arm being severed (though not graphically depicted), someone impaled on a laser beam, and hunters shooting a character in the stomach.

Sex

There are several suggested references, including Master Roshi being "pervy" and a "pervert," mention of a "risqué magazine," and another character who's talked about for his questionable actions towards women. In another instance, an adult magazine is seen, and shows women with deep cleavage, but no nudity.

Language

The game has mild profanity, with words like "bastard," "ass," "damn," and "hell."

Consumerism

This is based on the Dragon Ball Z series, which also has apparel, toys, TV shows and movies, comics, and more. It offers an optional Season Pass, with additional content (levels), but costs extra to play.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is an action role-playing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. The story, which is the latest installment in the Dragon Ball Z universe, lets you explore an open world, taking on quests and side missions to power up your hero so he can take on more difficult opponents in his path. Much -- but not all -- of the gameplay focuses on martial arts combat. Players can kick, punch, and use special magic attacks to defeat enemies. In the dialogue, there are comments about "perverts" who "kidnapped girls" and references to (and images about) adult magazines, although nothing's shown. Mild profanity includes words like "bastard," "ass," and "damn!"

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 14 years old Written byGamersnews32 February 7, 2020

Dragon Ball Z back at it again!!!

Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is the newest DBZ game in the series. Violence is the most frequent factor. It's animated Fantasy violence. When getting heavily beat... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old February 2, 2020

Well, darn. Here we go again with this common NONsense.

Really, common sense media? God you guys should be called common NONSENSE media. The “is it any good?” Section is a plain joke. The game is good. THIS GAME IS G... Continue reading

What's it about?

DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT is an action-adventure hybrid, with a dose of role-playing game (RPG) elements that lets you relive the story of Goku and other Z Fighters as you vow to protect the Earth from menacing enemies. These villains include Raditz (a member of the Saiyan race, like Goku), Frieza (emperor of Universe 7), and Cell (genetically engineered by Dr. Gero), to name a few. There are several boss fighters, too, and aerial combat that tests your maneuverability skills along with your well-timed attacks to inflict as much damage as possible. But the game isn't a straight-forward brawler either, as there are quests to take on (such as collecting objects), some puzzle solving, flying through the skies or swimming underwater, fishing side quests, and more. For fans of the franchise, several dozen characters and interconnected storylines should strike a nostalgic chord, plus some of the conversations and missions may even answer some burning questions from Dragon Ball lore. In fact, the game houses a Z-Encyclopedia, which includes several unlockable items, videos, cards, and other content.

Is it any good?

If you believe the hype, you'd think this role-playing game (RPG) would be the first major blockbuster game of 2020. But it may only satisfy serious fans of the franchise -- for nostalgia's sake -- rather than deliver a compelling game experience. On one hand, Kakarot offers a lot of variety in game styles, but it doesn't excel at any one of them. Fighting is fun, especially when you learn to link together damaging moves and combo attacks while simultaneously hovering in the air and avoiding enemy fire. But despite leveling up and facing new kinds of enemies and bosses, the action grows stale after a short while. Many of the side quests, like collecting items, can also get tedious as you complete them over time. Worse, the open world isn't very open, so you'll hit invisible walls often and hear repetitive audio tied to completing your task. Some adventuring elements are fun, like racing, but others are boring (such as collecting apples). There are also several cut-scenes you have to sit through, which include painfully fake dialog with your son, spouse, and master (as you'll see at the start of the game). Also, the long load screens really start to annoy, and don't seem to have any explanation as to why they're so lengthy.

Gameplay does get more interesting when you encounter (and then play as) other fighters, and the story takes a few twists and turns. Again, there's a ton of content here, but by the time you get to the fourth section, Majin Buu Saga, you realize the game doesn't really build up to anything significant. It's just more of the same. For the most part, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot -- while pretty, long, and easy to control -- eventually comes off as a somewhat bloated collection of gameplay mechanics that doesn't really excel at any one of them. Diehard fans of the franchise may disagree, and that's ok, but if the game developers are looking to broaden the appeal of this beloved series, and amass new fans, this isn't the title to pull it off.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sex, gender, and body image. Should players be concerned that there are characters that are considered to be "perverts," that like reading adult magazines, and have questionable approaches to women? Does it bother anyone the main protagonist goes home and asks his wife to make him lunch? Is this fine or are people concerned about this being too sensitive?

  • Is the impact of the violence in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot affected by the lack of blood and gore from all of the fighting in the game? Would adding more realistic elements including blood and gore make battles more intense, or would it break an already fantasy-focused presentation where flying, energy blasts, and rapid dashes are the norm?

Game details

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