A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While characters like the main protagonist, Goku, believe they're saving the world from evil, quite a bit of gameplay focuses on fighting.
Positive Role Models
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. You play as other characters later on in the game, who are also male warriors.
You play mostly as Goku, "the world's greatest warrior," who is an Asian male. There isn't an option to play as someone else. You interact with mostly Asian characters, male and female, but the women don't play a dominant role. In fact, Goku goes home early in the game and within a minute asks his wife to make him lunch, and some players (and/or parents) may not like the submissive tone.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Ease of Play
This isn't too difficult to pick up and play. There's a mandatory tutorial early on, where you must fight an enemy in a 3D space (suspended in air), but you're taught 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 & Scariness
While there's no blood or gore, there's violence. Much of the gameplay involves martial arts fighting against enemies, whether it's punches and kicks, or energy blasts. Some of the non-playable cut-scene sequences 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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are several suggested references, including Master Roshi being "pervy" and a "pervert," mention of a "risqué magazine," another character that gets "himself into trouble with women...expelled for stealing his teacher's underwear...he originally used his power to kidnap young women he liked." In another instance, an adult magazine is seen and shows women with deep cleavage, but no nudity.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
The game has mild to moderate profanity, with words like "bastard," "ass," "damn," and "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens Set is an action role-playing game exclusively for Nintendo Switch. It's based on 2020's Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, and includes all of the previously released downloadable content for the game into one package. 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!"
Is It Any Good?
While the extra content expands on the gameplay of 2020's game, the issues that remain in this first game are still here, making this a "jack of all trades, and master of none" kind of title. If you never played the original, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens Set offers a lot of variety in game styles wrapped into one title. 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 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 cutscenes you have to sit through, which include painfully fake dialogue with your son, spouse, and master. 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. For the most part, while the game's pretty, long, and easy to control, it eventually comes off as a somewhat bloated collection of gameplay mechanics that doesn't really excel at any one of them. One exception, perhaps, is the addition of Horde Battles, where you have a minimum of 100 soldiers to fight in battle, which makes you feel ridiculously strong and invincible, but you'll need to really master those combos to keep it going until the end. Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Kararot + A New Power Awakens Set is great for Switch owners to play for the first time, but don't expect to remain super engaged for more than a couple of hours.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.