Gaming

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot review: Super fan service

A kamehameha that deals damage, but doesn’t finish the fight

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Growing up, I have always wanted to be a Super Saiyan. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, through a video game, has afforded me that experience.

In case it’s not clear from that first sentence, I am absolutely a Dragon Ball fan. That’s precisely why there’s plenty about this game that appealed to me. However, if you’re only vaguely familiar with the generation-defining anime then this might not be for you.

Goku to the rescue

The staple role-playing game (RPG) elements are present but something about this game makes it feel like it’s not a full-pledged RPG. Regardless, it’s still a fun game with a heavy dose of fan service.

Live like a Saiyan

Flying aimlessly as Son Gohan was an extremely satisfying experience for me. Yes, Gohan. He’s my favorite character. He’s also the son of the titular character Son Goku who’s Saiyan name is Kakarot.

The less spectacular parts of the game — which include a bit of free roaming, collecting orbs, and substories that were mainly fetch quests or quick battles — would not have been enjoyable if this hadn’t been about Dragon Ball.

The flying doesn’t feel fluid. But it made up for it with the sheer fact that I got to fly around as the heroes from my childhood. I was so giddy to find out little details like how far is the Sons’ house to Orange City where Gohan went to school, as well as where the Kame House is in relation to Capsule Corp and West City were.

The infamous car-filler episode is in this game

Going around the world of Dragon Ball and interacting with its side characters were such a fun experience for me. The game itself is already one huge nostalgia-trip, but as you free roam, you’ll also find orbs that tell quick stories from episodes of the original Dragon Ball series. This piles on the nostalgia even more.

Flashy but simple combat

Speaking of free roaming, scattered all around the world of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (DBZ:K) are the Z orbs. These orbs come in different colors and all you’ll spend them on unlocking your characters’ skill tree.

The skills are divided in attacks, know-hows, and transformations. Some skills will be unlocked as you progress in the story, while others need to be learned by collecting D Medals that you then spend on training grounds to learn new skills.

The DBZ: K skill tree

On combat itself, if you’ve played any game from the Naruto Ultimate Series, then the controls should be familiar. There’s a combination of melee and ki attacks, ki recharge, and dodging (which in Dragon Ball standards is really cool AF).

Kamehameha!

Press L1 and you’ll gain access to your Super Attacks — also a combination of melee and ki attacks. You can customize this to fit your style. Press R1 and you’ll see the Super support attacks. These are only available when you have one or two more characters in your party.

There are enough variations in the boss and story fights to keep combat interesting. The same isn’t true for the random battle encounters. Thankfully, you don’t really need to do many of those because the EXP is almost inconsequential in comparison to the ones you get on the main story and the side quests.

Vegeta getting the shock of his life after being bested by Android 18

Side quests are fun fillers 

The side quests, when broken down to its basic structure, is nothing more than fetch quests. But it was still fun because you get to meet all the other side characters both from Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. 

It’s also important that you jump into the side quests as soon as they appear. Each one provides a significant amount of EXP. It’s true that just going through the story itself will net you enough EXP to finish the game. But having a few extra is never a bad thing and helps going through enemies a lot easier.

Some side quests will ask you to go fishing — a callback to the first Dragon Ball episode

The side stories will also provide you with the characters’ Soul Emblems. These emblems fit in different community boards. Each community board provides stat boosts for everything you do in the game. The Z Warrior community will raise your support characters’ abilities, the Cooking community increases the stat boosts from eating, the Training community provides combat boosts, etc.

There are also portions of the game where you get to collect the Dragon Balls and make wishes that range from bringing back old foes to life so you can fight them again for EXP boosts, to wishing for more Zeni (money in this game), Z orbs, and rare items.

Dragon Balls collected. Time to make a wish!

Dramatic recreation of key Dragon Ball Z moments

Seeing the iconic moments of the series recreated in DBZ:K was such a treat. It reignited whatever emotional connection I had with the series. That’s especially true since a lot of these moments I saw when I was still just a stupid kid screaming my lungs out trying to turn Super Saiyan.

Goku turns Super Saiyan for the first time

I was primetime viewing for us back then and nearly everyone I knew watched the series. I still remember how our Taekwondo instructor told us to not worry about missing a particular episode because Gohan isn’t turning Super Saiyan yet. I also remember how a friend was disgusted with how Frieza skewered Krillin. And then there’s how my basketball buddies and I crashed a friends’ place just to catch the latest episode after we’re done playing.

A memorable and meme-staple scene featuring Yamcha

So many memories recreated wonderfully with some additional details. There are even a few easter eggs that plenty of hard core fans will spot. For instance, there’s a quick part that has something to do with Launch and you get this scene.

The game is aware of Akira Toriyama’s memory gap

Launch is a character that was introduced in the original series but was noticeably missing in DBZ. When asked later on why she was barely present, Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama said he simply forgot about her. It’s little details like these that I’m sure hardcore fans will appreciate.

Wish granted for DBZ fans 

There’s no denying it, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the ultimate fan service video game. As an RPG, it’s… alright. There is nothing here that’s ground-breaking and some aspects of the game need improvement.

Standoff. Goku faces Vegeta for the first time

Regardless, it still makes for a very enjoyable experience for DBZ fans — which I suspect is a massive number of people given how Bandai Namco is able to come out with a new game almost every year.

Epic rivalry

If you’re curious about Dragon Ball and are only vaguely familiar with it, then this might not be for you. But for hardcore fans who can’t get enough of this cultural phenomenon, this game is like getting hit with a Kamehameha of fan service.

Gaming

Steam announces when next sales are

Autumn, Winter, Spring

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Christmas is right around the corner. If you want to get a head start on buying something for yourself, it’s important to know when the biggest sales are. Now, gamers have a date on when they can bust out their wallets. Valve has officially announced when the autumn, winter, and spring Steam sales are happening.

The next sale — the traditional Autumn Sale — will happen between November 22 through 29. It’s quite a big gap for a head start, but it should give gamers a healthy library to play when the Christmas vacation starts.

On the other hand, if rush shopping is more you, the Winter Sale will happen between December 22 through January 5. It’s a Christmas treat.

If you’re familiar with Steam’s usual calendar of sales, you might not have heard of a Spring Sale before. Traditionally, the platform holds the Lunar New Year Sale in lieu of a seasonal theme. This time, Steam is keeping things consistent. The newly dubbed Spring Sale will happen between March 16 through 23. It’s also a later date than the previous Lunar New Year Sale.

Steam sales are usually a treat for gamers who play on a PC. Though the platform frowns on gigantic 95 percent off discounts now, platform-wide sales events can still house delectable bargains. Now, whether or not you’ll have time to play all of them is another story altogether.

SEE ALSO: Steam: No more 95% off sales

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Entertainment

Genshin Concert 2022 set on October 2

Celebrating 2 years of adventure

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Genshin Concert

HoYoverse has announced that the Genshin Concert 2022: Melodies of an Endless Journey event will officially commence on October 2, 2022, celebrating two years of Genshin Impact adventure.

Music producer Shiro Sagisu has been invited to be the music director of the global online concert that will last for about 75 minutes.

Known arranging the Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale soundtrack, Sagisu will be joined by the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra on top of other talented musicians around the world.

The trailer for the upcoming concert is now live, and may be watched below:

Sagisu and his team will recreate beloved Genshin Impact soundtracks for the concert, taking fans on a journey as they reminisce their adventures in the world of Teyvat.

It was announced recently that Genshin Impact Version 3.1 will release on September 28, 2022, so the concert is a fitting incentive for fans as the open-world adventure RPG enters its third year.

The patch update includes Cyno and Nilou’s release, the Desert area, new weapons, and anniversary events.

 

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Gaming

PS5 FIFA 23 bundle to be available in October

A package for football enthusiasts

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PS5 FIFA 23

Rejoice, football fans and gamers! A PlayStation 5 EA SPORTS FIFA 23 bundle will be available in the Philippines in October 2022 at PhP 33,890.

The bundle will include:

  • PlayStation 5 console
  • DualSense wireless controller
  • PS5 software EA SPORTS FIFA 23 software disc
  • Pre-installed game, ASTRO’s Playroom
  • Other package inclusions (HDMI and USB cables, power cord, printed materials)

FIFA 23: What’s new

The latest version of the world-famous football video game features HyperMotion2 Technology, providing twice as much real-world motion capture to create a more realistic football animation in every match.

For the first time ever, Women’s Club Football will also be played. The Barclays FA Women’s Super league and Division 1 Arkema both available.

Both the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 have also come to FIFA 23 as post launch updates at no additional cost, which means one can play no less than the 2022 AFF Women’s Champions, the Filipinas.

Following cross-play tests for Online Friendlies and Online Season tests in FIFA 22, cross-play has now been expanded to accommodate more game modes for FIFA 23.

Ted Lasso is coming

AFC Richmond, the fictional English association club football team from the Emmy Award-winning TV show Ted Lasso has also been added to the roster of over 700 teams, bringing Ted Lasso and team stars like Jamie Tartt, Dani Rojas, Sam Obisanya, Roy Kent, and Isaac McAdoo to the game.

They will play at the Nelson Road home stadium, and FIFA 23 has made the squad playable across Career Mode, Kick-Off, Online Friendlies, and Online Seasons.

Lasso may even be a playable team manager in Career Mode. Players may also swap AFC Richmond into the Premier League or any other playable league under the mode.

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