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

A Japanese company tried doing work meetings in Animal Crossing

WFH just got better

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Image source: Livedoor

Today, New York City banned the use of Zoom in schools and universities. In the past few weeks, the city trained its teachers and employees in using the platform to maintain some sort of semblance amidst the pandemic. However, after numerous reports about Zoom’s security, the world is quickly changing its perspective on easily accessible teleconferencing software.

Naturally, with Zoom’s quick exit as the world’s most reliable platform, everyone is looking for an alternative. In Japan, a company tried a meeting in the cutest possible place today, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Over the weeks since its debut, Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm. In short order, the adorable simulation game invited friends to virtual desert island paradises from all over the world. It replaced a sense of community lost in today’s pandemic.

Reported by Livedoor, a Japanese publication, the Japanese company tried the game as a platform to work from home. According to the report, an employee invited its editorial staff to a single desert island. Besides meeting, the staff even went on a fishing trip together.

Image source: Livedoor

Though fun, the experiment was less than stellar. After concluding the meeting, the writer listed down the few but critical disadvantages at working in Animal Crossing’s island paradises.

For example, the game can’t facilitate file transfers or private person-to-person chats. Also, usernames are almost impossible to recognize. Adding contacts on the island involves alphanumeric codes assigned to each Nintendo Switch user. And, of course, it’s hard to focus on actual work with island chores always lurking in the background.

As an adorable game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons fails as a productivity pusher. That said, the game is one of the most relaxing gaming experiences on this side of the pandemic era.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo announces Switch ports for Borderlands, Bioshock, and more

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Final Fantasy VII Remake final trailer

Get hyped!

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From the time it made a huge splash in E3 2015, we’ve been glued and have been waiting anxiously for this game to come out. And now, it’s finally upon us. The Final Fantasy VII Remake is coming and this is the final trailer with just days away from the April 10, 2020 release.

If you pre-ordered the game, you already pre-load it now so you can play right away on April 10. Square Enix also shipped the game early to some areas earlier than scheduled considering the Coronavirus situation that has everyone on lockdown.

With the game coming, it’s highly likely PlayStation gamers will now have more incentive to stay home.

Watch the final trailer.

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Gaming

Lenovo unveils new gaming laptops – Legion 7i , Legion 5i

A more powerful successor in the Legion lineup

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Lenovo does not want to be denied with its own gaming technology. The company is ready to take the next big step in providing more powerful gaming devices to everyone. And instead of just sticking with the old formula, they decided to improve everything — including the names of the two new Legion laptops.

Meet the Lenovo Legion 7i, a gaming laptop with a ridiculous amount of gaming hardware to boot. The device comes with the latest Intel Core H processors and up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q GPU, fit for your hardcore gaming needs. With all that power, you expect a seamless gaming experience — especially for most AAA games in the market. Also, it comes in a relatively similar form factor as previous Legion laptops.

Meanwhile, the Lenovo Legion 5i provides just as much power even with less powerful hardware. Unlike its sibling, this device comes with an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU, which is also capable of providing impressive gaming performance.

Both laptops support NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology for smoother details during gameplay, and NVIDIA Advanced Optimus for battery efficiency. Through these technologies, these devices hope to be powerful and long-lasting for any type of gamer out there.

The Lenovo Legion 7i, along with the Lenovo Legion Y740 will start at US$ 1,199, with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 to start. Meanwhile, the Lenovo Legion 5i and Legion Y540 will start at US$ 999 with the NVIDIA RTX 2060. Availability of these devices will vary per region.

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