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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis
Can’t buy a PlayStation 5? You’re not alone
In 30 minutes from the moment I’m typing this sentence, Walmart, one of the few American retailers selling the PlayStation 5 online, will restock its console shelves with an undetermined number of units. If the restocking goes exactly as it has in the past few weeks, the retailer’s website will crash within the first few minutes. When it goes back up again, everything will have disappeared from the shelves.
If you’re one of the millions of gamers looking to bag a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X for the holidays, such an experience is familiar to you. Both Sony and Microsoft have fumbled their respective launches, leaving most of the hopeful without a console.
After weeks of the same, attempting to buy the new consoles and leaving empty-handed has turned into a shared global experience. Many are wondering when (or if) they are getting the device. Unfortunately, things aren’t as simple as they once were.
Day zero: zero stock
On November 10, the Xbox Series X and S dropped online for the first time. Though Microsoft’s console didn’t share in the same hype as its Sony counterpart, the new Xbox sold out within minutes. Faced with an even larger demand for the PlayStation 5, everyone portended much of the same for Sony’s console. Unsurprisingly, it was.
Days later, on November 12, the PlayStation finally launched. As expected, in the brief moment that “Buy Now” buttons opened, every retailing site either crashed or stalled. Most stores held a one-time drop. Meanwhile, Walmart did drops throughout the day. And, expectedly, every drop, one-time or gradual, sold out.
Only a handful received consoles on launch day: lucky pre-order purchases, even luckier same-day buyers, or, more likely, bots.
Rise of the machines
Most of the outcry revolves around despised bots refreshing every site and buying every stock before real people can do so. The bot’s owners, all of them scalpers, resell their supply at dramatic premiums. Hours after the initial launch, eBay had auctions going up to US$ 2,000. At the time of this writing, most entries hover around US$ 1,700. (For reference, the PlayStation 5 retails for only US$ 499.)
Neither Sony nor any authorized retailer explicitly commented on the bot takeover. Some (eventually) installed captcha measures to hopefully weed out bots from humans. It did little to stave to onslaught. Scalpers (or worse, scalper networks) thrived under the online-only purchasing system.
Should we, then, blame bots for the year’s most botched launch?
Bots, logistics, or supply?
Currently in our sights, bots and scalpers are easy targets. The systematic supply grab owes a lot of its shortages on the automated schemes of bots. Some scalper networks have even defended their actions. Supposedly, creating a scalping ecosystem creates jobs for scalpers who may have lost their jobs from recent furloughs.
However, a launch is hardly only a matter of consumers. There’s supply and demand, too. Didn’t Sony and Microsoft foresee the demand months ago?
Drumming up intense hype throughout the past few months, both companies naturally predicted a surge. It still wasn’t enough.
Sony, through the PlayStation’s official Twitter account, confirmed “unprecedented” demand for the PlayStation 5 series. It was still a surprise. Echoing the same, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan told a Russian outlet that “absolutely everything is sold.” Unfortunately for gamers, current predictions still estimate shortages lasting until spring next year.
Sony and Microsoft are hard-pressed to make more devices as soon as possible. However, with current COVID-19 restrictions, manufacturing facilities can’t work at full capacity. And it’s not just on the manufacturing side.
Recently, a logistics source confirmed that a lot of resources are still devoted to shipping COVID-19 aid, including PPEs and masks. With a potential vaccine on the horizon, supply transportation will certainly feel the crunch, leaving little room for less essential products like gaming consoles.
So, who’s to blame?
More than bots, scalpers, manufacturers, or logistics companies, the ongoing PlayStation 5 crisis pulls the curtain from an inherently broken system from a pre-COVID-19 era. The current global economy was, and is, ill-prepared for a global emergency.
Companies, manufacturers, and logistics did not anticipate an overwhelming demand for emergency products. Even now, the world is still aching for aid: from simple masks to scarce ventilators. We’re seeing the flaws only now because the new consoles are home appliances. Other launches this year weren’t as in-demand as the PlayStation 5. For example, with everyone staying indoors, not a lot of people are exactly lining up for a new iPhone 12. (Sorry, Apple.)
On the other hand, a lot of people truly are jobless from a crumbling economy. Albeit a lackluster excuse, scalper networks do have a point that some people are reduced to less-than-stellar ways of making money amid the pandemic. (Not to defend scalping, though. It’s still a shady business.)
Throughout this entire shortage, one thing is clear: The world, as we know it, cannot adequately save itself from a global emergency. The fault inevitably rests on both individuals and systems who persistently refuse to accept the realities of the pandemic: from anti-maskers who put more people at risk to companies who haven’t prepared for the surge to governments who can’t provide aid for its citizenry.
Should you still get a PlayStation 5?
If you’re still inclined, Sony promises more stock before the end of the year. Anyone can still try their luck for a fresh device from the factory. More realistically, you can wait a few months without the new console; by then, Sony should have ironed out a lot of kinks and bugs.
No one is judging you if you do. No one is judging you if you don’t. But if you’re worried about the fear of missing out, just remember that not a lot of people have the PlayStation 5 yet, as much as we all would want one.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, remember the new stock I mentioned 30 minutes ago? Sold out in less than ten seconds. Go figure.
SEE ALSO: Sony PlayStation 5 Unboxing
Ubisoft reveals animated trailer for Immortals Fenyx Rising
Discover Immortals Fenyx Rising Animated Trailer that shapes the myth of Fenyx
You might not be too hyped for this game but this trailer might change your mind. Immortals Fenyx Rising (formerly known as Gods & Monsters) is a fun new take on Greek Mythology. You play the role of Fenyx — a new winged demigod who’s on a quest to save the Greek gods and their home from a dark curse.
This short animation film created by CLM BBDO shows Fenyx battling epic creatures. He tussles against the Minotaur, the Cyclop and the Griffin while How You Like Me Now by The Heavy insolently plays in the background.
Using the Sword of Achilles, Axe of Atalanta, and Bow of Odysseus, Fenyx defeats the monsters one after the other. Each battle she wins dents the rock and, as huge boulders detach from the summit, she ends up shaping the mountain… and her myth!
Immortals Fenyx Rising takes grand mythological adventure to new heights. Only by mastering the legendary powers of the gods, overcoming heroic trials and confronting powerful mythological beasts, will Fenyx be able to take on Typhon, the deadliest Titan in Greek mythology.
It will be available on December 3, 2020 on the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One family of devices (including the Xbox One X), Nintendo Switc, Epic Games and Ubisoft Connect. The game will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Seagate launches The Last of Us II PS4 hard drive
With 2TB of storage, slim design, and compatibility with most PS4 systems
Unlike any regular hard drive, this one comes with a laser-etched design featuring one of the character’s distinct tattoos. The limited-edition HDD also has 2TB of storage for gamers looking to expand their gaming collection. Sony says this drive can store more than 50 games with the required storage of about 40GB.
However, it is worth noting that the game itself doesn’t come preinstalled on the hard drive. Players still need to download the game separately, after which they can store it on the drive to start playing.
The drive is also plug-and-play compliant, so gamers can take the drive anywhere. It connects via USB-A 3.0 for compatibility with other PS4 systems. It also has a slim and pocketable design for ultimate portability.
Availability in the Philippines
The Last of Us II limited-edition hard drive is now available in the Philippines for PhP 5,290 through gaming retailers Game One Tech, Datablitz, and Gameline.
Those who will purchase the hard drive also stand a chance to win exclusive prizes and freebies. Seagate will give away a PlayStation 5, a 43-inch smart HD TV, headphones, and PlayStation classic t-shirts to raffle draw winners on December 18, 2020.
Every purchase of 2TB Seagate Game Drive grants 5 raffle entries while a purchase of 4TB Seagate Game Drive grants 10 raffle entries. Finally, a purchase of The Last of Us II limited edition drive grants 15 raffle entries. Buyers have until December 16 to submit their raffle entries. Winners will be announced through Seagate’s official Facebook page and via email.
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