'Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot' Nintendo Switch Version Impressions

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Over a year after its release on PS4, Xbox One and PC, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot landed on the Nintendo Switch a few weeks ago. I spent some time on the handheld version and will share my impressions here. It will not be a full review as we already have an official one for the PS4 version which I would highly recommend you to take a look at for a deeper look at the game.

This is because Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is essentially the same game that was released back then; at least the base game. The Switch version also comes with the New Power Awakens set which lets you experience battles from the two recent movies Battle of Gods and Resurrection of F; those against Lord Beerus and Golden Frieza, respectively, as you harness the power of the mighty saiyans.

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Despite the expected graphical step down on Nintendo’s handheld, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot plays well on the Switch. Battles are fluid and load times aren't an issue as it was when the game originally launched. The cel shaded aesthetics also help in this aspect as they are not as graphically demanding. I am actually quite pleased with how the game looks on the Switch as it emulates the anime look and helps mimic the feeling of playing in an anime universe. Sure, you won’t get to play it in glorious 60 fps+ but the handheld maintains a rather smooth 30 fps throughout, even during heated combat sequences.

I was also pleased with the overall gameplay since it doesn’t only focus on combat, as many DBZ games do, but also focuses on the plot and RPG elements. However, this comes at a detriment to the combat which can feel a bit basic and repetitive over time. The story, while it has been told and re-told across several media already, doesn’t get old personally but that’s likely due to the nostalgia component. The latter was also triggered by having the original voice actors reprising their roles both in English and Japanese; although the lip sync is noticeably off in English.

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Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot further expands on the story by adding playable slices of life segments as well as gets you to control other characters as you progress. This does not mean that the story beat changes but rather fleshes out characters and their background in ways that other DBZ games haven’t explored. In fact, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot remains faithful to the iconic scenes of the manga/anime and being an active part of those scenes, on the go with the Switch, is literally a dream come true for 3 year-old me.

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While the Nintendo Switch version isn’t the best way to play Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, as might have been expected of a game ported from home consoles, it finally brings Goku’s adventures on the go and is a game I believe many fans of the series have been waiting for. And if the Switch is your only way to access it, then it’s well worth trying it out.

 

raxadian

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Xenoverse 2 is a much better port with only the PC version being considered better and that mostly due to being able to mod it.
 
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codezer0

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Too bad any interest I had in the franchise, died with Team Four Star. The only reason I even picked up Xenoverse 1 at all, was because it was confirmed they lent their voice work into the game. Without the satire, to me, Dragon ball/z/gt/super, is just indefensibly boring and frustrating.
 

Glyptofane

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I played the PS4 version and wanted to like the game more than I did. It's still good for fans, but felt more like one of the fighting games with some RPG-like filler stringing it together. I had a better time with Attack of the Saiyans and more recently Dragon Ball Fusions.
 

Randy Steele

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I finally played through the entire game a few months back on my GPD Win 2 and loved it. I mainly wanted to play on the Win 2 so I could play it on a handheld and didn't expect it to ever come to switch at the time and would switch over to my gaming laptop when I wanted to play with better graphics/ framerate. Well I'm glad people only playing on the switch can finally play this gem.
 

pustal

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It’s 30, capped, and jittery, even on PS5.
PS5 has been such a let down for me. It promised to be the 4k 60fps console, yet it already struggles. Been playing Miles Morales and you either play it 30fps capped with all the VFX including ray tracing, or 60fps capped and you have to either disable VFX or enable Ray Tracing alone and have it dinamically adjust resolution. And this is a PlayStation exclusive. That "8k" in the box has to be a joke.

I'm sure they'll optimize games better but I'm starting to think we'll earlier see a PS5 Pro than we saw a PS4 Pro.
 
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Moon164

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I really love these Nintendo Switch ports, I've always enjoyed seeing how developers need to adapt certain aspects of the game to make it work on a handheld, from Contra 3 on the Game Boy to Super Monkey Ball JR and Smashing Drive on the GBA. In my opinion as much as the game suffers with graphic downgrades it is much more impressive than these ''Cloud Edition'' on Switch ( Even more because some don't even make sense like KH 1.5 + 2.5 via cloud on Switch ), at least with the native ports I can actually play the games and without input lag.
Why must everything be ported to the switch . . . its such an overrated console, i just don't get why ppl are losing their mind over it lol
It's a great option to be able to play certain games lying in bed with the Switch in the palm of your hand, or away from home or on a trip, the Switch is the only console that currently offers this (at least until the release of the Steam Deck)

I play more on PS4 (most of the time I prefer to get a certain game on PS4 because of the achievement system option, so the replay factor is bigger for me) but I don't have that much time to sit on the couch, connect the TV and playing something on the PS4 as before, the Switch ends up helping a lot in these cases.
 

Erfg1

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I thought it was pretty good. But the multiple button layout images, and how slow some of the story transitions are suck.
 
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