Review – Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS5)

How fitting that I’m reviewing a brand new version of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot exactly three years after I initially reviewed it on the Xbox One. Back then, I had immense hopes for what was supposed to be the ultimate action RPG, for everyone who grew up a fan of the anime (basically half of everyone born between 1991 and 1995). It didn’t exactly disappoint me, as I did have my fair share of fun with it, but it had problems. Some of them were due to its overall design, but a good chunk of them were a consequence of it just not running as well as it should on Microsoft’s machine of the time.

Kakarot PS5 Kamehameha

It feels great to be able to shove kamehamehas left and right, without a mere framerate hiccup.

This PlayStation 5 port of Kakarot is not exactly a game-changer. The core gameplay loop remains the same, and because of that, so do its design problems. The game still features a ton of filler (fitting, considering it’s Dragon Ball Z we’re talking about), its control scheme is still a bit weird, and the soundtrack is repetitive, although we’re still treated to “Cha La Head Cha La” before the title screen shows up. If you haven’t liked Kakarot when it first came out, I don’t exactly think this version will change your mind. Thankfully, I did like it back then. It had issues, though, and I wanted for Bandai Namco and CyberConnect2 to, at the very least, get rid of them with this brand new port. Well, they did, for the most part.

Kakarot PS5 Gohan

He’ll grow up and become a disappointment to all fans.

I would have loved for a new control scheme, but I’m fine with that omission. It’s not a deal-breaker. The biggest change, aside from the gauntlet of paid content being offered on the side, is the improvements to the visuals and performance. Well, the visual enhancements are minute, given how the game, which already looked really good back in 2019 is cel-shaded. It’s mostly just improvements to its lighting effects, which are obviously very welcome. I could also notice better water effects. Just compare the picture below with the same still on the Xbox One version. The performance enhancements, on the other hand, those are way more noticeable.

I first played Kakarot on an Xbox One, and let’s just say that, by 2020, that console was clearly punching well above its weight. It just couldn’t provide a steady framerate, at all. At times, it was as unstable as trying to play the janky, but enjoyable, port of Xenoverse 2 on the Nintendo Switch. This is the main improvement in this PS5 port. By toggling the performance mode option (don’t worry, the game still looks great in this setting), you get 60 frames per second. Don’t matter the amount of Saibamen or Ginyu Force goons surrounding you, the fights are fast and fluid as they should be.

Kakarot PS5 Fishing

Prettier, but still 100% ridiculous.

The improved framerate alone makes this next-gen version of Kakarot the ideal way to play the game, but considering the original build came out three years ago, you may have already played it to death. It’s still getting DLC, sure, but it’s the same old Kakarot. You need to either love it to death or have never played it before to fully enjoy this brand new version. It’s still a repetitive game full of padding and pointless filler, sure, but it’s also a phenomenal celebration of the anime, and pretty good action RPG in its own right.


Graphics: 8.5

Even though it looks like the last-gen version, the slightly improved lighting effects and vastly improved framerate make it stand out, without a doubt.

Gameplay: 8.0

My biggest gripe with the gameplay in Kakarot was the uneven framerate. Not a problem anymore. We’re getting a solid 60 all the way, baby.

Sound: 7.5

Great voice acting, not-so-great music. It’s just like the original version of Kakarot. I wasn’t expecting too much of a difference.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Kakarot is still a repetitive game full of padding, but the improved framerate, extra content and slightly improved visuals make this the ideal version to tackle, if you haven’t already.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was provided by the publisher.