Thoughts On Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot DLC History Of Trunks Adaptation

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was released for Nintendo Switch with a three-part DLC. This semi-open world main game puts you in the shoes of Goku, Gohan, and the rest of the Z Warriors for a retelling of the four main Dragon Ball Z sagas: the Saiyan Saga, the Frieza Saga, the Cell Saga, and the Buu Saga. You can click each of those links to see reviews of how this game by Bandai Namco adapts Akira Toriyama's iconic story. Now that we have covered the Saiyan Saga, the Frieza Saga, the Cell Saga, and the Buu Saga, we have ventured into the three-part A New Power Awakens set which expands to cover Battle of the Gods and Resurrection 'F' along with a new Trunks-themed story. Now, let's talk about the final and most substantial part of the DLC: Trunks – The Warrior of Hope.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai

First, I'll put this out right here… this is going to have to be a two-part review. This is the first section of the DLC that approaches content beyond the main Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot story with the attention to detail and story that the full sagas got. There are also clearly two distinct parts to this Trunks DLC. The first part directly adapts the special History of Trunks while the second goes beyond Trunks' return to the future and sees him take on Babidi to prevent the rise of Majin Buu in the future. Today, we'll focus on the adaptation of History of Trunks.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai

Unlike the first two parts of the DLC, this one feels like an entirely new game. We meet Trunks before he came to the future, so you'll essentially be fighting at the level you were earlier in Kakarot. This may be frustrating at first and I did find myself losing patience until the storyline completely brought me in. There is one aspect of the game where there are these bots in the city scanning for movement which I found irritating at first, but it was a thankfully small and ultimately easily avoidable aspect of the game.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai

Like the main Kakarot game did with the core sagas, Trunks – The Warrior of Hope not only turns the narrative of its source material into a game but actively adds to it. We play as both Trunks and, to my surprise, a newly playable character with Future Gohan. The pacing is terrific, allowing the player as Trunks to train with and get to know Gohan more than the time constraints of the film allowed. We battle this world's wicked versions of Android 17 and Android 18 multiple times which are brutal and realistic clashes that feel right with the player's power levels.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai

Now, before you go on… know that this is a review of the way the game adapts Dragon Ball Z, and the source material is decades old, so be prepared for spoilers. The way the DLC handles the death of Future Gohan is stunningly creative. I mentioned before in my Kakarot coverage how the battles are anime-accurate, allowing players to blip in and out of sight, engage in beam struggles, and all that. The battles feel like you have the power of the gods. Well, Gohan's final battle? You can barely move. The controls are sluggish, the ability to power up has been replaced with a depressing, inconsequential burst of ki that flickers out. The blows feel harsh. I found myself emotionally moved as I took my last stand as Gohan here, far more so than even in the film which is effective itself. To put it lightly, Dragon Ball Z fans will really feel this one.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot screenshot. Credit: Bandai

The story continues with Trunks going to the Future, and Bandai Namco picks the exact right moments to be playable because they likely know at this point… we really just want revenge. We get to play as Trunks as he's training with Vegeta in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber in a scene from Trunks' memory, which was a great touch. Then, the battle sees Trunks take on the Androids and Imperfect Cell, which makes it not only an adaptation of History of Trunks but also the end of the Cell Saga, making for a perfectly satisfying ending.

I was thrilled to see, though, that it wasn't the ending. The final (for now?) Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot DLC continues with side stories and a foray into the world of Babidi. We'll talk about that next time!

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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