Review | Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot – A New Power Awakens Part 2
Now that’s more like it. After a fairly disappointing first part, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’s DLC is starting to kick it into high gear. With what was essentially a training montage, A New Power Awakens Part 1 merely offered one big fight with Beerus. Sadly, in the context of the main game, it wasn’t nearly as eventful as the film it took inspiration from. It seems that CyberConnect2 learned from this and took the time to make A New Power Awakens Part 2 something much more special for fans. Of course, this means the resurrection of Frieza and his quest for revenge against Goku. This also means the jump to Super Saiyan Blue, giving us even more power to work with.
Like the previous DLC, A New Power Awakens Part 2 takes inspiration from another Dragon Ball Z film. This time, it’s Resurrection F, and unlike the first DLC, this one is much truer to the source material. Of course, there’s a little retconning here and there, but it still manages to work itself out. After Frieza and his army are revived by the Dragon Balls, he seeks to train to take out his nemesis Goku. Never having trained a day in his life, Frieza unleashes untapped potential, allowing him to reach a new form: Golden Frieza. Of course, that doesn’t mean Goku and Vegeta are slacking off. Still training on Beerus’ planet, the two mighty Saiyans also achieve a new transformation. They also get some new duds for the occasion.
At first, this DLC will feel similar to the previous one. Training with Whis unlocks higher forms for a challenging fight at the end. You’ll also be have a higher level cap, now at 300. Once the story moves to Earth though, it becomes clearer that this isn’t the case. Hopefully, you haven’t been ignoring your other Z fighters, because now the Earth needs them more than ever. With the revival of Frieza also comes the invasion of his army, scattering across the Earth to take on challengers. Seeing the threat ahead, Piccolo and Gohan attempt to defend their planet. By forming two teams, they attempt to limit the danger by taking on some of Frieza’s strongest henchmen. This includes the Ginyu Force, Zarbon, and Dodoria, all of whom come back stronger than ever.
This comes to one of the new elements of A New Power Awakens Part 2. We’re quickly introduced to Horde Battles, where players will have a minimum of 100 soldiers to fight in battle. These fights are actually a nice change of pace and make you feel like a badass while fighting. As you rack up your combos, you’ll take out more enemies and soon reach victory. Of course, it helps to use Z Combos with your party, as this will make short work of dozens of foes at once. The higher your combo count is when you activate it, the more enemies will perish. While the majority of these soldiers are weaklings, there are occasional stronger foes to fight. Perhaps the best part of this addition is the fact we’re not just focused on Goku and Vegeta.
While Earth’s mightiest warriors hold their own, they are no match for Frieza’s newfound strength. This means it’s up to Goku and Vegeta to return home and save their planet. With their own new transformations, of course, comes new skills. The skill tree is updated to reflect new “Ultimate” abilities, as well as other powerful attacks. If you haven’t been collecting Z Orbs, now might be a good time to start. There’s also a new passive ability to keep your energy surge active for a longer time. This is an incredibly useful ability and makes for some incredibly intense fights.
Depending on your level, this initial Frieza fight could be a cakewalk or a challenge. For me, it wasn’t that much harder than fighting Beerus. Of course, that isn’t to say fighting Frieza doesn’t get harder. While you’ll have new abilities under your belt, so will Frieza, so you won’t want to underestimate him. After Goku and Vegeta take turns to battle the terrible tyrant, it’s really the main event that gets all the spectacle. Of course, this comes down to the final showdown with Goku. The battle is fairly similar to the one in the series, minus a certain ray gun. Even so, this is still a flashy looking fight for the ages, brilliantly animated by the CyberConnect2 team.
Moving away from the fight, once you defeat Frieza, you’ll unlock some new substories. This is one of the other improvements to this DLC, as these stories offer a lot more depth. You’ll have one scavenger hunt to work with, as well as two battle focused substories. Work your way up and you’ll eventually unlock rematches with Frieza. If you fight him a couple times, you’ll even be able to take him on at level 300 in an ultimate showdown. Of course, Frieza doesn’t get all the fun, as Beerus also has a rematch option at level 300. If you’re looking to truly test your skills, these fights will definitely deliver. Unfortunately, there’s no new Soul Emblems to collect, but it doesn’t detract from the overall content.
The voice cast really brings their A-game here, despite being recorded using their own home equipment. Sean Schemmel continues to deliver as Goku, bringing both ferocity and carefree purity to the role. Christopher Sabat helps to carry the team as both Vegeta and Piccolo, giving an especially phenomenal performance as the Saiyan prince. Daman Mills also returns to voice Frieza, as the tyrant starts to show his more vulnerable side. Overall, it’s a great presentation from all the actors involved, and even more impressive given the circumstances.
While it’s not officially part of A New Power Awakens Part 2, we feel it’s necessary to mention the new Dragon Ball Card Warriors mode. This card game offers online multiplayer and even daily missions similar to mobile titles. While the card game is fun enough, it seems to suffer from slow load times in the menus. Even playing it off a PlayStation 5 SSD doesn’t help much. It’s a nice distraction and despite the slow load times, the game is still fun to play.
With a stronger emphasis on story and more to do, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’s A New Power Awakens Part 2 is a huge improvement. Horde battles bring something new to the table and change the pace of battles in a unique but fun way. Fighting Frieza at his best is also a challenge, and helps to motivate you to become stronger. With one more DLC pack in the season pass, we hope it manages to maintain the same quality as this one. Either way, the power of Super Saiyan Blue keeps the energy levels high and the fights fierce. As far as DLC goes, A New Power Awakens Part 2 practically sells the whole thing.
Final Score: 8 out of 10