At the ACGHK 2019 show today, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot producer Ryosuke Hara demonstrated gameplay with Piccolo as the main character for the first time, after confirmation earlier this month that other characters would be playable.
Piccolo becomes the main playable character right after the end of the Raditz saga, where Goku gives his life in order to defeat Raditz once and for all. He gets to explore the open areas like Goku can, and meet the various Warriors training to take on the incoming Saiyans Vegeta and Nappa.
Check out the gameplay here:
Additionally, Hara also showed off some in-development footage of Piccolo facing against Great Ape Gohan, who has transformed thanks to having a tail and seeing the moon.
Check out the all-new gameplay below:
After the stage show, Hara held a Q & A session with the press, including Siliconera, and you can find the highlights below:
Up to now, Dragon Ball series games have been mostly fighting and action games. What inspired you to challenge the action RPG genre?
Ryosuke Hara, producer: “Firstly, let me explain from why we based the game on Dragon Ball Z. There are many new fans who were introduced to the series via Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball Super: Broly, so we felt the need to re-introduce what’s so charming about Dragon Ball Z. Speaking of the charm, for example there is the growth of every Z-Fighter across the series, and the ultimate hero Goku who appears near the end to save the day.
In the games up to now, we’ve basically seen famous scenes, famous lines, but in this game what’s shown is not just that but the scenes along the way, and gag elements you’d expect from Toriyama-sensei. We wanted to show those, so we chose action RPG as the genre as it fits the game the most. I’ve mentioned this several times, but this is something I want to explain properly.”
We saw in the demo just now gameplay of Piccolo, but can you switch to using Piccolo in the battle against Raditz?
Hara: “In regards to the main story, you’re fixed to using one character. In the fight against Raditz, you control Goku. But in substories, or when you are free to explore, it is possible to switch out characters.”
How far does the story go, and will movies be included?
Hara: “At the most basic, the story follows the Dragon Ball Z anime and Son Goku’s storyline. As for regarding how much of Z is included, this is a question many people are interested in, but on this aspect we can’t reveal it yet, so we hope you look forward to more info in the future. But I believe that it’s an amount that won’t make fans disappointed.”
Will there completely original plot threads in this game?
Hara: “If I had to pick one, I’d say it does, because while the main story follows the anime, there are also original story episodes in this game provided by Toriyama-sensei. Or rather, Toriyama-sensei has provided new background details, and based on that we have created new original story episodes.”
Will there be what-if scenarios in this game?
Hara: “There are no what-if scenarios that would change the outcome of story battles or muddle with the main story. It’s in the end extra content, but it will not change the plot of the original work.”
With the action elements being prominent, for those bad at action games, are you able to defeat bosses just by grinding levels and such to overpower the boss?
Hara: “I believe there are many out there who aren’t very good at action games, and for those people, you can level up Goku, increase his stats by eating food, and apart from this, there is a yet-unrevealed feature that can be used to power up Goku. By using these various elements, defeating the bosses will become easier.”
Will movie content be included as DLC?
Hara: “Regarding DLC, we have nothing we can announce yet, so please look forward to news in the future.”
In the gameplay with Piccolo, we see a 1v2 battle, but how many characters can you fight at once?
Hara: “Well, we can’t reveal the exact amount, but a few more than that. But well, something like 20-30 people attacking you together, won’t be in this game. I believe you’ll understand what I mean with news in the future.”
Is this game an open-world game? Considering characters can fly, will there be limitations on where they can go?
Hara: “This game is not open world. We have various areas that open up as you go through the story.”
In the story progression in the game, you defeat Raditz, and then you get to play as Piccolo and Gohan, right?
Hara: “What we showed on stage is exactly what comes after the Raditz fight. Goku is dead, and as part of the story you switch playable characters and see lots of other characters doing training, and such.”
As an ARPG, how much can you customize your stat specs?
Hara: “Regarding fighting customization, there are three things. Stat customization, attack skill customization, and thirdly, passive skills. Apart from that, there is also skill trees where you can power up the kamehameha and all that, and you can improve your regular combos with the skill tree as well. By doing so you can increase your attack power. You’ll be able to see the motions and power of Goku’s moves change as you play through the story, so you can feel for yourself that, “Oh, I’ve become stronger.” Finally, as I mentioned earlier, there is an unrevealed feature to power up Goku, and I hope you’ll look forward to more news on that front.”
Is the story of Kakarot based on the original Dragon Ball Z anime or the Kai version?
Hara: “At the very basics it follows the original Z anime.”
We saw Goku fish with his tail, but what about after he loses his tail?
Hara: “As you know, Goku loses his tail early. So what’s with the tail? You’ll find out very soon after you start playing the game after the game releases.”
What do the different colored objectives mean on the map?
Hara: “Red pillars of light are main story events, so if you just follow the red pillars of light you’ll go from story event to story event. There are also blue markers, which mark optional content. As we mentioend earlier, we want to provide a ‘Super Goku Experience’ for the players to experience, and so while the game isn’t open world, each area has been made to be quite open so you can enjoy the feeling of flying around and traveling.”
So… do other characters like Piccolo fish with Goku’s tail too? Does Chi-Chi make food for them?
Hara: “Well… You can fish using any character. But how they fish, you’ll have to experience in the full game. It’s not like only Goku can fish in the game. As for food, you can have Chi-Chi make it, but actually there are different types of food content, and food up to a certain amount can be cooked and eaten at different places, like in villages and other places. In one of the presentation slides we saw Goku eating a giant meal, and that is a full course meal only cooked by Chi-Chi. And only Goku can order it.”
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2020. You can check out 10 mins of off-screen footage of the fight against Raditz here.