Bandai Namco is trickling down information about its upcoming action JRPG Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot at a nice clip.
In order to learn more about recent reveals, Twinfinite interviwed Producer Ryosuke Hara at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.
Hara talked about a variety of topics, including minigames, the recently-revealed character Bonyu, and more.
Giuseppe: Let’s talk about the newly-announced character, Bonyu. Can you give some background about what led to her introduction?
Ryosuke Hara: Among the new elements created by Akira Toriyama himself specifically for this game there is a new character, Bonyu.
She is a former member of the Ginyu Force who left the group because she doesn’t want to be part of all that old-fashion posing.
That being said she appears just in a subquest, and not in the main story.
Giuseppe: Why a member of the Ginyu force?
Ryosuke Hara: I actually know nothing about the background of this decision. This was suddenly suggested by Akira Toriyama himself, and I don’t have any information on his reasons.
Giuseppe: So it was Toriyama-sensei’s independent idea?
Ryosuke Hara: Bonyu is a 100% original character created, designed, and suggested by Akira Toriyama himself.
Giuseppe: Speaking of original characters. There is one who has been very successful in another video game, Android 21 from Dragon Ball FighterZ. Is there any chance that she could appear in this game as well?
Ryosuke Hara: Unfortunately I can’t provide any details about this.
Giuseppe: You just announced the Cell Saga. Is that the end of it, or there will be more in the game after that?
Ryosuke Hara: This is actually one of the questions I’m asked the most, but unfortunately I can’t give you any details on this either.
Giuseppe: Do you think this game could be the beginning of a franchise, considering that the Dragon Ball saga is very long and there’s likely room for several games, or you’re working on Kakarot as a stand-alone game?
Ryosuke Hara: At the moment, we’re thinking of it as a stand-alone game.
Giuseppe: Kakarot is developed by CyberConnect2, which is widely known for its Naruto games. Yet, for me they’re first and foremost the studio behind the .hack series. Since this is an RPG, is there any .hack DNA in it?
Ryosuke Hara: CyberConnect2 is known for their beautiful graphics and dynamic battles with intuitive controls, like those you see in the Narutimate series.
I think these achievements also extend to this new game.
Giuseppe: The driving license episode is often considered filler among fans of the anime. What’s the reasoning behind its inclusion in the game?
Ryosuke Hara: I actually don’t think of it as a filler episode. I like to see the daily life of the characters. I believe this is part of why Dragon Ball Z is attractive for the fans.
One of the guidelines we’re following while developing this game is something we call the “Goku Experience.” We’re thinking about how to immerse the player in the feeling of being Goku.
We thought driving the car would also be one of the things that can enhance the Goku Experience. To achieve that, of course you need the driving license episode.
Giuseppe: After you get the driving license, can you keep driving the car for the rest of the game?
Ryosuke Hara: Exactly. After you unlock the license you’re able to drive the car around in the fields. Needless to say, it would be faster for Goku to fly. Maybe you can see it as a sort of fanservice.
Giuseppe: The game looks like it has some minigames. Are you perhaps thinking about implementing a minigame involving the car?
Ryosuke Hara: That’s a very good point. Actually we’re preparing something where you have to use the car.
Giuseppe: Speaking of minigames. I guess tail fishing is also part of the Goku Experience?
Ryosuke Hara: Fishing was indeed already present in the original Dragon Ball, so we thought that it would be a good thing to implement because eating is certainly very important for Goku.
You can collect ingredients bring them home, cook and eat together. We thought all of this would fit well in this game.
Giuseppe: Normally, when games include fishing minigames they include a lot of upgrades to your fishing rod, tackle and so forth.
I doubt you can upgrade Goku’s tail, so how do you handle this, if at all?
Ryosuke Hara: This should be seen as a small minigame. We don’t really have leveling up in this part of the game.
Giuseppe: Is there a possibility for a Nintendo Switch port down the line?
Ryosuke Hara: All I can say is that we’re not thinking about adapting the game for the Switch for now.
Giuseppe: The game is not actually open world, so how should we think about the maps? How big are they?
Ryosuke Hara: It’s difficult to put the size of the areas into numbers, but we’re trying to give the best Goku Experience to the players.
We’re trying to provide the feeling that at least you’re free to fly around without restrictions, even though there are restrictions.
You can have a certain feeling of freedom in each areas as you fly through it as Goku.
In the demo you can play the area in which Raditz arrives to the planet. It’s a very big area, and the other areas are similar in scale.
Giuseppe: Speaking of demos, is there any plans to release one publicly?
Ryosuke Hara: The demo will be available only at events like Gamescom, but we don’t plan to release it online.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot releases in early 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.