Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot vs Xenoverse 2 – Which Is the Better DBZ Game?
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot marks the latest video game adaptation of the Dragon Ball Z series, and while it has its flaws, it’s still a bold step forward for Dragon Ball games. The same has been said for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 though, so we’re here to answer the question: Which is the better Dragon Ball game, Kakarot or Xenoverse 2?
When it comes to graphical fidelity, it’s hard not to see how badly Dragon Ball Z Kakarot out-paces Xenoverse 2.
Made with the same cell-shaded style as One Piece: World Seeker, Kakarot offers some stunning recreations of both the Dragon Ball world and its characters. Character models pop with color and details ranging from clothing folding over martial arts school emblems realistically, to hair flapping in the breeze during flight.
And that’s to say nothing of the fights. Everything moves, smashes and crashes with a fluidity that does justice to the manga and anime, lending a real impact to the combat other games can’t live up to. Kamehameha Waves, Special Beam Cannons and Galick Guns have never felt as explosive as they do here.
Granted, this isn’t to say Xenoverse 2 is or has been slouching in the graphics department. Tasked with melding and blending together every style and design aesthetic from across the Dragon Ball series’, the game manages to find a nice balance between everything, making it all look presentable and drawing you further into its action and story.
As a result, though, nothing really stands out as a product of its section of the series. Everything has a glossy, almost plastic appearance, and while it fits with the concept of smashing DBZ action figures together in an arena fighter setting, it doesn’t do much for keeping players’ eyes glued to the game.
Overall, it just can’t keep up with Kakarot’s more refined presentation, and graphical fidelity hounds will have a clear favorite when they’re held up side by side.
Winner: Dragon Ball Z Kakarot
When it comes to which game has the better gameplay though, the tables are turned in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’s favor.
In terms of world exploration and story progression, both games have roughly the same approach. Players are let loose in different areas to explore, grab items and otherwise mingle with characters and faces from across the Dragon Ball mythos, canon or no.
When it comes to combat though, things start to diverge in some meaningful ways. Xenoverse 2 boasts a surprisingly deep combat system, full of timing, counters and positioning elements which all force players to engross themselves in the game’s mechanics in order to get ahead of their competition.
Knowing which type of Ki blast or Super Attack can penetrate an opponent’s defenses, or when and how to use a teleport to get behind them, can be the difference between victory and defeat, and is only made all the more deep by the wealth of different moves and character types you can choose from via its character creation mechanic.
This is only further fleshed out by the flexibility it provides players in leveling up their characters, allowing them to assign points into specific attributes for specializations in melee, Ki attacks, stamina and so forth.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, on the other hand, is more limited in terms of its combat. While it definitely has a wealth of dodging, guarding and countering mechanics on par with Xenoverse 2, the number of moves you can choose from and how they impact combat are limited to the playable characters.
It’s likewise pretty rigid in terms of modifying characters as they level up, only really allowing you to choose which of their techniques you want to develop further; and even then, you can only develop them up to where they’d be based on the story.
As such, it’s safe to say that Xenoverse 2 edges out Kakarot in this department, and that fans of the series will find much more enjoyment from playing it for hours on end.
Winner: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
As for which title has a better story, it’s tough to compare the two titles accurately.
On one hand, both re-tell the main story of Dragon Ball Z portrayed throughout the anime and manga. They cover key moments from the sagas found throughout Dragon Ball Z, and offer excellent avenues for experiencing each saga’s climaxes whether its a player’s first time seeing them or the millionth time.
Admittedly, Xenoverse 2 provides some aspects of the main story not seen in Kakarot – namely, the appearance of some movie villains and Beerus – but overall is still largely grounded in the same story elements.
On the other hand, each deviates from the canon of the series in some interesting and meaningful ways.
For Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, this is shown in the form of side quests. Ranging from small diversions based on filler from the anime to newly created stories that flesh out the main cast better, the side quests expand on the story in some interesting ways, and give players a reason to immerse themselves in the game.
Xenoverse 2, meanwhile, tells an original story alongside its retelling of Dragon Ball Z’s plot. As an original character, players are tasked with tracking down some villains intent on disrupting the fabric of time, all in the hopes of gaining more power and crushing the Z Fighters and their allies.
It’s not the best story out there – and relies heavily on Dragon Ball Z’s story to hold itself up – but it does offer something new to players looking to find something new from the series they love.
It’s a tough call, and one which comes down more to each player’s preference instead of any key metrics. As such, this category comes to a draw between the two games.
While it may make some people upset to stay on the fence, it’s hard to say one game is better than the other when it comes to Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.
Though each outclasses the other in certain areas, they balance each other out and provide experiences specific to their games and stories as a result. Likewise, each caters to very different audiences of the Dragon Ball fandom, and these parts of the fandom would be right to defend said games when the cards were down.
As such, we’re calling this contest a tie until one or the other – more than likely Kakarot – receives some sort of major addition or DLC that turns the tables in its favor.