By the time you’ve finished Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, you know what power is. You’ve helped kill your own brother, fought an intergalactic tyrant and you’ve saved the galaxy from homicidal bubble gum on a rampage. You’re crackling with energy, having achieved a messianic level of Super Saiyan power over the course of hundreds upon hundreds of battles.
In true Dragon Ball Z fashion, there’s still more to do once the end credits have rolled. Mighty foes to face, new levels of power to obtain and a world to save. It’s just that getting there, achieving that level cap of 250 is a headache of a grind as you find yourself constantly outmatched by overpowered grunts and bosses that Shenron happens to have revived.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’s A New Power Awakens DLC aims to make the entire training process easier, which it certainly does achieve while introducing Whis and the god of destruction Beerus (The BEST character in DBZ, fight me) to the mix. If you’re also expecting that DLC to add a lengthy story detailing the arrival of Beerus, the desperate race to achieve a new transformation and Vegeta’s legendary comedy routine…you’re going to be disappointed.
A New Power Awakens is purely focused on training, offering less than a handful of new battles to the mix as you explore the homeworld of Beerus. Super Saiyan God and new ultimate attacks are thrown into the transformation mix as well, and while it is a fantastic power-up that can be enhanced to trigger automatically in battle, that’s about it for this DLC.
There’s some training with Whis, a showdown with Beerus and space to carve a few more notches onto your power-up stick. Seriously, that’s it. You can play all there is to play of this mode in less than an hour, every flashy exclamation of your overall battle power admittedly tickling that reptilian part of your brain that’s addicted to bright lights and loud sounds of triumph whenever you level up.
The actual battle with Beerus is still brilliantly done, with the lazy feline putting up a tough fight whenever you challenge him. There’s also a hint of developer Cyber Connect 2’s goreous animation at the tailend of these fights, retina-searing displays of power that have to be seen to be believed. And yet, A New Power Awakens feels a little bit off.
It’s possibly an example of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot clearly not having a solid game plan in mind for the over-powered endgame that makes the hunt for more power an exhausting hobby, pivoting all the way to the other end of the spectrum and making the act of achieving Super Saiyan God too easy. Unlike the transformations for original Super Saiyan or even Gohan’s legendary accomplishment from ascending beyond that base form, becoming a Super Saiyan God doesn’t make you feel like you’ve earned it.
In the anime, this was a power that was beyond mythical, the first step into the realm of gods and achieved at the eleventh hour in a desperate gamble to stop an almighty being from erasing Earth out of existence. In A New Power Awakens, it’s unlocked through a simple cutscene and handed to you on a silver platter.
At the same time…dammit I’m addicted to actually getting those sick level gains bro. There’s something cathartic about the grind, with Whis providing a proper challenge as he litters the battlefield with energy orbs and keeps you at a distance, every battle making you more powerful and rewarding you with sacred water that can be used to power up the punier members of the Z Warriors team when you return to Earth. The question is, are you willing to pay actual money for a shortcut to godhood? Because that’s all you’re getting in A New Power Awakens.
Last Updated: April 29, 2020