Monday, November 20, 2023

Cloud Monday - Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - Part 1 - Good Game Design For Streaming, Unsure For Playing

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. I streamed this game, developed by, CyberConnect2, via the #PlayStationPlus Cloud Streaming Service on my launch model Japanese PS4.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a game i've been trying to stream for a while now. I try it each week, and since it came to PlayStation Plus it's never worked. Until now! I was really surprised and very unprepared for it, i've been saying for a long time that i couldn't get it to work and, at least this one time, it did.

My thinking behind trying this game is that it's slower pace might make it more suitable for it being streamed. i had hoped that, as a RPG, we'd be able to save more frequently. And it looks like we can. the game also has a decent auto save feature that seemed to be fairly active. so in comparison to Scarlet Nexus, i was more confident that i could either manually save, hit an auto save, or get to a save point in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot than Scarlet Nexus.

A welcome bonus is how big and simple the characters are on screen. they look very much like their anime counterparts, so when there was some macroblocking i was still able to work out what was happening and wasn't really hampered. this is a great looking game and it feels like you're playing in the anime. so when there is macroblocking or stream tearing, it takes you out of the experience, more than anything else, because it looks so much like what it's based on.

But, whilst there are many positives about the game design and how suitable it is for being streamed from the cloud i can't ignore how other parts of it weren't great for actually playing. In, nearly, every section of this first part there was something that i found annoying or something that made the game less accessible. 

The way it introduces anything new with tutorial cards of screen is simply lazy and something i'll always complain about. it's something that's not that accessible to new players. i'd expect the cards if i was looking for a reminder on how to do something. They have Goku and Gohan at the start, Goku could simply be telling Gohan the basics of fighting and that could've been out introduction. The way they introduce the social aspect of this game is also baffling and a part of the game i didn't know about.

The controls were often slightly worse than i expected, for example the dash is super fast and difficult to use or when you're on Nimbus and there are collectable orbs but you have to seemingly touch them to collect them but that's difficult because Nimbus is slightly more difficult to control than expected. Also, why  can i collect items from afar but not these orbs?

Maybe in part 2 there'll be more context for everything and with more practice things will improve. but as it's been near impossible to play this game just once i'm not sure if/when Part 2 may be.