Bardock: Alone Against Fate was a satisfying way to relive the Dragon Ball Z anime about Goku’s father! [Review]

New Bardock DLC in the Dragon Ball Z Ka:karot game.
New Bardock DLC in the Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot game. Pic credit: Bandai Namco

January 12-13, 2023, are exciting for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot fans! The 4th DLC, Bardock: Alone Against Fate, is here, and fans are clamoring to play it.

If you live in Japan or know how to trick your localization systems, you can play it on the 12th. And if you prefer watching let’s plays, several videos are floating around YouTube.

But what if this is your first time hearing about Dragon Ball Z Bardock? Or, if you haven’t bought Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot yet, is this DLC going to make you want to?

I grew up on Dragon Ball Z, and the Bardock special was one of the best parts of it. And I’m happy to say that gamers aren’t missing out on much from the special.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
A rare sight of Prince Vegeta as a child! Pic credit: Bandai Namco

The original story of Bardock!

Bardock’s power level is 10,000, which is the same as Broly’s when he was born in the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie. And it’s also a mere 1,000 higher than one of Dragon Ball Z’s infamous memes.

And sorry, Minus fans, there’s no Gine or Raditz to be found. Gine didn’t exist during the Bardock special, and Raditz’s whereabouts are unknown.

It’s highly recommended to explore everywhere and do as many side quests as you can because progressing the story can make them vanish. But given most fans will know the story, or at least how it ends.

Most won’t care about grinding until right before the end. However, Bardock is the perfect Saiyan. He wants to get stronger and hang out with his friends and has no interest in his newly born son, Kakarot.

Not until a fateful battle which results in a Kanassan, Toolo, hits Bardock with his Future Sight Punch. Bardock begins seeing visions of the future throughout the DLC, but none are about Bardock.

The visions are easily some of my favorite parts because they look like they’re from the original Dragon Ball Z anime. But we don’t get to hear the speech Goku/Kakarot gives Bardock in the anime, which is a shame.

You can play as Prince Vegeta!

I had high hopes for this part of the DLC. However, you must complete Bardock’s story before playing Prince Vegeta.

But you get a brief scene of him and Nappa before they head out to join Frieza. Here’s a fun note, Bardock is stronger than Nappa in the DLC, but he’s still considered a Low-Class Saiyan.

When the side story begins, we’re told it’s on Frieza’s home planet, but we don’t get to see it. Instead, Vegeta faces off against several Saibamen for training and has a sparring match with Cui.

People say he and our favorite Prince of All Saiyans are rivals due to their equal power. Cui refuses to believe this because he’s a brilliant strategist.

But our boy beats him and decides he can use Cui to improve himself. An NPC says Vegeta’s new mission has been selected, but Vegeta decides to pay his respects to Freiza before heading out.

I loved this scene. It’s unclear if Freiza has already destroyed Planet Vegeta and is waiting for someone to tell Vegeta and Nappa about the “asteroid.”

But it’s clear he’s amused at Vegeta’s actions and trusts the Saiyan Prince will “do him proud.” So Vegeta and Nappa head to a nameless planet, and we hear Vegeta think to himself that Freiza still has the upper hand.

Sadly, this is the only planet we get to visit. Vegeta’s skill tree is nothing compared to Bardock’s, and the gameplay is identical.

Vegeta and Nappa split up, and you attack some bases to weaken the city’s fighting power. After that, you can do some exploring, but Vegeta starts at level 30 and depending on your skill level and difficulty.

You won’t need to grind, and we see Vegeta’s reaction to Planet Vegeta’s demise. He doesn’t look concerned, and we’re forced to take the narrator’s word that Vegeta doubts the official report.

The side story will take about an hour, whereas Bardock’s is 2-3 hours. Easily more if you like to hunt down everything.

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