Ahh yes… Dragonball Z.. one of the biggest anime franchises to come out of Japan, if you’re a fan then you already know this! If not then you’ve been missing out! Dragonball Z was at the peak of its powers in the western world in the early 2000’s and if your age is north of 20 then I’m sure you remember it well.
So when I heard news of a current gen (yes PS4 and Xbox One are now current gen!) Dragonball game I was excited to see what it entailed, and in my opinion, Dragon Ball Xenoverse is exactly what all Dragonball games should’ve been like.
I did have concerns, of course, the majority of past titles just have not done the franchise any justice or really captured the imagination, just beat em ups with colourful characters.
However Dragon Ball Xenoverse has that extra bite, that little bit more that we’ve all been craving and that is…. Create a character! Oh yes my friends, who hasn’t wanted to be a Super Saiyan? Its rhetorical… we all have!! So with this knowledge I slipped that cheeky disk in PS4 with eager anticipation.
After the introductory video I was thrown in the deep end, as soon as I started the game, without any options I found myself in control of Goku – the main protangonist of the series – having to fight his 3 main enemies in order, Frieza, Cell and Marjin Buu without any tutorial of what button does what…. I wasn’t amused by this……
Then finally another video explaining the storyline as it was and how now the timeline has been disrupted and it is your job, yes you! To fix it!! Up for the challenge? Of course you are, that’s why you’re reading this review!
So once you’ve committed to the task of saving the world you’ll need a character to do so, by the way whilst doing this there was something I did notice, the title menu sound effects when selecting were very vintage – like super Nintendo vintage, and the soundtrack itself was very… erm…. Let’s just say corny. Anyway back to create a character, you’re asked to select from 5 races each with 2 genders, the races are Human, Frieza Race, Marjin Race, Namek and of course the Saiyans. Quite strange as Marjin Buu was created and was never a race in the series but hey I guess it adds variety. Once you’ve selected you’ll be asked to choose the appearance of your chosen fighter that was good but don’t expect Skyrim level of customisation – just the choice of 5-7 different types of hair, nose, eyes etc. then onto what style of play you would like for example brawler or ki blaster etc. this will then affect your fighter’s statistics.
Now that you’ve done that, you liaise with the time travelling Saiyan Trunks, I don’t want to give any spoilers of the story line but he is your guide throughout the game and takes you to a main social hub that is very reminiscent of ‘The Tower’ in Destiny… just without all the other random players. This was when I realised the scale of the game; here you have vendors that sell you clothing items, accessories and weapons as well as being able to create items for your adventures plus customizing your move sets. Awesome.
As I looked further I started to notice the social elements, the ability to enter online tournaments, play online with friends on online or offline activities and you were even able to register your team globally, the ability to roam around this social space with your buddies is a big plus, Ginyu force 2.0 anyone?
Again I wasn’t a fan of the soundtrack or sound effects, I also found the NPC’s very plain, just making a single noise when talking to them just followed by text-based speech bubbles that just felt like something from the PS2 era – it was hardly next-gen!
Onto the main part, the fighting! I found this part of the gameplay quite satisfying; it felt hard-hitting and rewarding when you beat an enemy, it was challenging but not impossible which is a difficult balance to achieve but as you get stuck in you do start to button smash your way through enemies but maybe that’s just me being a noob!
Visually the in-game graphics are great, not so much in the social hub, it’s just got the standard anime style art scheme but during the fight gameplay its the best I’ve seen a Dragonball game, this really does enhance the experience that has been lacking in past titles. Nice bright colours, good light effects its just what you could want.
After completing activities you do get experience points that contribute to a level progression system, once you level up you’re awarded with attribute points to customize the stats of your character.
I’m a fan of the Dragonball series, and feel that this is a good platform as to what future Dragonball games should base upon, however the lacklustre NPC’s plus occasional corniness of the game caught up with me at times. If you are a fan of the series then buy it, if not then consider it carefully.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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