Dragon Ball Xenoverse is the latest fighting game in the Dragonball franchise. From developer Namco Bandai, it is a very special game, as it’s the first Dragonball game to ever be put out on PC as well as consoles. So how does it do?
It’s also a very special game as it doesn’t follow a tournament type of story, or even one of the original plot lines from the series. In Xenoverse, time travelers are altering history in negative ways, changing the way Dragonball history goes. Without giving away too many spoilers, some instances of this include Nappa not being given a beating by Krillin, Piccolo, and Gohan, resulting in both he and Vegeta being at full health when Goku shows up. What happens next is that Goku is defeated, but as any fan knows, that’s not how things went down. In another case, Captain Ginyu of the Ginyu force takes control of Vegeta’s body instead of Goku’s at first, and so things become screwy there as well.
Trunks is part of the time patrol, a new group station in the new city of Toki-Toki. He witnesses history being changed, and summons the mighty dragon Shenron to wish for a strong fighter to help him fix history. This is where you, the player, come in. You can fully customize your character, choosing gender, race, body build, and colors too!
Art styles and character models are top notch. True to series creator Akira Toriyama’s style, Dragonball Xenoverse feels like something straight out of the comics or the show itself. Every character you create feels like they could have originally belonged in the show, and that’s amazing.
As for races, you can choose between Earthlings, Saiyan, Namekian, Majin, and Frieza’ race, who unfortunately don’t have an official name and are literally referred to as “Frieza’s race” in the game. Each race has certain default attribute boosts, so knowing what kind of fighting style you’ll want to go with will help with choosing your race.
Animations could be a little better, as sometimes the mouth movements don’t match the voice audio, or sometimes the mouths don’t move at all for certain characters. Voice acting is give or take, some characters sound really well, whereas others sound silly. Same deal applies with the sound effects—some sound good, where others don’t. Overall when it comes to audio, nothing is bad, which is good as it doesn’t detract from your experience. The only thing is that the soundtrack may not be for everyone, but it also shouldn’t detract too much from enjoying the game.
Gameplay wise, Xenoverse is a solid game. Is it perfect? No, but in my opinion it’s a lot better than past Dragonballs. The combo system is simple yet has the potential to be a complex enough to provide a good challenge. Simple combos are made by varying light and heavy attacks, which build up your chi. Once your chi has reached a certain level, you can then use special moves which are done by pressing the right trigger and a corresponding button that shows up on the pop up menu. Seeing how you create your own custom character, you can set which ever special moves you want. In the similar idea, super moves can also be done once your chi reaches an even higher level, and then holding down both triggers and the corresponding button from the pop up menu.
It’s simple, and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can start chaining light/heavy combos and follow them up with a special/super move, for huge amounts of damage and high hit combos. The best part of is all is that you really do feel powerful when you’re doing all these things, and it’s a great feeling.
After completing a mission, your character gains experience points based on how well you did, which helps your character to level up. As you level up, your character gets stronger and earn attribute points that you can use to boost certain stats. To also help you train and level up, you can pick a mentor from a cast of classic Dragonball characters. My personal favorite is Vegeta—there’s no satisfying him. I completed a mission with the highest ranking (Z), and he still called me a pathetic loser! Dragon Ball Xenoverse did an amazing job capturing the personality of these characters that we all know and love.
There’s a lot to do in this game. Aside from the main quest missions, there are quite a handful of parallel quests and a few master quests to do as well. There are a TON of things to collect, from special moves, to clothing equipment, skills, and even dragon balls! Sometimes there are certain requirements to get specific items, but even if you fulfill them, it’s all up to the random number generator whether you’ll get the item you’re looking for. I’ve seen on forums as well as experienced personally having to redo a certain quest over 10 times just to get one specific item, because the RNG screwed me over. On one level, it keeps from having item collection be way too easy, but on the other hand, it can make it infuriating at times.
Finally comes the online aspect of Xenoverse. This game is constructed to be like a MMORPG, and Toki-Toki serves as the central hub. For those not familiar with that concept, the most mainstream example would be the The Tower in Destiny. In the city of Toki-Toki you can interact with other characters, make new friends (or enemies,) recruit teammates, and go on co-op quests together. Or you could go into competitive battle as well. In theory, this concept works very well. And on paper, it also works well…provided that you can find a stable server to connect to. Like many online-reliant games in the not so distant past, Xenoverse was plagued by server issues on Namco Bandai’s side. However, with time and with patches, things have gotten a lot better. But every now and then, you’ll still find yourself disconnecting from online lobbies after one quest, and put into an offline lobby. That’s fine and dandy for those like myself who don’t particularly care for the online aspect of the game so much, but for others? It might be something worth researching before purchasing.
On PC, Xenoverse did an amazing job of introducing the Dragonball world to a new platform. The game isn’t graphic intensive, meaning you can max it out with a moderately strong rig. It runs beautifully and smoothly, even when battles are getting intense, with a lot going on at the screen at once. The game supports gamepads, and there’s no issues getting them to work.
All in all, Dragon Ball Xenoverse is a strong entry in the video game line of this classic franchise. For consoles and PC alike, it is a must have for fans of the series and for fans of fighting games in general. The gameplay is solid, graphics are beautiful, the sound is decent, and there’s a lot of fan service out there just waiting to be fangirled over. It’s not without its issues however, with some server problems being apparent, and the camera being an issue at times during battles.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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