Game: Dragon Ball Xenoverse
Consoles: PC, Xbox One (Reviewed), PS4, Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Every year, fans of Goku and his super powered allies and enemies have been featured in a new console fighter. Gamers have been treated to a long line of fighters that have either been great or supremely lackluster. Longtime fighting game developer chose 2015 as the year to shake their familiar formula up for the better. Dragon Ball Xenoverse arrives with several new changes that provides a refreshing experience that will bring in both diehard fans and young curious newcomers.
For this latest go-around, the Dragon Ball universe tells its familiar story in an unfamiliar way. Future Trunks resides in a mystical hub city called Toki Toki City amidst a group of time traveling warriors. When the most important events within the DBZ & DB: GT timeline start changing in the worst way possible, Trunks is forced to request the aid of a strong hero who will help him fend off these horrible outcomes. A cast of new villains is responsible for these dangerous time changes, which brings a fresh factor to the huge character roster. Your custom warrior plays a huge role in the interesting plot, which is a nice change of pace from playing the usual saga retelling from past games. The plot’s alternate history yields some surprising and entertaining results.
The custom character creation suite for this DB fighter is one of the better features in Xenoverse. You’ll get the option to craft an Earthling, Saiyan, Frieza-like alien, Namekian or Majin type fighter. Each race comes with differing stats, which means your choice actually plays a huge part in the battles to come. The fun factor that comes from creating a fighter, throwing familiar battle attire on them and providing them with your preferred moveset is high. Players will even get to adopt a “Master,” who is a well known Z-Warrior or villain who gifts your fighter with experience and super moves through their special missions. You’ll get a kick out of your continued use of your custom character as you complete missions with other custom online avatars and famous heroes. Running into live players’ custom fighters around Toki Toki City showcases this game’s creative suite perfectly.
Xenoverse’s fighting mechanics borrows the finer elements from the Budokai and Tenkaichi game entries. Combos can be easily pulled off through button mashing, but the cool array of special moves, cinematic super moves and character transformations keeps each battle from getting stale. The cel-shaded visuals look incredibly appealing and it stays loyal to the anime it’s derived from. While Xenoverse plays well, there are two saddening factors of this game that may disappoint hardcore DB fans. Once you unlock the entire roster, you’ll notice a huge lack of important missing character transformations and movie fighters. While the cast of playable warriors is huge, the omission of characters such as Janemba, Majin Vegeta and Baby is noticeable. Xenoverse operates like an MMO, which means you’ll have to access everything from its many locations. It would be much better to make each mode selectable through the traditional main menu selection, though.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse is one of the better franchise fighters to come out in a very long time. It’s immersive story mode leads to a more fulfilling experience that’s packed with interesting scenarios and intense battles. The much improved character customization mode, wealth of offline/online missions, beautiful graphics and familiar cast makes this fighter hard to beat. While we lament the lack of several missing fighters and the option to pick other modes from the main menu, these factors don’t hurt the overall experience of this great anime fighter. Hopefully, the server issues plaguing this entertaining fighter gets ironed out soon enough.
- Fresh reimagining of the traditional storytelling of sagas
- Fun character customization mode
- Wide open hub world is packed with offline and online content
- Surprising array of missing character transformations and movie characters
- Hub world replaces main menu mechanic of selecting other modes, which may be problematic for some
- Online server issues are truly a headache to deal with