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DragonBall: Xenoverse FlashBack Review

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Been itching for a good ol Dragon Ball Z game but feel jaded and afraid from all the previous horrors that have been dropped upon us? Well fear no more! Dragon Ball Xenoverse is here and it is a grand step back into those awesome beat downs we’ve been missing!

The Story

Here is the quick synopsis of the story-

The Dragon Ball universe has spiraled into chaos as time-traveling villains create temporal distortions in an evil plot to alter the course of time. Players must create their own avatar and travel through time to revisit all the most iconic battles and events in Dragon Ball history and save the world from a dire future. Come face to face with all the most powerful Saiyan warriors and fearsome enemies in fast paced and frenzied Dragon Ball battles on current gen consoles for the first time!

So basically, you are summoned by Shenron to help out Trunks. You create your character and go throughout time beating the crap out of everyone to make sure the timeline doesn’t get screwed up.  While basic, the premise does allow for some pretty fun circumstances. Depending on which race you choose to create at the beginning of the game, the villains/characters will have different dialogue and reactions- which is a nice touch that makes the games world feel more reactive and alive.

dragonball-xenoverse-trunksThe characters in the game are of course Dragon Ball Z characters, and they mostly act like their later series selves, which is a bit strange. Other than that, there are the characters that are created for the game itself, which include a new Future Trunks, the Supreme Kai of Time, the villain Demigra and a few others. These new characters are decent enough; they aren’t super memorable or anything but they work well enough to move the story missions along.

My main issue with the story was the art of the animated cutscenes. The direction felt rather awkward at times and very much unlike Dragon Ball Z to me- but that was not all the time and was mostly during certain parts. Overall though, I found the games campaign mode to be pretty fun. In the end, Dragon Ball Xenoverse’s story is a bit odd and awkward but fun to play through, especially with friends.

The Visuals

Here’s Goku looking all sorts of awesome.

The games graphics are pretty impressive. While it won’t win any awards for its visuals, I would definitely say they are more than satisfactory. Like the previous Dragon Ball games, the game features your typical DBZ characters Goku, Krillin, Vegeta and all the others. There are also your created characters, and depending on how well you make them they can look pretty awesome or pretty weird, that is up to you.

Outside of characters there are the environments which have a handpainted feel to them, and they manage to have a very Dragon Ball feel which is obviously needed for a Dragon Ball Z game. The only complaint I have for the visuals is that sometimes the flying animation can look odd when you fly backwards. Besides that, the animations are pretty awesome and manage to carry over the grand and over the top feel of Dragon Ball Z very well.

The Gameplay

 

Now for the most important part of a Dragon Ball  game, and that of course is how punching each other in the face feels. Thankfully Xenoverse does not disappoint. The combat in Xenoverse is similar to that of the Tenkaichi series. Though the control scheme is a bit different, if you played the previous ones you should get a handle on this game rather quickly.

3 vs 3 The biggest difference with this new game from previous Dragon Ball games is the fact that you can play in battles of 3 vs 3. Yes, group battles are finally here! No doubt some people got worried when they heard group battles were implemented, but don’t worry 1 on 1 is still there and it still feels great! Thanks to the larger groups the fights now feel much more chatoic and at times more intense.

The Online play– Of course with this being a modern Fighting game, there is online play. There is both VS and Co-op for players to do. The versus plays very smooth without lagging or many issues from what I experienced. When  you fight online in group fights, it is best to have a group that can work together. If you don’t and the enemies do, then you will die and it will be fast and painful. Then there is the Co-op missions: with these you can split up and conquer multiple groups at once if you are brave, or you can play it safe and attack together. If your team works well together, you can quickly destroy even the most powerful of enemies- but if your teamwork is weak, you will die. The variety in combat and missions is a nice step up from previous Dragon Ball Z games. Much to my surprise, I didn’t get bored with the game quickly. Instead, I found that the games combat has tons of small things to learn and it can be pretty deep if you want to put in a little time to just learn it. While I would prefer a bit more combos, the game does provide a decent amount of them. With the amount of things to do and learn, you can play this game for quite some time without getting bored.

Outside of combat and fighting, you have your basic Hubworld; which you can enter online or by yourself. If you go in by yourself, there will be tons of NPC characters. If you go in the online one, there will be 100 players there- most of which will be running about acting crazy. In here you can find people to play with or you can act like everyone else and just be completely insane and do weird poses together. It is interesting to say the least.

Make your Character– One of the things that is very important to the combat in Xenoverse is how you make your character. When you begin, you choose your race- all of which fight very differently. From there, you make them look pretty as you’d like. From then on out, you start your basic missions and gain experience points. You level pretty quickly and will soon begin to earn points that you can drop into things like your ki blast or your punch strength. Then there are skills and abilities; you can learn things from masters or you can buy skills from shops. There are a ton of different abilities that can greatly change the way your character fights.  While there is a rather good amount of customization for your character, I can’t help but want more. Much like with Destiny, I feel like the game would have been a bit better if it had been on PS4/X1 only rather than Cross gen.

My character is a Saiyan named Pieza, of course. I also made a member of Freezas race and I was honestly surprised to see that I could make one of them. It made me happy to play as one of those shiny headed guys. While I haven’t unlocked  many outfits, I have seen people who look completely different than I am, even though our initial builds had been the same. So in short, there seem to be a ton of items out there to collect and wear. Below are some examples of characters from the Takuchat community:

The Sound

Very early on when you start the game, you are greeted with something familiar; something strange. Being that this is Dragon Ball Z, that of course is Cha-ha-la. Beyond the obvious Cha-la, the games music is surprisingly good for locations and certain parts of the story. One thing that’s lacking is more intense music for tense situations. Instead of having more intense battle music many times, the game just continues it’s calm or normal sounding music, which is a bit jarring.

The noises during combat are for the most part good; they sound like Dragon Ball Z. When you unleash a furious combo to some poor foes face, each hit leaves a very satisfying sound that makes the attack feel much more intense. Many of the ki blast have similar noises as they did in the anime, which is nice. On occasion the sounds will become muted though, which is usually caused by everyone blasting each other at point blank, which is slightly horrifying.

My main problem with the sound is some of the lip syncing is off. This isn’t just a sound issue but rather an animation one as well, since the lip movements can be a bit odd. While it is normal of a Dragon Ball or even an anime game, it still bothers me.

Overall

After having sunk in a pretty good amount of time in the game, I can easily say I am satisfied with my experience. The combat, while not perfect, does have a satisfying feel to it. While it isn’t as deep as I would like, it does provide a decent amount of depth to it. The story, while simple and awkward at times, does provide some fun with you being able to fight and fix the Dragon Ball Z timeline. If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball Z, you will most likely enjoy this game. If you want a fighter that’s a bit different, you should consider checking Dragon Ball Xenoverse out.

Dragon Ball :XENOVERSE is available now for the PlayStation®3, Xbox 360, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One . The game is also available on STEAM 

You can view the original Comment Thread here.

  • Jacob Kellogg

    I really enjoyed this game. That grinding was a real pain though. Couldnt get all the gear and attacks I wanted cause all the mentors.

    I hope the sequel irons all that out.

    • Aaron Wilkins

      I just wish there was a combat system more like the original 3 Budokais. I’ve tried a variety of the ones since then including a network test of Xenoverse and I just can’t get used to the flying and weird combo systems of all these current ones.

      • Jacob Kellogg

        I always preferred the 3d flying and such. It is a shame they dropped the Budokai style ones too though. I wish they had both types for fans.

      • Leon Evelake

        The flying and stuff is what I want from a Dragon ball z game. It’s not a traditional fighter but a complete dba fighter. That’s what loved about the Dragon ball tenkaichi games that this is kind of like.

        That said I would not complained if they did both series
        It more of thatvstreetfighter one

  • Leon Evelake

    It’s not perfect but it’s so much better than anything that has come since the budokai twnkaichi games.

  • TimesTicking

    I need to get myself some DBZ game… Haven’t bought one since Budokai 2 on the PS2.

    • Jacob Kellogg

      The new one is coming out pretty soon. October 25th, it looks pretty darn cool.

    • Leon Evelake

      If you want something like budoaki which is a straight up fighter there is not much to pick from
      but if you want something that tries to recreate the battles from dragon ball in all their crazieness xenoverse is a fun option

  • Nicholas Prime

    It was the story that kept me playing this one. I’m glad they figured out that DBZ fans want more “What if?” scenarios and not playing through the Saiyan saga for the 100th time.

    • Jacob Kellogg

      I actually like how they really tried for it! And thanks to that it was legitimately interesting!

      Also, super fun!

    • Leon Evelake

      The what if stuff was fun.
      I kind of wish they expanded on the alternate timeline potential and treated gt and some of the movies as different timelines rather than just part of the whole.

      Either way I really like making my own character in this

  • bungalo

    I didn’t play one of these since budoaki 3. Why not have more of those.

    • Jacob Kellogg

      The Teknaichi after it were fun. Full 3D, able to fly, it was really nice.