Dragon Ball Z XenoVerse is the newest release in a long line of fighting games, developed by Dimps who have worked on plenty of the previous releases. XenoVerse seems to be an evolution on the system found in Battle of Z with the heavy focus on multiplayer fights with 3v3 player controlled battles and up to 6 characters fighting at once on one map. Following in the steps of what was argued to be one of the worst DBZ games, can XenoVerse put itself apart?
The story of DBZ: XV starts off with trunks noticing that the scrolls of time are becoming corrupt with dark energy and wishes Shenron to deliver him a mighty warrior who can set things right, and this is where the player comes in. An Avatar is summoned and along with trunks must go through the scrolls of time to the pivotal moments in the Dragon Ball Z universe to defeat the bosses of each saga; Vegeta, Frieza, Cell and Buu.
As the story progresses you will tamper with history somewhat, but the Z Warriors will have a hard time remembering you between the time jumps. Working for the Time Patrol, you will go into the scrolls of Time and defeat bosses who have been infused with dark energy by 2 dark figures who turn out to be Demons.
The main story will last you a long while, around 8-15 hours depending on how long you spend training your Avatar. Completing all the optional side quests and getting all the items will definitely increase your playtime. The game has really cut down on the different scenes you will see, only fighting the major bosses from each saga, and normally all at once, you only ever fight 1 or 2 forms out of 4 or 5 a boss should have, Frieza going from base to final form in a minute or so.
You play the game using an Avatar, a character wished up by Trunks, who is a completely new person added into the universe, and so you can choose who and what they are. From their race; Namekian, Saiyan, Human, Buu or Frieza who all have different stats and abilities. On top of that, as your Avatar levels up you can choose what stats will increase; Health, Ki, Stamina, Attack, Strike Supers and Ki blast Supers, allowing 100 points to be put into each at max.
Besides your Avatar’s race and stats you can also change their super attacks, Ultimate Attacks and their evasive skill, which use Ki or Stamina to pull off. Super Attacks range from strike supers like Krillin’s Orin Combo to Ki blasts like Vegeta’s Galick Gun. Every skill have different charge up times, damage and duration so picking your favourite moves might not be the best choice in the long run, though these can be changed whenever you’re in the main hub.
Your Avatar can also change clothes, including clothes that characters wear, clothes from the anime or even some cross universe looking outfits. These all change the stats your Avatar has and some of them are even race locked so playing the game again will allow you new fashions as well as new stat set ups. Along with your beginning Avatar there are 8 Character slots that unlock after completing the game.
The game follows the story of the DBZ Anime, but with the parallel missions you can fill in the gaps it leaves, as well as play on the bad side of the fights. Starting off rather easy, to allow you time to get to grips with the controls and the gameplay, XenoVerse picks up difficulty rather quickly, with later levels requiring some grinding and optimising to beat, some of the last missions being almost impossible with starter gear.
Overall thoughts and Feelings
The music in XenoVerse is what you come to expect from the series, fun upbeat tones for the cities and downtime, sombre tunes for when you are hunting your foes and energy-packed tracks for when battle ensues. A major problem with the music is found within the missions, as when you are too far away from enemies the music dies down to ambient noises, which happens way to often and the game feels empty as 4 people are off in the distance shooting off energy beams at each other.
The gameplay improves on Battle Of Z, but with that combat system there was a lot to improve on, with the feeling that you are just tapping Square until you die, wait for a revive, then tap again. There are some simple combos to use in this release, but you really only need 1 combo to juggle and will want to stick to that, there is some difference in fighting styles between the characters but it feels a bit short. Supers feel really underpowered in this release, fighting with hands takes center stage when your normal combo can do the same if not more than your ultimate move. There is also no beam clash to find, only if you punch the same time as someone else will there be a clash but you have no control over this and it is automatically a draw.
The character roster feels lack-lustre in this release, with around 50 characters to play with, cutting out a lot of characters different forms and versions, along with some minor characters. Transformations seem to be missing in the roster too, with only base of God forms being allowed for Saiyans, transformations only occur when you fight them or control them, and when fighting it seems to give the enemy more health and has no timer, when you use it they get unlimited skill use until the Ki meter runs out.
Overall I give Dragon Ball Z XenoVerse a 3/5, the customising of your own character is great, and the sample of clothes and items is numerous enough to allow you to make 8 completely different Avatars. Throwing your Avatar into the game is a different matter, with the underdeveloped combo system and the fighting mechanics themselves make the game become rather repetitive and require less skill then previous releases.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.