Dragon Ball Xenoverse (PS4 review)

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The Dragon Ball Z Budokai series has been coming out with new games almost yearly since 2002. Some were hits, and other were misses. What can you do to make the game experience something new and refreshing? We’ve seen “what if” stories, original characters, 3-vs-3 matches with online capabilities and traveled to different locations and worlds. Now roughly all of that is incorporated into Dragon Ball Xenoverse, with the addition of other features including create-your-own character mode.

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Dragon Ball Xenoverse isn’t your normal retelling of the Dragon Ball Z saga, instead Dimps and Bandai Namco put a whole new spin on the series by creating new enemies who have the power to change the outcome of Z saga’s most iconic battles. To combat the changes in time, a force known as the Time Patrol is created in the distant future, led by Future Trunks and the Supreme Kai of Time in Toki Toki City. However, Trunks knows they need help and gathers the Dragon Balls to summon Shenron and request the help of a strong warrior. That warrior is you as you’ll get to create your own custom character. The character will be interacting with the alternate timelines and by returning the timelines to their correct path to help the Z Warriors.

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You’ll be able to choose between multiple races from the Dragon Ball universe with the character creator including Saiyans, Earthlings, Majins, or Namekians. You can even be a member from the Frieza Clan. Xenoverse adds a huge RPG element to the game, allowing you to power up your characters. Each class has its own stats based on which race or gender you choose. As you level up you gain ability points to increase your life, stamina or ki, or to power up your physical or ki attacks. While I enjoyed playing the story, I was always customizing my character. You can equip him with different outfits and moves, and these items can can purchased or earned.

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The game really shines thanks to the inclusion of online missions and battles. Time Patrol’s HQ of Toki Toki city acts as a hub for players, similar to an MMORPG, and is separated into three areas. After creating your character, you have the option to join in an online or offline hub.

Either in Online or Offline mode you can join in parallel battles, which are missions where you must face off against multiple enemies and be graded on how well you perform. In offline mode you usually select a character or two who will be controlled by the AI to fight with you. In online mode you will be joined by one or two other players as you take down your enemies. (You can select your created character or any Dragon Ball character you have unlocked.) Of course human players are always the best for these modes since the computer controlled AI partners are usually pretty horrible, leaving you to do nearly all the fighting. You can also enter in the Tenkaichi Tournaments to test your skills against the AI or other players.

Developed by Dimps, who previous worked on the Dragon Ball Z Budokai series, Xenoverse has a very fun and simple control scheme, destructible environments, fun and unique combos, and a huge variety of moves to try out. The game, however, isn’t without its own problems. Some include terrible AI and the game dropping you out of the game hub even if you are in offline mode.

Final Reaction

Even though it’s a fighting game, I felt Xenoverse was more of an RPG. The game has a very great spin on the story mode but requires you to do previous fights or grind your character to level up on the later fights. Not all the techniques are great for your created character, since boss enemies have the ability to eat a ton of damage before you can combo them, leaving you open for big combos and being assaulted on many enemies.

It’s definitely one of the better Dragon Ball games to be released in the last few years. Dragon Ball Xenoverse has some great visuals and all new animated cutscenes which make it a must play for hardcore Dragon Ball fans. It’s also enjoyable for newcomers since it incorporates not only the original Dragon Ball Z series, but the newest movie and event GT.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

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DragonBall Xenoverse
Developer: Dimps
Publisher:  Bandai Namco Games
Systems: Steam, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Available now

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