It’s my personal opinion that Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is the best Dragon Ball game and one of the best fighting games ever, so I was really looking forward to developers Dimps latest effort as they return to the series after a break. Dragon Ball: XenoVerse is vastly different to previous games in the series which rehashed the same story and stages from the Anime. How well does Dragon Ball: Xenoverse fares in our review? Read on in our review below.
Dragon Ball: XenoVerse is not a typical beat-em up as previous games in the series, it focuses strongly on MMORPG elements comparable most recently to Destiny. The radical change means that XenoVerse is a breath of fresh air in a series that was getting stale with repetitiveness.
The Dragon Ball Anime tells the story of long time protagonist Goku and his band of Z-Fighters, in XenoVerse however you create your own legend. The game’s story is completely original and takes place in-between the events of time. The game starts off with players creating their own character using the game’s excellent create-a-character system. Players can choose between 5 playable races namely Saiyan, Human, Namekian, Freiza Race and Majins. Each race and their associated genders grant different bonuses and penalties for example Saiyans have higher attack but low health and so on. Unfortunately due to the immense popularity of the series’ main characters, 70% of the characters online are Saiyans.
As the prologue ends we find out that our character is summoned to Toki-Toki City by Trunks using the help of Dragon Balls. Trunks is in desperate need for help to stop the mysterious Towa and Mira from messing with history as we know it. Toki-Toki City is located in-between time and looked over by the Supreme Kai of Time. The game’s campaign has our custom created character go from time period to time period fixing the irregularities with historical events. There are two versions of Toki-Toki City that are accessible, Online and Offline. The Offline Lobby as the name suggests is when you’re playing offline with bots and NPCs. The Online Lobby which is very hard to get into due to the game’s constant server issues is like a MMORPG lobby with others players who are able to interact with each other.
The fights are set in fully destructible 3D environments on a vast amount of stages including series staples like the World Tournament Stage and Namek. Players can fight in the air, on the ground and even underwater. During battles characters will often participate in dialogue which is nice to see as the usual cutscenes get boring overtime. The writing is pretty good and I was pretty impressed with the story, Dimps puts in an excellent effort to stay true to the official Dragon Ball canon while fitting in a great story on the side. The main story includes the Saiyan Saga, the Frieza Saga, the Cell Saga, the Buu Saga, the Battle of Gods saga from the recent movie, the Demigra Saga against the game’s main antagonist and a secret Saga that unlocks after certain conditions are fulfilled after the main game. My only complaint with the campaign are the difficulty spikes, you simply cannot progress certain stages without playing some of the side-quests called Parallel Quests.
I certainly don’t like grinding and side-quests are something I skip in most games but in Dragon: Ball XenoVerse the Parallel Quests are excellent. Parallel Quests are missions that can be played both offline with two bots and online with two other players. The quests have different quest conditions like defeating a certain set of characters or collecting Dragon Balls, but they also incorporate a RNG (Random Number Generated) system that will trigger certain events. The Parallel Quests are not only an excellent source of experience to level up your characters and Zeni to buy items in Toki-Toki City but will also drop items and skills that you might not be otherwise able to obtain.
Player created characters are customisable in a wide variety of ways via clothes, accessories, skills, Z-Souls and allocations in the stat wheel. The skill set is divided into Super and Ultimate Attacks, with those being divided into Ki and Strike attacks. These attacks will perform better and deal more damage if you allot more points toward their specific stat on the stat wheel i.e your Ki Blast attacks will deal more damage the more points you put into your Ki Blast Supers stat. The stat wheel is divided into Health, Ki, Stamina, Basic Attacks, Strike Attacks and Ki Blast Supers so you can easily allot the points to suit your play style.
Clothes like other RPGs grant bonuses to the stat wheel while accessories are for cosmetic purposes only. Z-Souls are souls of characters from the Dragon Ball universe that grant stat bonuses and abilities like replenishing Ki after defeating an enemy.
Player versus Player battles are also present with a wide range of closable characters. Unfortunately the game’s PVP meta is pretty stale as it favours Saiyans and their unlimited Ki Blast Attacks using the Super Saiyan transformation. Hopefully Dimps changes things through a future patch as currently usable combinations in PVP is very low.
One of my favourite features in Dragon: Ball XenoVerse is the mentor system. Players are able to take on certain Dragon Ball characters like Picollo, Goku and even Frieza to teach them. The Mentors will teach you special skills that if you use will raise their friendship bar, when full will lead to a spar, after four spars you complete your training with them and gain their signature attack like Goku’s Super Kamehameha when you complete his training.
Dragon Ball: XenoVerse is a very solid fighting game and Dimps reputation hasn’t been let down. I just hope that if there is a XenoVerse 2 they put in some extra QA work to fix the niggling gameplay issues and balancing. They also need to fix the massive online issues that are still present, not being able to connect to an online lobby so long after release is unforgivable. However if you’re a Dragon Ball fan then getting Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is definitely recommended.
Dragon Ball: XenoVerse Review