The world of Dragon Ball as we know it is in trouble thanks to some unknown force in time revamping the story as we know it. This time around the villains are the victors and it is up to Trunks to seek out a new great power through Shenron in hopes to gain an ally to fight this flux as a new time patroller. That is right a new age of Dragon Ball is upon us and it is up to you to take up arms in helping Goku and friends live out their years properly or all will be lost. Welcome to Dragon Ball Xenoverse.
Trunks is in desperate need of some help because time as he knows it is being rewritten where all of heroes are now losing the fight. So after gather the seven dragon balls, Trunks calls on Shenron to grant his wish of a powerful fighter to fight by his side in hopes to correct the time stream. This is where you walk in by customizing your own character in the Xenoverse. There are four choices from Human, Namekian, Sayian and Majin. Dragon Ball Xenoverse gives players ways to immerse themselves into the game with over 450 customization styles and items. Not only do you create a character, but also pick their fight personality between close, distance or a balanced fighter is all up to you. In that you hold grasp a scroll that grants you the ability to go to said time point to save the fighters. The question still remains as in who is causing this in the first place.
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Towa and Mira are the main villains manipulating history and as you venture off we finally get an encounter with these two. It is not much of a reveal, but adapting a few elements from Dragon Ball Online with a Quantum Leap style of gameplay has me at “Game on!”
Being Original is Key
As many of you know many of the Dragon Ball titles were based on Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and DB GT series. This time around we are granted with a whole new story revolved around our own created character. This blew my mind because as a Dragon Ball fan I thought of myself as someone to be put in that world and how it would it work. That wish has been granted with this open world RPG style game and it is full of customization. As shown above I made a Sayian character with a close range personality. At this point I am a level 14 distributing boost points in the respected areas of my character. I personally picked the Sayian to see if I will be able to obtain the Super Sayian ability later on down the line, but I will explain why I feel that way soon.
Being that you have to go through Dragon Ball differently since the villains are rewriting things was a tripped out experience. It felt good being put in the heroes seat saving Piccolo, Gohan and Goku from each of their past battles. I have to admit that this should have an option to work for the villains as well which would make a great DB online experience fighting other online players for the sake of the universe. That is asking a bit much, but is as thought if Namco Bandai Games decides on a sequel.
The RPG Elements
I had to stop myself for a bit playing the regular story mode because I felt that I was losing out on an opportunity to level up my character by hitting the Paralell Quest. There are two versions you can take on either with Online or Offline, but the same outcome happens. The Online experience of course puts you in a lobby with two other players to take on a co-op story with specific mission parameters. The same goes for the Offline version, but you will be playing with two A.I. characters. The other option in these two modes is the ability to not just use your own created character, but other fighters that you have unlocked through the story mode. So in that you still get the opportunity to use the other fighters outside of the story to fuel your fandom. I personally stick to my own character for leveling up reasons and you will have the option to make more than one fighter if you choose too.
This goes beyond just fighting to level up your attributes, because of the items that you acquire and material that you can mix to make capsules. First let’s talk about your clothing which is a key factor in helping boost your abilities. Now thanks to the Zenie you acquire during battles you can hit up the shopping district of Toki Toki city to see the items, clothing, skill shops and mixing stations. Throughout your battles you will unlock certain articles of clothing that will grant you an advantage to boost your skill sets. Right now my character is wearing Raditz gauntlets and Goku’s boots. These items are more catered to my fighting and stamina because my character is more of a Sayian brawler more than anything. So the clothing does make the person or in this case the fighter.
Take advantage of the town before and after a match because the battles can be intense and you do not want to be left unprepared just in case you are poisoned or your health begins to drop. The one thing I forgot to mention is your scouter ability that not only shows you were enemies are, but hidden materials on the map. However that will be up to you to take the risk in going to search for said materials while you are in battle, but there are times when you have to transition to another area, so that will give you time to look around.
The next thing is picking a master. Throughout the level there will be random pop ups of Dragon Ball fighters that you can walk up to and possibly take on as your sensei. I took Piccolo as my master and he taught me some special abilities that you can also purchase and customize through your journey. A Namek teaching a Sayian how to fight is not unheard of, but I do want to see where this will go and hopefully I can learn the special beam cannon. That is one of the things to look forward too at least. So far I ran into Raditz, Vegeta, Krillin and Guldo, but two of those guys are villains’, so that throws me off a bit. But that’s all to build your character up taking abilities from different characters.
The Graphics have improved
I am not one to talk too much about 1080p and 60fps, but I can’t help but enjoy how Xenoverse looks. In its cel shaded art style is a great look for Dragon Ball video games for many years and it has only grown more. Now that we have a DB game on the new systems, it looks amazing. There are no stutters with the frames and even the cut-scenes with your character look impressive. I do enjoy a game that improves upon itself visually.
Let’s Get into Action
It is all about the high end martial arts action when it comes to any Dragon Ball game, but has it worked well through the years? Eh, not so much and it seems to have the same problems in Xenoverse with horrible camera angles in closed areas and a lock on feature that forgets that it is locked on to a character. It can be frustrating at times when you using the speed boost to catch up with your opponent and start punching at nothing because they are behind you. It will not auto correct your position which will be frustrating and leaves you open for an attack.
It is not all bad it just takes some patients to get used to the mechanics, but I have a clip of one of the battles below.
Even with some flaws in the fight mechanics Dragon Ball Xenoverse delivers on their promise in a totally new experience putting you into the series. This game has immense replay value and an open world to interact with many players through the vast quest and online battles. The original story brings a whole new look into the Dragon Ball series for current and new fans to enjoy. In that Dragon Ball Xenoverse gets 4 out of 5 dragon balls, even though you need a full seven for a wish, but you get idea. Xenoverse goes for $59.99 and is actually worth the price tag and I hope to see you on the battlefield, but before you go please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. If you want to get a game going definitely hit up my PSN, by request only. Stay frosty gamers!