Rock Your Own Dragons: Dragon Ball Xenoverse Review

Hey guys, Mark here just letting you know that I nor, Donte or Chaz wrote this fine review. It actually comes from one of our awesome contributors. His name is Dave “Kashin” Hovis and if you enjoy what you read let us know cause this won’t be the last you hear from him! So without further adieu:

What’s up my fellow Z fighters?! Today I shall be talking about the newest installment of the Dragon Ball Z gaming family, Dragon Ball Xenoverse! Developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco it was released on February 5th in Japan and February 26th in North America, the game is available on PS4, Ps3, Xbox360, Xbox One and PC.  It was very much a spirit­bomb of anticipation for many, but did it live up to the hype? My short answer? Yes, it did. The long answer? Well you’ll have to stick around for the ride as I break it down for you!

Xenoverse offers a unique story full of time hopping shenanigans that you are thrown into with the help of our old friend (Future) Trunks. He recruits you as a time Patroller and sends you off to investigate strange occurrences within the timelines of history. What is causing these abnormalities? That my friend is something for you to find out!  I will give my 2 cents and say that the story entertained me quite a bit.  However, that is not to say there isn’t some mediocre dialogue that will, at times, make you think to yourself “… really?”. Even so, the narrative makes up for it in many other areas and is FAR from what I would call bad.

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You will spend your down time from story missions, online battles and parallel quests in the great floating TokiToki city; the base of operations for the Time Patrol. The city itself is circular and broken in three zones which will provide many different functions such as clothing, items, quests and missions. Many NPC’s also fill the city; those with a name in blue text such as Goma who is seen in the image above are game based characters. Those with yellow names will be the NPC versions of player characters if you are in offline mode and of course white text is your own character;  in this case my Saiyan gal Kyoko. While in TokiToki you will see many custom created characters such as your own and that is exactly what we are going to touch on right now! This is the first time we have been able to create our own unique hero within the Dragon Ball Z universe. For quite some time people have hoped and wished for this feature and now it is here!

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We are given the choice between five different races for our custom hero, which are Earthling, Namek, Frieza Clan, Majin and Saiyan!  Each race comes with unique attributes and stats.  For example, as seen in the image here Earthlings have a balance stat set and auto­refill Ki which can be quite helpful. One thing to note is that for the Majin, Saiyan and Earthling both males and females DO differ in health and stats and the game does let you know about this upon selecting a gender.

As far as overall customization is concerned, you are indeed given quite a few options of hair, eyes, jaw, and nose and skin color.  Each race has a handful of unique options to play with. Personally, I have seen some folks upset and say there is a bit of a lack of options and perhaps that is true to an extent, but this is our first time getting this feature and I feel it is a step in the right direction. Did I mention you get to choose a custom voice? That is a neat little addition as well!  You are given a very, very generous color palette as well, which gives you free reign over your customization. Want a blue Saiyan? You got it!  A neon pink Namekian? Absolutely! This opens the door for many unique and creative characters that you will see bouncing around the city during your down time.   All in all, you will find yourself having fun with this I feel and do keep in mind that you eventually have a total of 8 character slots to play with!

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Side missions (called Parallel Quests) can be picked up and earned as you progress through the story, ranging in difficulty from one star, being the easiest, to a seven star rank. These quests are vital to your progression in the game as they sometimes offer the most experience points, clothing and abilities. You character maxes out at level 80 so these quests will be something you really want to work on.  The quests themselves also offer a ranking system from D rank to Z rank which is determined based on mission performance and meeting certain criteria during the mission. In this case Z rank is the highest with C, B, A and S in between. Higher ranks can yield more money rewards and sometimes rare items. This is an awesome element to the game, adding much more content to play with and allows the game to dodge the bullet of being a “5 hours play through & done “as some of the older titles have been. Xenoverse brings a mix of combat be you a bare fist brawler or an energy beam cannon or heck, even a mix of both you will find yourself having fun in the Xenoverse world.

You are given a large selection of both Ki based and melee based attacks as well as many buff type abilities and evasive abilities! While leveling you are given attribute points that you can place into states such as Total Ki, Stamina, Health, physical striking, super melee and super ki blast. How you spend your points will greatly determine how your character fights. When in the midst of battle you can find yourself getting really into it. Between fast paced combat and the three­dimensional combat you are given thanks to flight Xenoverse still brings the best of Dragon Ball Z to the table and then some. You can find pros and cons to most of the abilities and even transforming into the mighty Super Saiyan has pluses and minuses that keep it balanced. There is one notably frustrating flaw though which lies with the targeting system. The system has a habit of auto targeting during a fight and depending on where you are on a map it can really because you some confusion, but it is not the worst system I have seen.

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With all things considered, looking at this game would I say it is perfect? No, I would not. What I will say is that it is fun, absolutely fun. Even with the good and bad points this is a game that I feel any DBZ fan or even someone new to DBZ could very much enjoy. It lives up to be the title of a fighting game and the improved cell­shading graphics do it anime justice. This game will offer you a Dragonball experience like none other before it so I hope to see you and your custom avatar on the other side! Keep those Dragon radars on hand, folks!