Friday, March 27, 2015

My Dragonball: Xenoverse Review: Not Quite Over 9000

Dragonball Z: Xenoverse is a Dragon Ball game developed by Dimps for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows (via Steam).

Essentially, Towa and Mira (Female and Male Demons respectively) have begun interfering with time using manipulative magic (possession, enhancement of abilities, et cetera) in order to wreak havoc which later results in the Demon God Demigra's release from the Chasm of Time (a prison dimension both separate and a part of time). Demigra, once freed, also begins to damage history almost to the point of being irreversible. The player's role as a Time Patroller is to fix the timeline with the Supreme Kai of Time and Future Trunks by restoring certain events during fights.

From Left to Right: Supreme Kai of Time, Future Trunks (Time Patrol Trunks)

It's fresh a take on the familiar Dragonball Z storyline without being a complete rehash of things most fans have seen and heard before. What is so great about the game is that your character feels like the center of attention and absolutely vital during the plot. It's more of an RPG (Role Playing Game) than it is a typical fighter. You can gain experience, level up, and allocate attribute points as needed.

One major aspect of DBZ Xenoverse is that you can pick from up to five different races to choose from when creating your own character. You can choose from Majin, Saiyan, Human/Earthling, Namekian, and Frieza's Race (Arcosian? It's never really explicitly stated that was the name of the villain's race, but at this point, I feel as though they Akira Toriyama probably should've properly named them.) There's a pretty decent selection yet, I'm kind of irritated that Supreme Kai or Android races aren't available and that there is no "thin" Majin options for males (They're all fat).

From Left to Right: Towa, Mira
The gameplay mechanics are decent, but they're not great. The combat system is a tad overly simplistic, almost to the point of being bare bones button mashing. It becomes repetitive and frustrating at certain intervals as you're alternating between strong melee attacks, weak melee, ki blasts, and ultimate or strike super attacks. The most irritating aspect however, is when players are fighting against more than one opponent, as the COMs tend to spam attacks and will attack mercilessly as you're locked onto only one of them at any given time. There is no training mode to practice acquired skills, nor is there a preview option for when the player acquires a new outfit or piece of clothing before purchase.

The AI is absolutely terrible for certain missions (in particular, the ones where you have to keep allies alive while maintaining your own health all while trying to defeat your opponents in the time allotted).

In addition, there are no beam struggles (which means no iconic laser clashes like the Galick Gun verses the Kamehameha).

The currently level cap is 80 (at the time of this writing) and I'm honestly hoping that will change. I'm questioning why it wasn't just placed at 100 for the sake of it.


Overall, this is a 7.0/10.0 (C) rank title. It's most certainly worth a rental, but depending on your preferences, it may or may not be worth an actual purchase. I would argue that it's not as good as DragonBall Z: Budokai Tenkaichi III (In my personal opinion, the greatest game in the franchise.), but it pulls its own weight. It far exceeds the most terrible game in the franchise, Dragonball Z: Sagas, that's for certain.

My Custom Character: David
"I'm going to tell you more about this game, but first, let me take a selfie!"
Key Criticisms

  • No "Sonic Sway" defensive move.
  • Android Race and Supreme Kai Race options are unavailable.
  • No "thin" Majin options for male characters.
  • No Super Saiyan 3 transformations for custom characters.
  • Random Number Generator Reward System.
  • No Versus Mode available via the title screen. (You must select a character first, then go from the central HUB city Toki Toki Tower to get to the local and online versus screens, respectively.)
  • Occasional frame rate drops (Usually only occurs during intense combat with multiple enemies. I currently own the PS4 version of the game.) 
  • Audio not in sync with dialogue.
  • No proper Ki Blast Deflection (The basic ki blasts all characters have.)
  • No "Dragon Dashing" (or "Dash Clash") - When two players dash into each other at the same time, they should enter the "clash" simulation where both players will battle it out (usually in a Joystick struggle) for the most hits. Whoever get the most hits (in the hit counter usually displayed on screen) would win the struggle and knocks the opponent away, usually to be followed up with continued attack.
  • No adjustable difficulty settings
  • Limited character roster (For instance, Majin Vegeta is unavailable. Dodoria and Zarbon are not available and "base form" Teen Gohan is not either. He starts off Super Saiyan)

Praise/Noteworthy Aspects:

  • No QTEs (Quick Time Events) are present during the storyline, although clashes & beam struggles should be implemented.
  • Nice overall story (albeit one without main character dialogue)
  • Customization options are vast (Skills, clothing, et cetera)
  • True to form graphics (although, some characters look like they've put on a lot more tanning oil than needed).
  • Good Soundtrack


Typically, I use a scale of 1.0-10.0 (with 1.0 being the worst possible game and 10.0 being the absolute best). Additionally, I may use an A through F grading scale to further determine the quality (or lack thereof) of entertainment each game possesses. C rank games, for example, are of average quality while D rank games (while only slightly above F rank) are far worse. What sets D rank games apart from F ranked ones involves the basic fundamental playable mechanics of the game itself. (Most movie games fall under D rank category, while games like "Sprung" for the Nintendo DS fall under the F category as it should not even be considered a game).

Rent: This game is worth a trial run. It may have some aspects to it that are memorable or noteworthy, but may need a bit more polish. You'll have to try it to see if it's worth a purchase. Player discretion is advised.

Buy: This game is most definitely worth the money you've spent (possibly even more so). These are games you should go for.

Pass: This game isn't worth your time. It may have dropped frame-rates, glitches, poor storylines, bad or non-responsive mechanics, or other terrible components. I try to avoid purchasing poor games whenever possible and I read reviews (like you are now) in order to get a better idea of whether or not I'll like a particular game.