Dragon Ball XenoVerse (DBX) gives a face lift to an already successful franchise; offering a new twist to fans as they play through their favourite battles with a fully customizable fighter. DBX has some unique differences that set it apart from other Dragon Ball games that have been released in the past. Dimps has mixed together a classic fighter with a touch of RPG and the result is a delicious hybrid that fits together perfectly.
The game’s opening sequence is of Trunks summoning Shenron, the great wish-granting dragon of awesomeness. The storyline follows thusly: Trunks wishes for a strong ally that can travel through time, help fix the changing history by finding the source of said changes, nullifying them and ultimately being the “saviour of the universe”, Flash style! Your role is to travel back in time to some of the most memorable DBZ moments and battles, making sure the scales are tipped back into balance of Goku, his merry gang of misfits and Krillin (don’t we all just hate Krillin?!). The result is a breath of fresh air giving fans a change to the predictable story of the past titles.
Whilst character customisation is not a new thing to the Dragon Ball games, it’s the first time Dimps has utilised it in a popular remake of the DB family and to the extent we see in DBX (some hardcore gamers may remember customisation options in DB Online and DBZ: Ultimate Tenkaichi). In DBX character customisation allows the player endless options of not just skills and moves they can execute in battle but also their character’s race, gender, head, build, voice and clothing. The one major gripe I have with the customisation options is the lack of ability to preview clothing and accessories before you purchase them. Although you can see the stat advantages and disadvantages of each piece I personally believe it’s equally important to look SAF (Sexy As Fuck) when kicking the shit out of 20 Cell Jnr’s. Players have five races to choose from: Earthlings, Majins, Namekians, Saiyans and Frieza’s race all with their own fighting style and weaknesses ensuring there is one that will suit your style.
Combat in XenoVerse can be quite tricky at the start, especially with the three dimensional fighting. I found the ascending and descending difficult to get a handle on but as time goes on you will find yourself stringing together longer combos and landing more sweet hits. I love the fact that every move that you can think of throughout the series is available for your character to unlock and equip. This also goes for accessories all of which will look familiar to fans of the show. With endless combinations of moves to change out and equip it keeps combat interesting until you find that perfect set of moves that suits your playing style.
DBX offers players a number of different avenues of game play in 12 Master Quests and 50 Parallel Quests, with 200 skills and 400 pieces of equipment to unlock and choose from. Players also have the option of playing offline/online with friends in the Parallel Quests or against one another in Online Battles.
As much as I love this game there were a few things in XenoVerse that really annoyed me that gamers should be made aware of. Firstly, the sound or lack thereof. I was constantly checking my headset to see if it was flat or disconnected because in game if you’re not fighting it’s dead silent, no background music, nothing. The sound to picture is so disjointed that when a character speaks their lips are out of sync or they just don’t move at all. I found this would happen frequently throughout the game especially in the cut scenes. Secondly, online play is finicky at best. DBX gives players the option of selecting Single or Multi Lobby play at the home screen but all too often the servers are unavailable for reasons ranging from too many players on the server to the Multi Lobby hamster needing to take a break from his server-powering hamster wheel. Do be aware that if playing Parallel Quests with friends, if you have not personally finished the Quest only the party leader will be given a ranking and ultimately have it chalked up as complete.
Overall XenoVerse is one of the most enjoyable games I have played on this generation of consoles (in saiyin that I’m a jungle iz massive DBZ fanboy so this review is a work of pure, biased junk). Whether you are playing solo or online with your friends it is downright fun and very addictive. I normally hate them but the included cut scenes are a journey back into the show we all know and love, and I think that’s tops. Dimps has done a great job with this title and with ongoing updates to improve gameplay, sound and potentially adding further skills and equipment I can see myself playing DBX until they release the inevitable sequel.
Reviewed by John Gray and James Shegog on PS4.