Dragonball z is my childhood. From the saiyan saga all the way to standing in front of the TV to give Goku my energy at the end of the buu saga. (I pretend GT doesn’t exist). Now thanks to the new TV series Dragonball super i’m on a nostalgia trip and Xenoverse delivers.

Xenoverse gets you hyped from the moment you press the start button. Running through an action packed cinematic that stops to let you play out the biggest fights in the series. After which you are given a superbly drawn scene with a classic song.

“CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA!!!”

This end with trunks using the dragon balls to wish for a warrior to help him fix whats happening to time. That’s you. Enter character creation. Pretty creative way to explain away why the hero is non-cannon i have to say.

Character creation
You’ll be surprised to know that you get to pick your race! Again some of these choices stray pretty far from the source material but again explained away with the wish, plus its fucking awesome!

You have the choice of either:

  • Human (standard)
  • Saiyan (obviously)
  • Namekian ( a nice surprise)
  • Frieza race ( would have been nice to get an actually name)
  • Majin race (seriously wtf?)

Each race has its ups and downs stat wise as does each races genders, yeah that’s right you get a choice of that too! The attack animations for Namekians includes there extendo arms, the Majin race animation are exactly what you’d expect. Unfortunately the Frieza race gets none of its transformations which would have been amazing but you can make yourself look like stages 1,2 and 4 stages 3 not so much. Saiyans are the only ones that can go super (obviously) and Humans are pretty boring honestly.

Once you’ve made yourself look as cool or as dumb as possible its time to jump right into the tutorial…urgh. This is done during a fight with future trunks, he’s holding back and mostly just lets you wail on him till you’ve completed all the tasks set by the tutorial.
Next up is exploring the main hub area. It’s nice that you can walk around and talk to all your favorite characters ect and it does add to the setting of the game but its so dull and unnecessary large.

-5 points for making me walk very slowly everywhere when i can fucking fly at the speed of sound.

-5 points for the being so large and empty
-2 points for the odd controls, you’d think they’d keep the jump button and the action button the same but they get switched around between battles and the hub world.

The only good thing about it is the online features, it shows you other players characters who you can recruit to help you for a small fee, they can only be used in parallel quests however (more on them later). Its also quite entertaining to see how ugly some peoples characters are, influenced heavily by “letsplayers” albeit. (Namely TFS gaming).

Once the city walking simulation is done with you get to play a story mission, starting right at the beginning. The Raditz battle! But with a Xenoverse twist, someone is jumping through time and powering up the bad guys at critical points. In this instance Raditz dodges kid Gohan’s headbutt.

This is all show in a really cool cut scene that then merges into the game really well, if it wasn’t for the small delay to allow for loading you wouldn’t notice.

-5 points for really bad lip syncs, either it was originally synced to Japanese and just dubbed over by the English voice actors or it was rushed. Either way it’s off putting and spoils it a little.

-5 points for the dated graphics, I’m a big fan of cell shading and i think it works really well within dragon ball z but the textures are really low resolution and a lot of the textures used for the ground are horrible.
Once you’ve set time back to normal trunks will show you the time patrol missions or “parallel quests”. There basically what if situations throughout the dragon ball series for example during the Saiyan saga Raditz, Nappa and Vegeta all land at the same time and start searching for dragon balls and you have to fight them off.

Completing these missions will grant you rewards, that include but are not limited to new skills, transformations and healing items. You can also find dragon balls by fight randomly generated time patrollers (other player characters controlled by the AI).

These missions also include a little bit of treasure hunting, it’s entirely optional but you can use your scouter (given to you by trunks) to find hidden items through out battle areas.

-2 points for annoying and unclear tutorial. Spent a large amount of time flying around the wrong area.

These time patrol missions occasionally include dragon ball collecting and event triggers, beating krillin to death to get to Goku to transform so you can squire super saiyan for example.

Battles
Each battle starts you off facing your opponent just like in the anime, to actually fight to your fullest you will need to lock on to them. If there are multiple enemies you can switch who you are locked on to at will. You can even turn it off but it isn’t advised. Annoyingly the lock on system doesn’t always work as well as it should and you’ll find yourself facing the wrong way as you punch and kick the air. Having a camera with a mind of its own doesn’t help either.

-5 for crap lock on system and bad camera angle

Fighting is pretty simple, you have light attack and strong attacks that you can combine into large combos and then you have special attacks and ultimate attacks that vary from energy beams to transformation to smash combos. These use up your Ki meter.

You also have the ability to use after image, basically a dodge that moves you out of the way of any attacks and in a position to attack your opponent. You can also jump and fly around, flying has two speeds and you’ll find yourself zooming around the map most of the time. It’s pretty fun!

-2 points for the invulnerability gained from being knocked to the ground.

As simplistic as it is combat is enjoyable, the sounds of fists connecting to faces are satisfying and using iconic moves such as “Final flash” whilst using the kaioken x 20 transformation makes you feel like a badass.

You’ll find that a lot of fights will take place with more than one person and you usually have someone with you, at the beginning of patrol missions you can even choose who you want with you. I normally choose really weak people like Yamcha or Appule simply because i find it hilarious to watch them fight beings of immense power like perfect cell. Appule couldn’t handle a bottle of raspberry schnapps let alone a planet destroying bugman.

Choosing certain characters results in hilarious dialog, for example fighting Goten and Trunks with Raditz will result him to comment on Goku getting too close to earthlings.
On a side note you can also play these mission on co op with other players online. A nice little bonus. Which reminds me, you also have the ability to revive team mates, the games not over until everyone is K.O handy when facing off against high levels.

+2 points for the character models showing damage after certain percentages of health. It’s something all fighting games should have, especially when the attacks are at planet destroying levels.

Like most fighting games online vs is just a fucking mess, people use the best possible equipment with the strongest races to one hit kill you with the best moves. It can’t be helped and i wont deduct points since I’ve seen the same thing happen in soul caliber, mortal kombat, injustice gods among us, street fight and lots lots more.

Character progression
You gain XP for beating levels, winning online/offline matches and completing patrol missions. Every time you level up to gain stat points that can be spent improving your character. Leveling up also strengthens you character passively, even if you don’t use the stat points for example at level 30 you’ll find fighting anyone in the saiyan saga a breeze.
You can put your stat points into health, Ki, stamina, base attacks, ki attack and special attacks. However it only makes a difference for every 10 points, putting 1 point in health will not give you anything. So always plan ahead and make sure you have an even number of points to gain the best stat possible.

You can also boost your abilities by equipping clothing, they can be purchased from the game hub or found in patrol missions. The best equipment can only be found by using the dragon balls. Not all equipment is good however, some can hinder your special attacks and boost your health not great when using a character that uses range all the time.

You’ll need to make sure the equipment you where compliments your play style. Unless like me you don’t really care about the down side and just want to look as cool as possible! I go for the ox kings costume and Roshi mustache myself.

Just like equipment, to gain more skills / abilities you can either buy them at the game hub or find them during patrol missions. Again the very best are found using the dragon balls. You’ll almost every move in the dragon ball universe are available in this game and some moves that aren’t even moves. Looking at you Para brothers dance skill.
Lastly you can gain signature skills by training under a prominent member of the dragon ball universe from Vegeta to Friezer to Lord Beerus himself.

Story
Like a lot of dragon ball games you follow the saiyan, friezer, android, cell and buu sagas. The twist here is that someone is messing with time and changing everything around to create some brilliant what if scenarios. There are plenty of twists and turns and i don’t want to ruin all of the surprises but my favorite so far has to be seeing Mr.Satan surpass perfect cell in power.

There is lots of variety within the missions including the giant apes fights, changing into Ginyu and endless battles. Speaking of which.

-2 points for the annoying grind missions
-2 points for future trunk’s dumb narration, like during the fight with Nappa..Really cringe
-2 points for having to watch all cut scenes when restarting a level.

There also some new characters, they are well thought out and have some great dialog. It’s pretty clear on what the game devs were going for during the the introduction of one of these characters….Towa

Roster
It’s easier to tell you who isn’t include rather than who is frankly! No second or third form friezer, no imperfect or semi perfect cell. Only android 17 &18, basically no GT characters unless you get the DLC. Dodoria, Zarbon, Dabra and Babidi aren’t included either and that’s it.

You get everyone else including Whis and Lord beerus!

Dragon ball Xenoverse gets a 7/10