Review – Dragon Ball Xenoverse (light spoilers)

A Dragon Ball game that stands out from its predecessors and sets a new bar for all future games

Dragon Ball Xenoverse – A Dragon Ball game that stands out from its predecessors and sets a new bar for all future games

I, like many people, am a huge fan of the Dragon Ball series. The characters are great, the stories are interesting and the action is intense. The games are great as well, although the market seems a bit oversaturated at this point. I grew up during a time when all we had was Dragon Ball GT Final Bout. Fans craved a Dragon Ball game that was set in the Z universe. Then we got what we wished for, multiple Dragon Ball games released for various systems.

The only issue with this: they felt a bit samey after a while.

Let me explain. Budokai comes out for the PS2, fantastic fighting game. Super fun playing through the first 3 sagas.

Budokai 2 comes out. Awesome, Now I can play through the entire series. Not only that, but there are some non-canon events that happen. Fantastic, it mixes things up a bit.

Budokai 3 comes out and it is an absolute masterpiece. I could not get enough of that game. The story mode was awesome and it didn’t feel like a chore.

Then, Budokai Tenkaichi came out. They offered more characters (loved playing as Chiaotzu) than Budokai 3 but it felt a little lacking. Not sure why.

It was around this time I got a little tired of playing through the same events over and over with every installment. So, I stopped purchasing DBZ games. I skipped Tenkaichi 2 and 3, Infinite World, and Burst limit 1 and 2 as well as a plethora of other games for different systems. It wasn’t until Battle of Z came out that I became interested in DBZ games again.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy Battle of Z. I hear that it’s much more enjoyable with 4 player co-op, but as far as DBZ games go, I found it to be alright and nothing special. It was just a game where you went through the motions of getting through the main story with random battles thrown in.

Then, I heard the news. A DBZ game where you could create your own character and play a somewhat different story was hitting the shelves. Enter Xenoverse.

Holy hell do I love this game. This was the game that finally scratched that itch for me.

You get to create your own character based on 5 different races, you can equip armor from various characters to him/her and you could equip them with almost any attack. You want to fire off a Galick gun as a Namekian? Go right ahead. Fire off a Kamehameha as a Frieza character? Sure! Want to use Candy beam to turn people into candy as a human? Well you can’t do that one but you get the point.

This is where the game shines for someone like me, though. It allowed me to create an original character, which I was very fond of doing in my youth, and take him through the DBZ storyline. It was a welcome (and much needed) addition to a Dragon Ball game. The story, itself, ranges from the Saiyan saga all the way to Battle of Gods movie.

The story is original in its own right. You play through the main story…. yeah, yeah, I know, but hear me out. You play through the main story but a new group of baddies are altering time. You think Vegeta is supposed to kill Nappa for being incompetent, but all of a sudden it becomes a two-Saiyan onslaught. You think you’re going up against Frieza’s first form before Goku arrives, but he’s gone full-power immediately. Ginyu is supposed to steal Goku’s body but, uh-oh, he gets yours. Simple things like that. There is also extra difficulty added when the bad guys get an extra power boost from the main antagonists.

The main goal is to stop Mira and Towa from releasing the Demon god Demigra. They collect energy as they mess with time in order to create a rift to allow Demigra to escape.

There are also additional missions (parallel quests) you can do to unlock equipment and attacks. Be warned though, the items are not easily obtained. The game implements a Random Number Generator (RNG) in order to shell out items and such. You’ll be replaying certain levels multiple times to unlock everything.

The parallel quests are where this game shines. These quests pair unlikely villains and heroes together in battles that they’ve never been in before. It’s also in these quests that the player can find the dragon balls. Find all 7 and you get a list of things to choose from. Choose wisely though.

Aside from the annoyance of the pure random nature of the levels, the game is very enjoyable. There’s a steep difficulty curve, but once you unlock the power-ups you’re fine. Saiyans are by far the most overpowered class in the game but that’s expected with this series. So, if you want to play with an “easier difficulty” then start there.

Overall, this game is very enjoyable and I still go back to it from time to time to play it. Check it out if you haven’t yet. The RNG is a chore, but it never hinders the experience. If anything, replaying Parallel Quests helps to level-up your character.

I give this game 5 dragon balls out of 5. Not enough to summon the Eternal Dragon, but you get the idea.

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