Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse lets you jump into the DB universe with your very own fighter

By Thomas Price | Small Business

In a special Tokyo Game Show event, Bandai Namco further detailed the fifteenth Dragon Ball Z console fighting game, Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse. Since the last game disappointed us, we were keen to see what Bandai Namco had in store to win us over this time. We also got a hands-on with the game on with the Playstation 4 version to get to grips with what this latest game brings to the table.

(See: Dragon Ball Z Battle of Z review: they really dropped the Dragon Ball on this one)

During a previously released trailer, a mysterious character was teased, who resembled a blend of several characters’ features. This character was revealed to actually not necessarily feature in the game—it was included to represent the player-made characters fans will be able to customise and play as.

DBZCustom

Taking more than just inspiration from 2010’s Dragon Ball Online, Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse will have players create characters from the Human, Saiyan, Namekian, or Majin races, of either gender. These player-made characters can be visually customised to a fairly impressive degree, with each race playing differently and having customizable costumes and special attacks.

Custom characters can be taken online to fight against either other players’ characters or the usual series staples like Goku and Vegeta. Online co-op battles are available, with up to three players able to team up at once, but the focus is still the one-on-one battles. Online was a bit lacking in the previous game, but we didn’t see enough of the online mode’s options to really judge if that’s been fixed here or not. Fingers crossed!

dbz shenron

The story mode will focus on this custom character, as they try to fix the Dragon Ball Z timeline by travelling through time, after original villains Towa and Mira have been changing key events. You’ll be helped out by fellow time traveller Future Trunks, and new character the Supreme Kai of Time and a birdlike ‘special life form’ Tokitoki. This all seems like a decent way to let players relive or reimagine famous battles from the series without just having them play through the original story yet again.

(See: F2P fighting game Rise of Incarnates coming to Steam Early Access in November with tons of new content)

The characters level up throughout the game, and train under the main characters, who can serve as the player’s master. It is possible to switch masters after you’ve learned what you like from another, but this may upset the previous master (especially the ever-grumpy Vegeta). These relationships have in-battle consequences, as characters can jump in to briefly support you, for instance in a joint Kamehameha attack.

DBZ girl buu

From the time we had with the game, the game appears to live up to its heritage. Fights are still fast and frantic, with the expected energy attacks, teleportation-like reversals, and the ability to blast through the large stages at high speed. Besides a few objects and temporary cosmetic effects, environments still aren’t fully destructible, which seems like a missed opportunity, but it doesn’t detract from the feel of the fights. Disappointingly the AI seems to still be somewhat brainless, which detracts from the appeal of the single-player story mode somewhat.

Graphically the series has refined its cell-shaded anime style even further, and is probably the best-looking 3D Dragon Ball Z game yet. Colors seemed a bit deeper than some earlier, brighter-colored games in the series, in line with the previous entry Battle of Z.

dbz future trunks

The game was apparently inspired by the seemingly eternal appeal of pretending to do Kamehamehas for children in Japan and throughout the world. With the player-customized character now being available among the already extensive cast of series staples, Bandai Namco are hoping to let players feel like they personally can be part of the Dragon Ball Z story.

Considering that Dragon Ball Online never made it outside of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, and disappointingly closed down for good late last year, it may be the first time for a lot of fans to enter the Dragon Ball universe in this way. Or it may prove a fun way for Asian gamers to remake their characters from that game, and bring them back to a starring role in the DBZ universe. Either way, the feature seems to be a great shakeup to a franchise that despite being fun, has frequently felt stale.

This story is part of our Tokyo Game Show 2014 coverage.


Another anime fighter we liked at TGS this year:
  • Digimon All Star Rumble is exclusive to the West, but buy an imported version anyway (VIDEO)

digimon-allstarrumble

If you like Digimon and Super Smash Bros., this is probably the game for you. Prepare to wreak some havoc as Agumon and company!



The post Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse lets you jump into the DB universe with your very own fighter appeared first on Games in Asia.


The post Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse lets you jump into the DB universe with your very own fighter appeared first on Games in Asia.
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