Dragon Ball Xenoverse (PS4) Review

Dragon Ball video games have been in a very strange state in the past few years. I’ve personally avoided plenty of them due to bad reception and them feeling like a general waste of time. Xenoverse is something a bit different, but, in a good way, in a very, very good way, and despite some technical issues, the game is the best Dragon Ball has been since Tenkaichi 3 for the Playstation 2/Wii.

The actual concept of Xenoverse is strange in itself. It has MMO elements and a unique plot that is the best concept for a Dragon Ball game since…well, ever. Instead of getting a typical retelling of the plot of Dragon Ball Z, we get something totally different and a twist to the typical telling of the plot. You create a character (who can be Namekian, Saiyan, Earthling, Frieza Race (yeah…it’s actually called Frieza Race), and Maijin) that is the main character of the story. Trunks also plays a significant role as you go back in time with him to various moments in Dragon Ball Z that you have to fix the timeline of. Two mysterious characters named Mira and Towa are messing with the timeline and you have to fix it so the events remain the way they were originally in the plot of Dragon Ball Z. For one thing, we get to create a character. For another thing, he’s the main character. And lastly, we get a unique plot. Did someone finally realize how goddamn stale the past few Dragon Ball games were? That we actually needed something new? It’s amazing it took this long.

The main MMO hub world of the game is called Toki Toki City and it is like a typical MMO town found within just about any normal MMO. You can buy things from shops, you can take on quests online and offline (Parallel Quests which are basically used for a level grinding device more than anything), have an iconic DBZ character train you, or interact with other players. The issue is…the servers are kind of garbage right now. They don’t run more than half the time and most of the time it seems like they enjoy being offline. On top of that, you can only go to Toki Toki City. The game contains no other menus. There isn’t a quick V.S. mode menu on the title screen, which is incredibly obnoxious and the local play seems a bit quickly put together considering you can only play on one stage and only can play 1 vs. 1. Another small issue is that you can’t boost attributes in between story levels without actually exiting out of the story mode and then loading it up again. It’s small issues like that that hinder Xenoverse from being a really great game.

The combat itself is fluent and some of the best combat in a DBZ game. It’s hard to say that it is better than Tenkaichi, which is where I feel they perfected the combat, but it still works pretty damn well. It’s fast-paced, allows you to equip different skills, and on your created character you get to build up your stats in your own way. It’s hard to really say much about it beyond the fact that it is a typical anime fighter style of combat involving quick presses of Square and Triangle (at least on the PS4) and combining that with simple two button pushes for special attacks. It’s been done before but is at its near best in Xenoverse.

One of the most lacking departments is the amount of characters. There are not very many characters in Xenoverse, especially with how much we’ve been spoiled with past DBZ titles. There are 47 characters. Is that a decent amount? Sure. I can be a bit more forgiving. This is the first title in the Xenoverse series in which I am sure we will get another one of next year or the year after. It’s worth realizing that this is an entirely new game and that expecting a lot of characters (in the hundreds) shouldn’t be expected in a first title. My hope is that we get a sequel with a lot more characters and more content in general and I hope to see more MMO elements being incorporated, as in having more varied quest content beyond just beating up a bunch of different dudes in different areas. I’d like to see them get crazy and do weird MMO stuff in a fighting game if they could.

Xenoverse is a really solid title and is worth the sixty dollars. It’s clear to me that actual work and care was put into this title. It isn’t a cheap cash-in for the DBZ franchise. It seems like a true passion project made for DBZ fans and fans of fighters and the MMO content just makes it all the better, even if it is minimal. The game is on the cusp of being something really amazing. It’s great, but it doesn’t quite hit the spot it should. It needs more content and it needs more varied game design but it is a game that is in the need of a true sequel that will do everything to improve an already great game.

Pros:

+Great combat, the best since Tenkaichi

+MMO elements that fit right into a DBZ game

+Your created character being the main character

+Unique storytelling

Cons:

-Lack of characters

-Lack of varied Parallel Quest mission design

-Server issues and minimal kinks that need to be worked out

Score: 8.0/10

Author of this post (and the only person posting on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) He’s trying to be a video game journalist but is probably failing at that. You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book Passing Out Pieces for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).

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