Dragon Ball Xenoverse is the next game in the Dragon Ball franchise following the story of Goku and the rest of the Z fighters. Xenoverse takes the normal 3D fighting franchise and adds a twist to the formula as players are able to create their own character to partake in the twist on the original Dragon ball Z story.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse you get to play as your own character who is a member of the Time Force, a group of warriors that travel through time to correct events that have been changed in order to maintain the normal state of time. When you first appear at the Time Nest, you are greeted by Trunks from the future who explains that time has been changing, and it's up to you to go back and to help the Z fighters win battles that they should have been winning all along. While you are correcting the time stream it is also up to you to try to unveil the culprit behind all these changing events.
As your original character, you will get to play through slightly distorted versions of the Saiyan saga all the way through to the kid Buu saga as well as the events of the latest Dragon Ball Z movie Battle of the Gods. This game follows the original manga so it does not take into account the events of Dragon Ball GT, though it has been revealed that GT based DLC will be releasing. On top of regular story, there are also side parallel quests that unlock as you progress through the story mode. These parallel quests range in difficulty from one star to seven stars and have you select a team of characters or play with others online to try to complete an objective. Though it is normally "defeat all opponents," sometimes there are changes, such as collecting dragon balls. The Parallel quests give players a lot of great variety in who they will be facing and where they will fight to bring a bit of new paint to the repetition of the normal story mode from most Dragon Ball Z games.
Character Customization in Dragon Ball Xenoverse is fairly robust, allowing players to select form the playable races of Saiyan, Buu and Earthlings, as well as from the all male Namekians and Frieza Race. From there players are able to choose what colors they want their character to appear in as well as some basic look choices such as shape of eyes, style of hair (where applicable) and the voice of the character. Each character is also given a basic array of special and super special moves to have at their disposal for the start of the game. Each character is also given skill points that they are able to allocate into the fields of Max Health, Max Ki, Max Stamina, Basic Attack, Strike Supers and Ki Blast Supers. Every time that your character levels up through battling you will be given another three skill points to further advance your character. This adds an RPG element to the game as you aren't just playing as characters from the universe like in other games but you are more involved as your own creation.
While not actively fighting, your player will find themselves in the hub world of the Time Nest. It is here that you will be in a multiplayer lobby, or alone if you choose to, where you can explore the shops, play multiplayer offline or online, start a new quest or meet other players. There is an emote system where you can make your character imitate some well known stances from the Dragon Ball series such as all of the Ginyu Force stances, the Great Saiyaman transformation pose and if you have a friend to play with even the left and right side of the fusion dance. There is no chat system, just pre-made messages, so any complicated communication would have to be done using voice chat once you are in a team.
Completing parallel quests are as vital to the game as completing the main quest as you are able to gain clothing, accessories and special moves by successfully clearing them. Clothing can be used to augment each of the six different traits of your fighter to further specify your character, or to give them a boost where they may be lacking. There are some original outfits to be won, but you can also get pretty much any piece of clothing that you have seen your favorite Dragon Ball Z characters wearing throughout the series. The accessory also changes the looks of your character but it does not change any of your players stats, these are not specific to any part of the body and could be a scouter, Trunk's sword or even Piccolo's turban.
The special moves that you can get during missions allow you to change what your special attack, ultimate attack and evasive move is. You are allowed four special attacks, two ultimate attacks and one evasive attack that could be moves that belong to any character in the Dragon Ball universe or even original ones for Xenoverse. You can't get all of the different custom moves from parallel quests and the special move shop alone though, as you progress certain characters from the series will be available to become your mentor and you will begin to learn different signature attacks from them, such as only being able to get the Ultimate attack Big Bang Attack from training under Vegeta for long enough. Each mentor has four different moves that you can learn before your training with them ends and you can go in search of a new mentor. The custom selection of attacks is a great touch as you can specialize all aspects of your character to fit your play style.
The battles themselves are set up as team based 3D fighters with basic attacks, heavy attacks, a jump and basic ki blast attacks. Every character is also given the ability to fly so that you can rise and lower yourself to get closer to your opponent. Some features that Dragon Ball Z fans will know such as the dashing towards opponents is still a part of the game but other features like being able to charge your own ki are only possible by acquiring the "Energy charge" special move. You are able to view the health bars of your character as well as that of the other characters in your team, on top of that you can see your ki which is expended while using super moves and your stamina which your use when dodging and dashing around.
There are also win and lose conditions that you have to pay attention to ensure that you are participating in the fight as you should be doing. The battles are enjoyable and normally fast paced but if you are attempting to complete a story level while your character is too low a level then you will find yourself failing repeatedly. There is a lot of repetitive fighting that you will have to participate in to level up your character.
Graphically this game looks great with a style that follows a lot of the other Dragon Ball Z games in the franchise. During the main story line, there are also some times when instead of having an in-game cut scene there will be an anime cut scene in the same style as the Battle of the Gods movie. When transitioning from area to area within a battle through a portal there is a large drop in frame rate that only lasts a second but can be quite jarring in a normally fast and fluid game. The game also has a wide variety of different effects for all of the different attacks that your character can use that all look great.
Xenoverse has a soundtrack comprised as some original songs as well as some returning songs, such as opening title music. A lot of the sound effects in the game are clear and work but will become extremely repetitive such as the punching, kicking, teleporting and charging noises but that's something to be expected.
Parallel quests can be completed online by creating a lobby for the quest and having people automatically get matched to it or by inviting friends to fight alongside you. You are also able to play against one friend in local coop where you are able to choose to play as your custom fighter or as one of the many different characters from the Dragon Ball Z fighters, the roster for Xenoverse is quite a bit smaller than prior games such as Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse is a game that manages to breath some fresh life into the retold story of Dragon Ball Z by allowing you as a player to create an original character and fight along side the Z fighters in some of their greatest fights. Mixing in RPG, customization and even some MMO elements the player is able to custom tailor their own character to their different fighting style and show off their creation to the world.
You can now purchase Dragon Ball Xenoverse for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, Dragon Ball Xenoverse will be available for the PC on the 27th.
This game was purchased with the reviews own money and played on the Xbox One.