You probably know that Dragon Ball Xenoverse has been one of the most anticipated games in recent memory. The previews, the art style, the fast-paced fighting, all had us amped up to play this installment in the Dragon Ball video game universe.
With all this pressure heaped on the game, did it live up to my outlandish expectations, or would it crash and burn like many other titles in recent years? Let’s jump into this review and take a look!
Simply put, Xenoverse nailed the feel of the show dead on. The cell shaded art style keeps characters true to their on-screen alter egos and the sounds from the fights sent chills down my spine as I hear them for the first time in a long time.
The music that plays during the opening credits and during battles also deserves a round of applause. They both fit the Dragon Ball universe very well and the battle songs sure add that extra tension that is found in every battle during Dragon Ball Z’s episodes.
The voice work is also pretty clean. I never found myself shaking my head at a sloppy line, although when in the hub world, the characters’ mouths don’t move while talking, this was probably done to negate any unsynced mouth movements during the translation process, so I won’t judge it too much in the aspect. While you’re at it, you should also, of course, sit in the best gaming chair, shouldn’t you?
The game looked pretty damn nice too. The character models were the best I’ve ever seen in a Dragon Ball video game and the only areas lacking visually are the backgrounds far away during the battles and at times, the ground itself. These aren’t noticeable when you’re going 1000 mph in the air against a monster who is out to kill you.
Xenoverse looks and sounds like an interactive Dragon Ball Z episode. You could close your eyes and pretend you were listening to one if someone else was playing. The question is though, does Xenoverse PLAY like an episode of DBZ?
I’ll just be upfront with you guys. When I first hopped into my first fight, I was nervous. I wasn’t for sure if the developers would nail it or not. Simply put, they totally did. Not ten seconds into my first fight and I was wearing a huge smile across my face. The speed is there, the hand to hand combat is there, and you already know that all your favorite Ki blast attacks will be waiting for you to unlock them. High time for the next gen.
My 10-year-old self would probably pass out if I handed him the controller to play this game. It feels so much like being a part of the DBZ universe. Although beam struggles aren’t in the game, I didn’t find myself missing them too much. I feel as if they would’ve slowed down the action a bit too much and if there’s one thing this game does great, it’s the fast pacing that any watcher of DBZ has grown accustomed to.
In short, this is the first time, I’ve ever felt like I was playing as a real Dragon Ball Z fighter and not some DBZ themed Street Fighter character. Check out also this post about the perfect digital VITA machine.
The “it” factor
If there was one thing about Xenoverse that I enjoyed more than anything, it’s the created character aspect. At the beginning of the game, you are told to create a character that you will play as the rest of the game. There are many options, races, and wardrobe styles to choose from and you’ll unlock more clothes, accessories, moves and more as you play through the game and the other modes that are in store for you.
Ever since I was little, I was drawing custom DBZ characters and for the first time, it was implemented successfully. It doesn’t feel shoehorned in, it feels like a real, genuine part of the game. This is the Dragon Ball game I’ve wanted for years and years and years and thanks to Bandai Namco, it’s finally here. Having my own custom character makes me feel more attached to the character and when I see my guy fight alongside Vegeta, Goku, and the other Z Fighters, I always get a big, goofy smile on my face.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse isn’t perfect. It can feel a little floaty when fighting, the textures aren’t perfectly sharp, and fights can get a bit frustrating at times, but that doesn’t all matter. All in all, Xenoverse is a FUN game. It may even leave you in awe. It triggers deep nostalgia in me and I feel like I’m actually participating in my own saga.
When I look at this game, I judge it based on 10-year-old Rich and my expectations now. Having so much hype behind this game due to my own desires for it to be good, made this title really sit on the hot seat, but it has proved to be nothing but hours of fun for me.
I’ve been returning to Xenoverse again and again, trying to unlock every move, all the characters, all the costumes, and just loving every second of it. Although you may be left scratching your head during the story if you’ve never seen Dragon Ball Z, Xenoverse will still tickle any seasoned veteran of the series and give them an enjoyable experience through and through.