Should you join the Time Patrol? Find out in the Dragon Ball Xenoverse review!
I got my first taste of Dragon Ball Xenoverse at the Electronics and Entertainment Expo last year in the Bandai Namco booth. Not much was shown during the demo video except that the fighting/combo system would be much easier as compared to previous Dragon Ball Z fighting games. Most of the game was still shrouded in mystery because it wasn’t that far along at the time of E3 but it got the hype meter going and it was a game that I was excited for.
The story is pretty straightforward and without giving away too much, fan favorite Trunks is a member of the Time Patrol, an elite fighting force that fixes time anomalies. Events of the past aren’t happening as they should and Trunks asks Shenron to send help. The help is your playable character and you can make him/her look really anyway you want. Your character will interact with the likes of Krillin and Trunks. The events in the game that you need to correct follow the events of the anime. For example, you fight Raditz first. Then during the Vegeta fight, you fight the Saibamen first and then you have to fight Nappa and so on.
You learn the ropes of the game play pretty quick when Trunks tests you to see if you have what it takes to join the Time Patrol. Before you create your character, you have small trial fights to show you just how things work in the game. Xenoverse plays like a Massive Multi-online game with Toki Toki City, the city that plays like an online hub. You can buy items in Toki Toki City; you can interact with several non-playable characters in Toki Toki City.
When you’re not fixing a time issue, you’ll be walking the streets of Toki Toki City going on side quests or training with your master. Masters will teach you new fighting styles and new fighting moves. Masters are known characters from the manga like Krillin, my favorite!
During E3, one of the main selling points was that the fighting mechanics weren’t going to be as complicated as previous installments. It is safe to say that the controls for fighting are not complicated and combo attacks are very easy to perform. There are other parts of the game that are over complicated but I will get to those in a minute.
During battle, it’s easy enough to look over your attacks and see how to perform them, similar to Mortal Kombat having an attack list on the pause menu. It was easy to link attacks and go for multiple hit combos since attacks smoothly transition into another.
Some of the controls I found were just a little complicated while fighting. I found myself pushing the wrong buttons and not being able to lock on to the correct fighter. It was hard to fly high into the air, be looking at the right enemy, and then drop to the ground and finish the job. You also had to lock onto the gateway during side quests to travel between areas. At first you think you can go right through it but then you have to figure out the lock-on mechanic.
The graphics of the attacks give you the feeling that you’re watching an episode of the anime. Another example of how the game gives anime vibes is voice acting from the English dub of the anime. You can’t have Goku without voice actor Sean Schemmel providing his voice. The usual Dragon Ball Z characters have their anime voices but most of the interactions in Toki Toki City are just grunts and noises. The cut-scenes look great and would have been missing something if they didn’t have their anime voice actors.
While in Toki Toki City, you can go on parallel quests where you can find items to enhance your character or finish a mission like defeat a certain character or a group of characters. You can perform parallel quests with a friend and see what would happen if what happened in the anime didn’t happen.
Games have their highlights as well as their lowlights. Dragon Ball Xenoverse is no different. Like I mentioned before, the fighting controls are over complicated during simple techniques like flying and mid-air combat. Don’t get me wrong, the fighting combo system is very simple to learn and master. Simple maneuvers are tough to control. The voice acting is a great feature to the game where you can hear your favorite Dragon Ball Z character in their anime voice. However, the Toki Toki City interactions just have characters saying “hey” and that gets annoying after awhile. Toki Toki City, the hub city, works well for what it was designed for. It houses the character development area like equipment and items. However, the small town was tough to get around at times but doesn’t hurt the gameplay.
It’s these points that I give Dragon Ball Xenoverse an 8.5 out of 10; DBZ fans will enjoy getting to relive the great moments in Dragon Ball Z history. Join the Time Patrol and help keep the flow of time accurate!
Score: 8.5 / 10