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The Next Level In Gaming

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As you may already know I am a huge Dragon ball fan and have an extensive collection of games, with the last one being Dragon ball: Battle of Z which was a major disappointment. I then heard that there was a plan to create a new game which was meant to be so much better than the last one, that being said I was interested in the new title for one reason and that was the mysteriouse unknown character with red hair. After finding out that this was a user created character and that you could create your own fighter, I immediately preordered my copy of the Dragon ball Xenoverse some nine months before the release date and was really looking forward to getting my game on.

Normally in Dragon ball games play along the storyline of the Z series which has had it’s fair share of mistakes and disappointments. However Dragon ball Xenoverse has found a way to completely bypass the Z universe story by using time travel. The story goes like this, Future Trunks who travelled in time during the Android and Cell Saga has been tasked to help maintain the passage of time by the Supreme Kai of Time. Since he was the very first one to split time into different time lines the Supreme Kai of Time thought he would atone for this to ensure no one else does the same, so he calls fourth Shenron and asks him for a warrior strong enough to help him.

This is all taking place in a completely separate world known as the city of Toki Toki and unlike any Dragon ball game I have played in a while, it has free roaming around this city. You have three areas to explore and quite a few people to talk to, there are also shops for you to not only buy items but clothing and even skills which you can use to help build your fighter.

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This is where things start getting interesting, you are the one summoned by Shenron and this is where the fun begins. This is also where the game starts being its own and unlike any other Dragon ball game, a new warrior is called fourth and this is where you create your own fighter. You have five different races to choose from and they are Human, Saiyan, Namekian, Buu’s race and Freiza’s race. Now the Human, Saiyan and Buu races all have both a choice of male or female characters but the Namekian and Freiza races only have the one body type. I’m not sure why this is since we have a female Buu body type but maybe it’s because they have no females and are asexual creatures. After choosing your race you get to augment your fighters face and body hight and size, there are quite a few different features available but not much when comparing to games like Skyrim. After you picked your look you can change the colour of your outfit, you then pick your name and voice and voila you have your very own fighter. I will say that I have seen some amazing things done with this character creation system, using their names and characters to have an awesome impact. For example someone made the Staypufft Marshmallow man from the Buu body type and even one that looked like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat out of the Namekian body type. Though there may not be a vast number of choices compared to games like Skyrim, you still have a huge amount of variety to make a unique character that only you could possible think of.

During the game you will pick up items of clothing and unlock them too in the clothing shop along side accessories that you can use to change what you character is wearing, and fundamentally change what they look like. Also as this is a completely brand new character you start off with low stats. As you increase your level you get boost points, these points allow you to increase a particular statistic you wish you improve. Each race has its strengths and weaknesses which as you get stronger you can choose to improve. This gives you as a player far more control over what you want to make stronger and what type of fighter you want to be. As well as stat building you can also build up and awesome move set. You get to pick your Super attacks and even your Ultimate attacks too, this is from a list of moves you earn during the completion of levels. The customisation you can do in this game is rather impressive and to be honest even more than I had even anticipated, the amount you can do truly gives you the ability to make your ideal fighter and fighting style.

With all of that being said there is just one more thing about the character building that I need to mention. As you get further into the game you are able to unlock masters, now these masters get to teach you some of their moves and even comment when you complete or fail at a level. Now as you probably guessed it yes the masters are mainly Z fighters with a few exceptions, you have to beat them in a fight in order for them to accept you as an student which is to be expected. They will test your skill to teach you a new move but they are a great way to obtain powerful moves and to improve your own skill, you can switch masters at any point if you find a better one so you can be taught by almost any master. (even Goku who requires you have a level of 70 before he is willing to accept you). The masters pop up randomly so you don’t know who or when you will see one but once you see one be sure to learn from them as it is another great way of building your fighter up.

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Now as I mentioned just a moment ago you earn moves during levels but they aren’t always story levels, you see Dragon ball Xenoverse has separate but connected side quests which are referred to as Parallel Quests. The way they work is that they are quests that are not connected to the main story but are unlocked when you have completed a main quests. That means you complete a particular level you get a Parallel Quest based on that saga. Some of them require you to find people and talk to them, for example after you defeated Raditz you can unlock a quest to fight on his side. However after defeating the Ginyu Force you need to talk to Guldo to be able to play the Parallel Quest he offers which is retaking the Ginyu Force entry exam. Each quest has items, accessories and even moves that you can obtain from them but only by completing them in a certain way. Each one of these fights has a couple of hidden objectives that you need to do if you wish to get a higher ranking or to receive a good item. You even unlock new fighters and new costumes for members of the Z fighters if you complete certain levels. Another example is a level where you fight mini Buu’s, once completed you can have the mini Buu as a fighter. These Parallel Quest can be played both offline and with other players via the Xenoverse server as well if that’s what you prefer to do.

There is also an battle mode too where you have the option to fight offline or online, you pick what kind of fight you would like I.e 1v1-2v2-3v3, and the same applies for online as well as offline. As you guessed offline you pick all the fighters while online whoever you are fighting gets to pick who they are using, its a very simple and effective battle mode and there isn’t much else I can say about it really. You also have a local battle mode which allows you to fight someone right next to you which is one serious problem Battle of Z had, in addition to that you also have a World Martial Arts Tournament which pits you against other players Tournament style. However all this requires you to be connected to the Xenoverse server and that’s a bit of a problem, you can choose to play a single mode where with NPC’s but you can also choose to go to the lobby with human controlled players. Now I have had quite a few issues with getting connected to the server, in fact for the first four days after I bought Dragon ball Xenoverse I couldn’t even connect to the server and could only play in the single player mode. During my playtime in battle mode I have noticed that he server keeps going down or there is always an issue with it, now this could purely be me but I was told by another player that they couldn’t connect to the server either. The reason I am mentioning this is that every single time I have gone to enter the tournament it tells me it isn’t ready yet and that I need to connect to the server which I already am connected too, this again might just be me but this is something that has been bugging me.

With this being a Next Gen game the graphics are pretty impressive, they have the looks of a current generation console game but they still have the classic Dragon ball look. The areas that you fight in are amazingly designed and just like the places in the series, also the characters have a slight animated look that really sets them apart. You can really tell the graphics are good when creating your fighter, you can see all the details you are adding. In addition when you are changing clothes you have collected you get quite a few versions of the Gi that comes from each fighter and saga, despite there being only a few changes made to differentiate each Z fighter you can clearly see even the smallest change to an outfit and the same goes for your surroundings when you are walking around Toki Toki. During the game you get to have little animated cutscenes as well as one with the same game graphics, the animated sequences are perfect to the way they look and sound exactly like a Dragon ball episode. The same goes for the ones with the game graphic sequences apart from that with those scenes you need to press a button to continue the conversation. Other than that the graphics are very well done and they still look slightly animated but with the next gen touch, this gives the game an amazing look without diminishing the style of the game or the look of the Dragon ball universe.

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Then we have the background music and sound effects which have a staple when it comes to any Dragon ball game, especially when you start the game off with Head-Cha-la which is if you are a fan you know is the song the series started with (that’s the Japanese intro). The addition of the free roaming gave a very nice uplifting music and the music in general was very well written and placed during not only the levels but the cut scenes too. Showed dramatic tension when you had a bad situation and nice uplifting music when all was well, this for a Dragon ball isn’t usually easy as most of the time the score from the series is used, This game however has an entirely new set of music and it works really well, so does the sound effects and voice acting. Every character sounds like they should and even the sounds of the attacks sound just like they did on the series, this again like the music gives this game a nice feel and also makes it seem like an extension to the actual Dragon ball story.

As mentioned earlier the game’s story is based around your custom character who is trying to keep the changes in the timeline from being made, so this entire gameplay has been designed to work a lot differently from previouse Dragon ball games. I will just say right from the start that you can use the characters you unlock along the way to complete Parallel Quests but you will spent majority of your time with your created fighter. Each race has their very own style of fighting This means the fighting is tailor made depending on the race and by all accounts works really well, the style of gameplay changes when you play different races and this means that you have a replay factor by trying to master a huge combo with a new race. The fighting itself no matter what race you are is pretty smooth and when you have learnt how to fight with your guy/gal you can string huge combos together. This can make fights seem easier, but all it really means is that you have practised enough or your stat increase has given you an advantage. You can also do vanishing which as sorely missed in Battle of Z, this is where you can vanish and go behind the your opponent, but with this game it all depends on your stamina bar. It takes two bars of stamina to do a vanish meaning you have to conserve your stamina, this for me means that I need to be more forward thinking when either in battle or when improving stats.

You can fight multiple fighters at the same time and they can attack you from any angle, this can become frustrating when you are on a level where it is two or three against one and you are in the middle of an attack only to get hit from behind or by a Ki blast. This is usually what I would expect from a three on one fight so that’s not the frustrating bit. when three attack you at the same time and you cannot stop them as the hits just keep on coming that is when it does get frustrating. It can also be frustrating when you are being punched by one and hit by an Super or Ultimate attack while they are hitting you, then they keep going and you are hit again by a huge attack which pretty much beats you before you can do anything. Becuase of this I have been defeated by a few Parallel Quests and it has become annoying that no matter how powerful I make my fighter he isn’t strong enough to defeat these quests. The Super move list is vast and well executed with each move looking and feeling like the series, however if you were to attempt a Kamehameha if you were hit before you released the attack it would stop. This means that a simple Ki blast can stop you from firing off a Super attack at your enemy, there are a handful of moves that cannot be stopped but you receive damage when you are hit while attempting an attack. Then you have the Ultimate move list which is pretty big too but there’s something completely new with them. If you are a member of the Saiyan race and just so happen to picked up the ability to turn Super Saiyan, this would be in the Ultimate attack list and not a super like the Kaioken attack is, when you turn Super Saiyan you can use your other Ultimate attack more than once, the amount of time depends on your Ki bar so the more you have the more you can fire that attack.

Pros:
+ Character customisation
+ Easy and fun fighting system
+ Lots of content

Cons:
– Connection to Xenoverse server issues
– Frustrating multi battles

85 / 100

The story takes a twist on the series and makes it more enjoyable to play, with the background music and sound effect working well with the graphics and game content. The controls are easy and the game is fun to play, the character customisation is something that has really surprised me and is something that makes this game so good. However the game isn’t without fault and the biggest thing for me is the Xenoverse server having so many issues (which may have been solved by the time of publishing). The multi-player battles where you pretty much get your butt kicked no matter how well you play are really frustrating. The game as a whole is very good and despite what I say this is a game I would recommend to play if you are Dragon ball fan or even if you are not.

Random Man 5000

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RandomMan5000 On April - 2 - 2015

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