PlayStation 4
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Game Info:

Dragon Ball Xenoverse
Developed by: Dimps
Published by: Bandai Namco Games
Release date: February 24, 2015
Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Fighting
Number of Players: Single-Player, local and online multiplayer, up to six players
ESRB Rating: Teen for violence, language and suggestive themes
Price: $47.50 on LeapTrade

Thank you Bandai Namco Games for sending us this game to review!

Dragon Ball has been around since 1984 and has had several iterations since then.  While having a separate story line, Xenoverse uses the characters from Dragon Ball Z.  The Dragon Ball series is far from dead as Dragon Ball Super has recently been announced and will be released in Japan this July.  Dragon Ball Xenoverse takes place in a new city called Toki-Toki and offers players a unique story for their custom created character.  The universal time stream has been altered and Trunks has summoned a mighty warrior from Shenron the dragon.  You're the chosen one, now help Trunks save the world!

There are lots of options available when it comes to creating your character.  The available races include Majin which offers high defense, but slow stamina recovery.  Saiyan warriors are known for their strength, especially when their health gets low.  Earthlings are a well balanced race that has their Ki refill automatically.  Namekians start off with a lot of health that regenerates along with their stamina, but their attacks are weak.  The Frieza race is fast, but has a weakened attack.  They also have the ability to paralyze with their Ki blasts.

Once your race is set you can customize their color, height, and voice.  Different outfits are available for purchase to make characters even more unique.  By having the day one edition of the game, I had a nice set of golden armor from the get go.  Besides accessory shops, you can buy and create your own items.

Before you can play online matches and ranked battles, you have to learn the ropes in the single player story, parallel (side) quests, and offline battles.   As you encounter prestigious characters in the story mode,  they will show up in Toki-Toki and offer to train you if you can prove yourself to be a worthy apprentice (AKA defeat them in battle).  You can only train under one mentor at a time. By having a mentor you can learn new skills.  Alternatively, you can buy skills in town if you have money to spare.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse
Highlights:

Strong Points: Active online community; great visuals  
Weak Points: Repetitive fighting sequences; may show some spoilers if you haven't seen the whole series yet
Moral Warnings: Violence is a given; there is no blood but appendages do get severed off; language including d*mn and b*stard; revealing outfits

You earn money and experience by completing side quests.  As your character levels up you can adjust your stats including health, stamina, Ki, and your attacks.  For the side quests you can experiment and fight with preset characters of different races.  Maybe next time I'll go with a Saiyan instead of a Namekian fighter.

The quests are ranked by stars and the lower the number of stars the easier it should be.  I don't agree with their rating system since I have had my butt handed to me a number of times on Raditz's side quest while I was able to complete all other one star quests no problem.  

Some battles you fight alone and others let you team up with one or two more players or AI fighters.  The AI is pretty challenging and finding a human online to humiliate me didn't take very long.  There are so many online players that it's hard to get into a match before it fills up.  

I didn't want to get too far into the story mode quests for fear of spoiling the series for myself.  I've watched enough Dragon Ball Z Kai to see Goku transform into a Super Saiyan.  Even with limiting my story mode options, I had plenty to do with the parallel quests, online, and local battles.  

Sadly, the story and parallel battles are rather repetitive.  You basically go in to fight one or a few enemies, more show up, and you have to chase them to other maps and defeat them there.  Even more will appear and after they are defeated, the level is then completed.  The only thing that changes is the difficulty.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 72%
Violence - 4.5/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Fans of Dragon Ball and fighting games will still enjoy this game though.  Even with the customization options, the controls take some getting used to. The powerful moves use a trigger and arrow/button presses.  If you have time to search around with your scouter (tracking device), you'll often find handy materials hidden in the levels. Be sure to take yourself out of scouting mode when you're getting attacked as you won't be able to fight back at all.

The powerful attacks look amazing as does the rest of the game visually.  The maps are accurately recreated from the show and are incredibly detailed.  The characters are all cel-shaded and look amazing as well.  Some of the cut-scenes are 3D rendered while others are animated.  If you like recording yourself play, you cannot record during cut-scenes.  

The voice acting is true to the series as much of the voice acting (if not all) is the same.  I'm not well versed enough in the series to comment on the background music.  While it is a bit repetitive, it is very fitting.

Even though Dragon Ball Xenoverse looks like a cartoon, this game should not be played around young children.  Fighting is a given and while there is no blood, there are times when you'll have to chop limbs off your enemies.  There is some language including d*mn and b*stard. Last but not least, some of the female characters wear tight and revealing outfits.

Appropriateness wise Dragon Ball Xenoverse is no worse than the animated series.  If you're a fan of the show and fighting games, Dragon Ball Xenoverse has much to offer.  If you're like me and don't play fighting games very often, prepare to get humiliated.  A LOT.  

 

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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