Dragon Ball: Xenoverse (PC) Review

By John Graham 03.04.2015

Review for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse on PC

Dragon Ball, along with the follow ups of Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, is an anime that ran for a good number of years and, as well as serving as the first anime for a large number of internet users, it has also seen the release of many games over the years, ranging from fighting and RPGs to a card game released for the Game Boy Color. Now comes Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, but is it a worthy addition to the long-running series that so many love?

The Dragon Ball games over the years have retold the story often enough that even without knowledge of the television series most will know many of the events that happened. This latest, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse decides to change it around just a bit. Early on it is revealed that someone has been messing with time and that if too many events are altered, all of reality will be destroyed. Trunks, the lead, needs help dealing with this, and collects Dragon Balls to make a wish to summon someone to help him. This is where the player comes in and from this point on the Dragon Ball Z story is played through with differences, while everything else is done to get events back to the way they were and hunting down the cause of this and stopping them.

The game's visuals are worthy of the show, both in-game graphics and the cut-scenes, which are done in the same style of the anime. The developer has done a good job of replicating the source material. Even in the middle of battle, with energy flying and enemies attacking, it looks great. Voice acting sees a return of well-known original voices, some replacements when the original actors weren't available, and a few more for the player character, including the voice of Ghost Nappa from Dragon Ball Abridged as one of the male voice choices. Bravo to the team screaming into the microphone - excellent work. As for the sound effects and music, these vary from good to great - less impressive in comparison to the visuals and voice work, but still good enough for the action happening on the screen.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse on PC

What many will find is that although there are fantastic gamepad controls, it is not so great playing with a keyboard, as would be expected from a console-focused fighting game port. Players can easily zoom around, with two different buttons for melee attacks, along with a basic energy attack, plus easy access to more powerful attacks by holding one or both triggers and pushing a face button, which, thankfully, doesn't hamper enjoyment in the thick of combat.

The first thing to do is to build a custom character to take through the story. Creating the body gives a number of options, starting with picking a race from Human, Saiyan, Majin, Namekian and Frieza's race. The first three also offer a choice of gender, for a total of eight different character types. Each has some slightly different stats that can influence play styles and, until the game is beaten, there is only one available character slot, so it is recommended to pick well. Once that is done, the body can have all sorts of features altered with the create a character menu, allowing characters that look like they belong in the series, and also offering the chance to build actual characters from the series, with a bit of work. There are also clothing options and special attacks for further customisation but these must be unlocked as play goes on. The last bit is in the statistics side as they level up through battle, helping to make even the most difficult fights easier to complete.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse on PC

Once the character is done, it is right into the action, fighting through well known enemies like Raditz, Vegeta, Frieza, Cell and Majin Buu, along with several others, both old and new. The gameplay is similar to the Budokai Tenkaichi games, with full 360-degree movement in a wide-open field. Each location does have barriers surrounding it, but there is plenty of space to move around during combat. Some terrain is also destructible, although this is limited mostly to buildings and rocks.

With the fighting, light and heavy melee attacks are the basics, and using these will charge up energy for the more powerful skills. Those range from long-distance attacks, like the Kamehameha, powerful physical combo attacks, and transformation skills - all useful for chipping away higher amounts of health from foes… and there are a lot of foes to stand in the way. Gamers may find themselves facing several at once, with or without support from allies. Many fights will also have more enemies pop-in as the current lot are cleared out. This can make some battles challenging with lower stats, but repeating easier battles to level-up can help with that.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse on PC

Outside of the story, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse offers a fair bit of extra content to keep fans busy. As progress is made through the tale, side-quests are unlocked, allowing the chance to unlock clothing and special abilities, as well as gain additional experience for the more difficult missions. Some of these feature playing on the side of previously defeated foes against Goku and the rest of the Z Warriors, while others are similar to already beaten story missions.

There are also a number of characters around that will pass on knowledge of their special attacks under the right circumstances. It is only possible to have one teacher at a time, but even after leaving once to learn from another, it is possible to return to them with nothing more than finding and talking to them again.

This game features multiplayer content for both the side-quests and regular versus matches, which adds to its longevity considerably, as does the DLC available, bringing in a number of new missions and teachers. The story in these focuses on events in the GT anime, although with only one available so far, it is unknown how much of the content will be covered.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is probably one of the most impressive Dragon Ball games released so far. With all the game content available, this isn't something that is going to be finished in a day. If interested in the anime series or fighting games in general, this is a good choice for a collection.




Bandai Namco





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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