Monday, January 22, 2018

Xenoverse Games Review

Written by Shiggins

With FighterZ coming out this week, I thought it was a good idea to go back and remind myself of the last major Dragon Ball video game series that was released, to see if it was better or worse than I remembered. Developed by Dimps, best known for the Budokai trilogy, this was the game people had been begging to happen for many years. And was it worth the wait?

It has to be said that the covers of these games are just... so boring.
The story of both games is relatively the same. You are summoned by Future Trunks and the Supreme Kai of Time to become a Time Patroller, who must travel to different points of Dragon Ball canon and fix the issues that are coming up because of the new characters Mira and Towa, such as villains that are far more powerful than they should be, Ginyu managing to steal Vegeta's body, Mr Satan becoming evil and more. In short, an amazing premise with tons of potential.

Which is why my heart is broken at how much the potential is wasted. What could have been an amazing montage of 'What If' scenarios quickly devolves into fighting the exact same foes as usual but slightly stronger than they were in the canon. Movie characters like Broly and Janemba make appearances but other than glowing purple, they don't do anything unique or interesting. They just pop into the scene, you fight them, then the scene is over. Games in the past have been extremely clever with possibilities, like when Devilman fought Frieza, so there was definitely something that could have been done.

I will never understand the amount of love the movie villains with zero personality get from fans. Is it just nostalgia? The cool designs? The badass Lego-teleporting?
The best part about this premise is getting to design your own character. You can choose between Earthling, Saiyan, Buu, Namekian or Frieza Race (which is usually my choice) and give them their own appearances and voice, as well as a unique transformation for each race. It gives the story, as thin as it is, a nice personal touch to have your own protagonist stand, nod, smile, glare or whatever else during a scene. It also helps that you can give them any moves or abilities you unlock throughout the game, so I was able to use Jaco's "Hero Pose" to power myself up then finish off all the foes with Vegeta's "Final Flash" in one swoop.

That brings us to the combat, which is a lot of button mashing. A lot. Combos are basic and don't require much thought, so you'll end up seeing the exact same animations several times during every battle. The only way to really mix up every fight is by using the Super Moves, which are lovingly varied. Kamehameha waves, Light Grenade, Destructo Disk, Nova Strike... If you can name it, Xenoverse probably has it.

Any game that has Hit in it can't be bad!
When you aren't doing the story, you are expected to take part in side missions known as Parallel Quests, but don't expect much more than just fighting stronger foes. Incidentally, this is where the first game's worst factor comes into play; The RNG (Random Number Generator) that decides your prizes. You see, the RNG is an absolute pisser. You could achieve the highest ranking in every single mission, complete every task given to you including the bonus ones, and still walk away with almost nothing. To collect every character, you need to find the 7 Dragon Balls and make a wish, which means you could end up replaying the same missions over and over again countless times until you get the chance.

On the bright side, there are tons of characters. If quantity is important to you, then you'll be pleased to see that both Xenoverse games have a varied roster. Dozens of forms of Goku and Vegeta, obscure movie villains like Lord Slug and Turles, strange ones like Great Saiyaman and Appule... Z, the movies and GT are well represented here. Sadly, no love for the original... Also, there isn't much difference between all of them. They all have their own unique combo animation and some are much weaker than others, but they rarely feel that special.

Xenoverse 2 severely overestimates how much I care about Turles.
Some would argue that this game should be seen as an RPG with fighting elements, rather than a fighting game. And on that side of the argument, it's quite thin by comparison to many others. It's fun at first, getting to explore an open world and train under canon characters to learn their moves, but that quickly falls apart. If the worlds you traverse had things in them worth finding, they could have worked. But they don't. The cities are so lifeless and without reason that it might be one of the worst open worlds I have ever played in.

It might sound like I hate these games, but I honestly don't. I'm just disappointed at what this could have been. Everything is nice and simple but stretched too thin, like not enough butter on too much bread/Bilbo Baggins. If the plot was stronger or the fighting was deeper, this could have been a amazing game series. As it is, it's fine. I had fun with it for a while, but eventually grew tired of mashing the square and triangle buttons in the overlong battles.

This image is just... so surreal.
I definitely recommend playing the 2nd game over the 1st one, since they are essentially the same but the 2nd has improved at least some matters. The RNG isn't as awful, for example. And there is a fun Hero Colosseum where you can use action figures in a thin-but-fun strategy mode.

In summary, Xenoverse was not an awful series, but it was one packed with flaws that many won't be able to overlook. A fun experience that eventually becomes a tedious one. If Xenoverse 3 ever does manage to be born, it will certainly need to make sure to fix its predecessors problems before coming out of the closet.

Next week; FighterZ review!

Xenoverse 1 Rating: 7/10

Xenoverse 2 Rating: 7.5/10

Best Part: Character customisation.

Worst Part: Bullshit RNG.

Well, at least it isn't the Kinect game.
Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page

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