Dragon Ball Xenoverse is the most unique Dragon Ball Z video game ever released, however it is far from being the best one.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse is partly a fighting game with action-RPG elements added to it. Before you can actually dive in and play, you have to go through a lengthy tutorial and create your own character.
The options to create your own character are very generous. You can choose to play as either a male and female character, plus there are a number of different races you can be as well. If you ever wanted to be a Saiyan, you can create one or you can even be as fat as Majin Buu.
The one thing I admired most about Dragon Ball Xenoverse is that it acts like an action-RPG. Your character is based in Toki Toki City and this is a place where you can roam around and talk to other characters, buy items and accept quests. Toki Toki City isn't a very large place, but it's cool to explore as this is something you cannot do in other fighting games.
Because Dragon Ball Xenoverse acts like an action-RPG at times, fighting game fans are going to be disappointed that they cannot dive in and play the game immediately. Before you are able to just play a traditional fighting match, you have to clear some of the story mode's quests first. Not to mention all of the characters are locked until you earn them by playing through the story mode. It will take your hours until you can unlock every character in the game.
The story in Dragon Ball Xenoverse is better than in previous games where nothing new was added. In this game, some villains have distorted the DBZ timeline and it's up to you to restore it. You have to travel back in time to make sure history doesn't change. It's kind of like in the Terminator series where the good guys have to make sure John Connor has to survive.
Although the time travelling gimmick is unique for the story, you still have to retread the same battles we have seen over and over again. I am sick to death of seeing Raditz arrive on Earth and Goku battling Frieza on Namek all of the time. It's about time the Dragon Ball Z video games come up with a 100 percent completely new story with different characters for you to face. You only get to face off against the new characters at the very end of Dragon Ball Xenoverse. The bulk of the game features the same storylines.
There are many things that I dislike about Dragon Ball Xenoverse. The major issue currently ruining the entire game for many players have been the shoddy servers. Ever since the game has come out, a lot of gamers have been unable to play the game online. Many players wish to co-op together to tackle the game's side-missions called "Parallel Quests". However, the servers are still patchy and unresponsive at times.
Another thing that bothered me is how frustratingly hard and repetitive the game can be. All of the quests are the same as you just have to beat up numerous bad guys, before the scenario ends with a boss battle. Sometimes you have to beat up 20 enemies before you are able to challenge the boss.
The repetitive nature of the game mainly lies with how tough even minor characters can be. Beating up 20 enemies in a game like Batman: Arkham City is enjoyable because Batman is tough and can beat them with ease. In Dragon Ball Xenoverse however, minor characters actually take a long time to beat and sometimes they block too much.
One of the worst missions in the entire game is you needing to defeat 20 enemies, while trying to keep Krillin and Gohan alive. Krillin and Gohan are one of the most useless AI partners of all time. They will die constantly and there is nothing you can do to protect and help them out. You cannot give them a potion or something like to increase their health. The missions ends when either one of them dies. It's unfortunate the player has to suffer for the game's own useless AI.
The controls in Dragon Ball Xenoverse are also awkward and hard to get used to. Someone really needs to make a Dragon Ball Z video game that has a stable camera and smooth gameplay. The action gets overwhelming when you are flying around all of the time and it's hard to beat up enemies when they are constantly flying around too. Most of the time I would see my character punching the air as the camera is too slow to catch up with the action.
Presentation wise, Dragon Ball Xenoverse looks and sounds great. The Xbox One version I reviewed is bright and vibrant. The levels are bigger and wider than in previous DBZ games too. Most of the original American voice actors reprise their roles which is always good to hear. Only some characters have different voice actors, but they don't sound too bad.
It's hard to recommend Dragon Ball Xenoverse at the state it is in right now. The gameplay is awkward and the servers are still pretty bad as of time of writing. If you are a huge DBZ fan, it's probably best you rent this game first before purchasing it. Aside from the many flaws, the graphics and action-RPG elements are a nice change. However, they are not enough to save this game from being destroyed by Frieza...