Tag Archives: dragon ball z

Dragon Ball Xenoverse review

You might expect Dragon Ball Xenoverse to be a game for fans of the series – I watched Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) when it first aired in the UK back in 1998, but over the years I haven’t kept up with the events and lives of Goku and the gang – with my limited knowledge, can a Dragon Ball newbie enjoy a game like Xenoverse?

Quite simply the answer is yes. Xenoverse is a whole lot of fun – the gameplay is simple and focused on fights that are set in three-dimensional environments where movement can be made in any direction. This can make the combat quite disorientating at times as you wrestle with all the directional axis in order to target your opponent or fly toward their location – using the lock-on is certainly a must – the camera also seems to have issues keeping up with the action too, often crashing into the environment but always correcting itself relatively quickly.

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Combos are simple and reminded me of my misspent years playing Street Fighter II although you won’t have to remember multiple special move sequences – Xenoverse’s combat is focused on button and trigger combos to produce an array of fast-paced brutal attacks. It’s simple, which means there is a risk that Xenoverse could turn into a manic button mashing experience.  If you take the time to master the various combos, Ki attacks, special and ultra moves while on the offensive but remember to block, throw and use your evasion skills for defensive measures, you might find something that is far deeper than you first thought.

The game starts with various fights in history between popular Dragon Ball characters – history is rewriting itself and your role in the story is to stop it from completely writing itself and certain heroes out of existence. It’s not an incredibly deep storyline but because it’s set throughout Dragon Ball’s history during key moments in time, it will appeal to all regardless of any prior series knowledge.

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Xenoverse’s main strength is the custom character creation, although this may appeal more to fans. You can choose a gender, race and from a variety of character choices to create a hero that wouldn’t look out-of-place if they appeared in the next episode of the show. As you play through the game you gain XP points that can be invested into your character’s various attributes as you level up – queue the RPG elements.

There are items to collect and craft by visiting the various shops in the hub world or by finding them in the various levels of the game – these come in handy for restoring health, Ki or stamina during the more difficult fights. Clothing can also be unlocked and bought, although with no try before you buy, you need to be clued up on your DBZ clothing or expect to waste plenty of money finding something you like – luckily each piece of clothing also has an attribute buff so you can just opt for something that plays to your character’s combat strengths.

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Characters are really well drawn and celebrate the iconic art that DBZ is known for. During fights they wince with each blow to the face or stomach, cuts will form on their skin and hair will react as they are thrown across the screen from a powerful attack. It’s a shame that the environmental textures are rather bland and at times incredibly flat. Character animation is particularly great during super and ultimate moves but the playground they exist in is uninspiring even for a game based on an anime.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse doesn’t stop at borrowing RPG elements; it also borrows from the limited MMO experience of Destiny. Toki Toki City acts as the hub world where other players congregate. Here you can organise yourself into teams to fight other players in online battles or tackle one of the many Parallel Quests (PQ) – random timeline events that have been caused by time fragments shattering off when the universe’s main timeline encountered an anomaly. It’s a shame you can’t play through the campaign as a team!

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PQ events serve as the grind mechanic to Xenoverse – if you’re stuck on a campaign mission you need to focus some time in PQ events to level up your character. Each mission can be played either as a lone player teaming up with AI controller Dragon Ball characters, with other AI controller player characters or via the online lobby system. This mode works really well but feels a bit removed from the main game – the concept of PQ events feels like it’s clutching at straws to find a purpose of being rather than something that is fully integrated into the main storyline.

If you’re a Dragon Ball fan you’ll love being able to create your own character, fight alongside iconic Dragon Ball characters (both good and evil) and even become their student. The story is enjoyable; albeit limited and the MMO and RPG elements will keep those that are happy to grind for hours more than entertained. For the rest of us there’s an enjoyable but limited beat ‘em up that might just get you hooked enough that you’ll soon be on eBay looking for a copy of Dragon Ball Z.

Thanks to Bandai Namco Games for supplying TiX with a promo copy

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Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z Review

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I have always been a fan of the animation TV series of Dragon Ball Z, followed each version and the animated films that have sprung from it. The natural spin off for that franchise has been its many video game series released over the years. Some have been good and some have been utterly terrible. I have played a good few of those games, none really captured me as a fan of the source material though. Could ‘Battle of the Z’ be the one to finally grab my attention?

Dragon Ball Z : Battle of Z is a team focused mission based Action game. You will get to recreate all the big fights from the Dragon Ball Z sagas as you put your team of either AI Controlled or human controlled via online co-op, against the big evil characters from Dragon Ball Z history. The missions vary from taking out low level goons to mixing it up with stronger challenges and characters leading into boss battles before moving on to the new saga. The missions will dictate which characters are available for selection. You will play as both sides, good or evil, as the missions progress with some characters being unlocked as a result of completing the missions.

As a fan of Dragon Ball Z, on paper the above should sound like music to my ears. What better way to celebrate the show you enjoy by getting to recreate its biggest battles in a video game. Sadly, the execution of the idea leaves the experience more then just a little flat. Each character has their own special moves but I found the combat to be nothing more then a mess of button mashing trying to get something exciting on the go during the fight. Taking out waves of entry level enemies for some missions quickly became tiresome and repetitive. The game’s targeting system feels clumsy when dealing with multiple enemies near you and hot switching to the next enemy after you have dealt with one often leaves you targeting an enemy further away then the one you can directly see. When facing stronger opponents I found I could get hit with a special move sent from off screen that would send me flying across the map forcing me to have to try and get back to the action

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Being a team based game, if you are using AI controlled team mates,  you can command the strategy to use by using the DPad with options to be more defensive, go full power, combine powers to take out an enemy or to leave that target to you. With three other characters supposedly under your control, I wanted to feel as though they were working with me and following my strategy I set with the commands but for most of the time it just felt like they were doing their own thing, especially when I was being ganged up on and called for a more defensive strategy, not once did I have the sensation that any of my team were coming to my aid. That only adds to the frustration of the combat system never making you feel as though you are really in control of anything you are doing on screen. Taking on a boss fight and your own team could end up being no help at all but more as a result of the weak damage theirs and your attacks do to the enemy, even when ordered to combine attacks the spectacle that a Dragon Ball Z boss fight should have and did have on the show is lost behind the grind just to try and do enough damage.

Characters can be upgraded and have their abilities boosted by way of the Card bonus system the game uses. Which is strange as the show never used a “card system” but had the fighters go off training. It would have been a nice touch if you could upgrade fighters by using the “Hyperbolic Chamber” from the show instead of cards obtained by completing missions and defeating characters. There was no tutorial into how these cards worked which I found limited my knowledge of them to the point where I had completed ten missions before knowing I could even use them to enhance the characters.

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The level locations for the battles and missions are visually fluid with the style of the show but they are often rather tedious and bland examples. Large areas for movement but just that. With the big battles of the show often seeing characters being slammed and smacked through mountains it is quite underwhelming to not experience that during the battles in the game. Moving around the maps often use the flight ability of the characters, controlling going higher or lover using X or A feels strange and limits melee attacks to Y and powers to B. A Double tap will have you flying a little faster but knowing the show, it is frustrating that the speed is only just above that of a hover and it is again a grind to move around to get to a target with such restrictions on speed.

I did try the multiplayer and to bring in other players for co-op but suffered some serious lag issues from the other players despite my 60mb Fibre Optic connection. A few times the game even crashed as players lagged out completely. Trying to get a good cohesive game going was impossible for the five times I gave it a chance during my review playthrough. It all adds up to an experience that could and should have been much better but just failed to live up to the quality of the show itself.

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Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is a game that had so much potential for me as a fan of the show, but its poorly executed. Everything felt such a chore to make anything cool happen on screen and blended with the clumsy and often unresponsive combat system, the experience proved more tedious then fun. Missions were a grind to get through the lesser “just hit Y a few times to defeat me” enemies before getting to a more challenge character but then the game fell down when trying to get  your team to either help you or follow  your choice in strategy and I was just left with an overall feeling of just…meh, after missions were completed.

As a fan of the show, I know what action in battles the game should have, and even changing up the characters I used, at no time did I get that wow feeling that I had when watching the same battles in the show. Using a Super Saiyan should feel amazing, but when I hoped I would be able to change during a battle to have a true sense of Dragon Ball Z, instead the super versions of the characters in the game would be made as selectable characters instead of a change mid battle. A side effect of the idea of building your own team giving you the option of making a team of each version of Goku’s Super Saiyan stages instead of leveling Goku up as a character to change into them during a fight which would have been a true fanboy moment.

On paper this could have been the finest example of a video game adaptation of the Dragon Ball Z show but instead its a mess of confusing control system, bland missions to grind through and a complete experience that only succeeds in making you want to watch the show again to experience how Dragonball Z should really look and feel. Not the worst Dragon Ball Z game in the franchise but it is a glowing example of what happens when you fail to get the basics of a game right before trying to over complicate it with gimmick ideas.

Would like to thank Xbox for the review copy given to ThisisXbox.com

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Xbox One’s Arcade Titles Have 1000 Gamerscore

It was hinted when the Halo: Spartan Assault achievements were revealed that Arcade titles on the Xbox One  could have 1000 Gamerscore when the One launches next Friday. After much speculating, this comment was released by a Microsoft employee. “On Xbox One games are games. All games follow the same policies for achievements and Gamerscore,”. That’s something that I couldn’t agree more with.

What this means is that downloadable launch titles such as Killer Instinct, PowerStar Golf, LocoCycle, Crimson Dragon and all future arcade titles, or I guess I should call them downloadable games now, will also have the 1000 Gamerscore benchmark.

Happy Hunting, fellow score-whores.

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Battle of Z Official Gameplay Trailer

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Are you a team player with the crazy skills and cool composure needed to triumph in massive cooperative battles? If this sounds like you, then Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z has just what you need, with revolutionary team battling for up to 4 players together in cooperative play against a host of fearsome opponents or in a giant 8-player battle royale. Work together to link powerful attacks including Meteor Chain and conquer gigantic foes like Great Ape Vegeta. Found his weak point? Push your advantage and take him down together in a flurry of fur!

(I’ll be honest, I have no idea what I just wrote of said… I have no idea who Great Ape Vegeta actually is!)

Check out the GamesCom 2013 trailer below along with the Xbox 360 box art. With a release date yet to be confirmed, we’ll keep you updated. 

http://youtu.be/Gf5Qk6zg9Ss