At some point in my life, I made a realization. Dragon Ball is an amazing series. It took about 8 years into my life for me to realize this, and ever since then I've been a huge fan of the series. Manga, anime, toys and even trading cards have made their way into my collection of Dragon Ball merchandise, but up until now the video game portion of my collection has remained relatively silent. I'm not afraid to say that before now, my favorite Dragon Ball game was Budokai Tenkaichi 3, however after playing Burst Limit I had pretty much lost interest in the games. Fast forward 5 years later, XenoVerse is announced and the hype is beginning to build across the internet. Media outlets are saying it might be the best Dragon Ball game, and they were right. Dimps did a fantastic job bringing new story elements to the tried and true history of Dragon Ball, and it now stands as my favorite Dragon Ball game to date.
I had near to no knowledge about XenoVerse's story whatsoever before buying it. I was expecting it to be the same story that the games have told for the past decade; simply put, the story of Dragon Ball. It was a pleasant surprise to find that they took the existing story and added a completely new twist to it, and I think most anyone will agree. The game is set in Toki Toki City, a location created specifically for XenoVerse. Time Patrol Trunks (or, Future Trunks, if you prefer) leads a small group of Time Patrollers who try and restore the Dragon Ball timeline by going back in time and fixing certain events. An entirely new set of foes are introduced; Towa and Mira being the two big ones. They've been going around from time to time messing up the timeline to obtain power, so you have to stop them.
Like I said, I had almost no knowledge about the game. For the past 7 years I've always been a fan of those "what-if" situations, and XenoVerse is basically a dream come true for that. I won't spoil too much, but there's a mission where Hercule becomes strong. This is just an example of some of the alternate timelines Towa and Mira create, and it's a joy seeing what they'll change next.
I was stunned at how simple combat is in XenoVerse. Like, very stunned. As someone who rarely plays fighting games, the super and ultimate move mechanics were extremely dumbed down which was great for me, but I could get why people would frown upon this (I still think this game has potential to be a great competitive game). No longer did I have to rely on remembering button combos to turn Super Saiyan or to initiate a Kamehameha; it was as easy as holding down R2 and pressing square. While combos do still play a prominent role, there are so few it doesn't feel like you're putting in extra work just to memorize them.
Ehhhh. I will say that XenoVerse has good graphics, but I think everything could have been presented better. Toki Toki City is an overall dull hub world which is a huge flaw due to it being the place you're at most of the time, but everything else is generally fine. Something entirely cosmetic that caught my eye: the characters' lips look ridiculous. I don't know about you, but I don't see anime characters as beings that are supposed to have lip depth (if that's what you can call it). Especially noticeable on Trunks, it just looks wrong.
Possibly one of the biggest draws to XenoVerse, character customization. I would be lying to you if I said I haven't spent hours trying to get character gear to make my character look the way I want him to. Along with clothing and accessories, you can customize your race from a total of 5 different species. Earthlings, Saiyans, Namekians, Majins and Friezas Race. Having started off with a character based on the Frieza Race, I kept thinking of the endless possibilities if I were to create another character and replay the game; though at the same time I never regretted my decision. In addition to choosing your race, you can also fully customize your moveset. XenoVerse is diverse, man.
Like I said, I wanted to go back and create more and more characters from the different races. While that does get repetitive after a while, it still feels very rewarding after you get all your characters up to level 80 (the games current level cap), and frankly I believe anyone with enough time on their hands should try it out. I also mentioned I enjoy grinding out different character gear. Yeah, that's one of the main things that'll keep you coming back to XenoVerse. Different missions have different drop rates for different items, so you'll end up playing the same mission over and over and over. It isn't the most enthralling experience, but it's rewarding as heck. Oh, and there are side quests. Like, a lot of side quests. 55 by my count. You also get ranked on how well you do on each one - Z Rank being the rank you want to go for.
Dimps gave Dragon Ball something it needed; a refreshing plot with easy to master game mechanics. Tied with a ton of customization and replay value, XenoVerse is something any Dragon Ball fan should be on the lookout for. Really, the only issue I have is the presentation and some of the character models in general, but if you can get past it, this game is nothing far from fantastic.