The last time we played as Goku and company, about a year ago, we realized we were now scraping the bottom of the barrel. The series born from the pencil of Akira Toriyama, then transformed into an animated series and a worldwide phenomenon, has risen on the video game stage countless times and it has become difficult to propose something other than the dozens of fighting games that Bandai, in the last twenty ' years, he has produced for virtually every platform, starting timidly with two-dimensional sprites to get to the cel-shaded 3D graphics of the latest iterations. Battle of Z had tried to change the cards in its own way, getting closer than any other game to the true feeling of the pyrotechnic cartoon battles, but it had failed on several fronts and so on. Bandai Namco, having sensed the potential of that formula, has resorted to a decidedly more prestigious developer than Artdink for the debut of Dragon Ball on the next generation consoles: it has in fact entrusted the development of this Xenoverse to Dimps, the software house that has signed some of the most popular Dragon Ball tie-ins for the last two generations of consoles. The result is a decisive step towards the future, but there is still a long way to go.
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is a very interesting experiment that lays a good foundation for the future
The fate of the multiverse
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse's approach to the very famous Goku saga is really smart and is probably the strong point of the new Bandai Namco production. The history of the Saiyan transplanted to Earth is now known even by stones so, instead of telling it all over again for the trillionth time, Dimps decided to play on the concept of "what if".
What if ... Raditz dodged at the last moment and Piccolo's Makankosappo killed only Goku? What would have happened if ... Freeza immediately transformed into his perfect form, leaving Krillin, Gohan and Vegeta no way out? The "campaign" of Dragon Ball: Xenoverse answers these questions by putting ourselves in the shoes of a character of our own that we will create at the start of the first game. We will be able to choose his race among five that differ slightly in powers and statistics: the terrestrials, the Saiyans, the Namekans, the aliens of the lineage of Freeza and the gummy Majin. The creation screen is sufficiently rich in options, and allows you to build our ideal Z Warrior by choosing for example his hairstyle, skin color and other details. Once the operation is complete, we will be immediately greeted by Trunks in the city of Tokitoki. Bulma and Vegeta's son, in fact, leads the time patrols that monitor the course of history, and has discovered that something is interfering with some of the most crucial events that have occurred in the past. It is a good opportunity to relive the most important moments of Dragon Ball Z, from the arrival of Vegeta on Earth to the clash with Freeza and then with Cell, for example, and there is also space for the facts of the last cartoon film. animated, The Battle of the Gods. Unfortunately, however, some chapters perhaps less decisive but equally memorable in the long saga of Dragon Ball are missing, and Dimps has skipped some battles, making a selection that we are sure will not be able to satisfy everyone. However, we must admit that the idea is truly intriguing, and allows us to relive the adventures we know by heart from a completely different perspective: our alter-ego, in fact, will have to travel in time and intervene to make sure that the story follows its course. . His actions, on the other hand, will generate an infinity of parallel universes in which the facts have unfolded in a completely different way and which will constitute the gist of our secondary activities. In short, in short, in Dragon Ball: Xenoverse we fight, and even a lot, indeed a lot.
Calling Dragon Ball: Xenoverse a fighting game is, in our opinion, quite misleading. It is true, you have to beat enemies on enemies for hours and hours, but the structure of the game, the control system, the context and the setting are totally different from those of the "usual" fighting games. Xenoverse is, more than anything else, a long adventure divided into missions: there are those entrusted to us by Trunks and the Kaiohshin of Time, which follow the main storyline, and then there are the secondary ones. - the so-called parallel missions - which we can tackle at any time.
By completing the missions, whether you win or lose, you earn experience points and increase your level, also receiving points to spend to improve the main statistics of our character, like in an RPG. The role-playing contaminations, then, do not stop there. The movelist of our character is initially determined by the race chosen, but soon it can be expanded by equipping the many special moves that are unlocked by completing the missions, almost as if they were weapons. At some point we will also be able to learn the special techniques of the most famous characters, choosing them as mentors and completing specific missions on their own. The skill set is immense, even if many resemble each other both in appearance and in effectiveness; some are exactly identical, indeed, and only the color of the energy emission of the moment or of the animation that produces it changes. Do you want to create a Grounder who shoots waves of energy from his mouth and knows the special techniques of the Ginyu team? Please make yourselves comfortable. The only obstacle, in fact, is luck. While it is true that some skills can simply be purchased, others will have to be unlocked by completing the missions that guard them, but everything is left to chance and that Kaiohken you would love to learn could only come out after repeating the same mission fifteen times.
The same goes for the costumes with which it is possible to customize our hero, improving or worsening his statistics, and for the characters that are not unlocked by simply completing the story missions: we will be able to play as Goku and associates only in competitive mode or in parallel missions, and also with regard to the roster there would be something to say. Despite the staggering number of fighters, Dragon Ball fans are sure to lament the omission of major characters and transformations. Both Android 16 and Doctor Gero are missing, for example, yet Dimps has wasted their space to dedicate it to some anonymous Freeza minions. A decidedly strange and controversial choice, which left a bad taste in our mouth also because Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is technically delicious: while not reaching the threshold of 60 frames per second, the PlayStation 4 version we tested runs smoothly and without slowdowns or uncertainties, proposing a clean and accurate polygonal modeling and animated characters really to perfection. Too bad, however, for the scenarios, poor in details and only marginally destructible: waves of energy that should have opened gashes in the mountains are limited to leaving a temporary mark or mowing down some sapling, considerably limiting the catastrophic spectacle that has always characterized the clashes. of the series.
An uncharted territory
Despite the goodness of the idea, in fact, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is a title that deserves to be refined and improved in many respects. Beyond the case that dominates the unlocking of skills, costumes and fighters, the new game of Dimps does not understand exactly what it wants to be. It is an action game, of course, and we could almost call it a fighting game if its structure did not encourage more cooperation than competitiveness, also by virtue of a control system that is not exactly tested. The battles of Xenoverse take place on three axes, often pitting teams of two or more characters each.
The front buttons of the controller are associated with two types of melee attacks with which to form combos, the usual energy strike and an evasive maneuver. By keeping the lats pressed, however, you access a menu for basic special moves and one for the most powerful ones, which completely consume the Ki indicator. The latter represent one of the many mechanics that Dimps should review: expressed through very short dynamic shots, they would like to replace the long and spectacular attack sequences of the past to make the clashes more fluid, but they only end up disorienting the player who throws them and unbalance the outcome of the clash, given the power of some of them. Each fight, therefore, is a succession of combos, teleports and high-speed flights interspersed with occasional waves of energy and atomic explosions; spectacular to look at, and also fairly amusing during the first hours of the game, the clashes become increasingly heavy and repetitive when you realize that having delegated the special moves to simple shortcuts has killed all technicalities, and that engaging in aerial maneuvers more complex is very difficult due to the bad collision system and a camera that, caught in the frenzy of the action, never knows what to frame even when you lock onto a specific target. We expected worse given the difficulty of reproducing the eclectic fights of Dragon Ball, but Xenoverse also suffers from the same problem as Battle of Z, which is an unbalanced difficulty curve that often forces players to level up by repeating parallel missions to overcome that of the new opponent., rather than to deepen the knowledge of a character or game techniques which, to be honest, practically do not exist, so much so that there is not even a training mode. Even the artificial intelligence of our supporting characters leaves a lot to be desired, making some escort missions terribly frustrating, especially due to the systematic absence of checkpoints during the chapters divided into phases. That is why we strongly recommend that you tackle the "grinding" of missions in company. Tokitoki City basically exists for this.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
With 36 bronze, 11 silver, 2 gold and platinum trophies crowning the collection, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse keeps a lot busy. It is not even difficult to collect them, above all you need consistency since, for example, you will have to complete each mission and unlock all the characters, costumes and skills.
What's my DESTINY, Dragon Ball
Surprise, surprise. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is a fighting game, it is an action game, it is an RPG and it is also an MMO: a Massive Multiplayer Online game in which our alter ego, created ad hoc, can meet those of other players in the city of the Kaiohshin of Time . We tell you immediately that the idea is very nice, but also that the execution is watering on all sides. And the fact that Tokitoki City is populated by dozens and dozens of Saiyans who are named after the characters of Naruto and One Piece is only a small part of the problem.
Dimps put too much emphasis on the wrong feature, turning the Tokitoki City hub into a crucial element of the whole experience. We can freely explore the city of time patrols, divided into three areas full of shops and NPCs with which to interact: we can go to the capsule seller to buy some healing consumables that will come in handy in difficult times or buy new skills or costumes from the special kiosks, for example, and when we play online the city will be populated by the avatars of other players. Offline, however, its inhabitants will be randomly generated NPCs to give us the idea that it is equally inhabited, but the problem is that Dimps has decided to separate the two hubs despite both connecting to the internet, and this means that it is not uncommon to be "disconnected" from Tokitoki City even when we are playing on our own. Just reconnect to resume the game, mind you, but it is a senseless procedure, just as it makes no sense that to look for a competitive or cooperative game you have to physically interact with a certain NPC. Ironically, after each game we will find ourselves at the entrance of the city, and to play another one we will have to return to the NPC in question every holy time. Also due to its repetitive and annoying jingle, Tokitoki City soon becomes the symbol of everything wrong with Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, a useless and summarily implemented tinsel. It would have been better if it had been possible to press a simple button to bring up the list of cooperative and competitive missions available, also because if Dimps wanted to focus on the social aspect he would have had to introduce a way to interact with other players more complete and immediate than some preset phrase and a large list of animations. So, instead, Tokitoki City looks like the Tower of Destiny, but much less practical and decidedly more dispersed.
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Resources4Gaming.com
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is a half-successful experiment in many ways. It manages to effectively rejuvenate a long tradition by offering the most faithful videogame transposition of the series from the gameplay point of view, but at the same time it slows down its exciting visual spectacle. The RPG mechanics are a pleasant addition that immediately leads to the repetition of the unbridled grinding, while Tokitoki City would like to be a center of aggregation but becomes, in a few minutes, only a big pain in the ass. Nonetheless, Dimps started his journey into the new generation of consoles on the right foot, and above all he made us relive the Dragon Ball saga in a fresh and original way. The probable Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2, in short, could really surprise us.
- The single player campaign
- The skills and costumes to unlock
- The feeling of the fights
- Lots of characters
- Some sensational absences from the roster
- The grinding of missions
- The control system and the camera
- Tokitoki City