Hands-On Preview: Dragon Ball Xenoverse – Super Saiyan Hijinx

Hands-On Preview: Dragon Ball Xenoverse – Super Saiyan Hijinx

My power level is definitely over 9,000. I got to play a couple of matches of Dragon Ball Xenoverse on the PS4 as a lady Super Saiyan with a bad attitude.

One game that got a lot of attention at this year’s New York Comic Con showfloor was Xenoverse. For the first time ever we got to take look at some of the custom fighters you could potential create.  The usual suspects were available in the demo, ranging from Goku to Nappa. I was more curious about some of the custom character templates that were available to play with like the male/female Saiyans, a Namekian, and a male/female Majin.

I chose a female Saiyan Time Patrol Ranger equipped with Vegeta’s Final Flash and Goku’s Kamehameha. I decided to go against Raditz because I have always wanted to punch him in his smug face. Time Patrol Rangers are the fighters that can be fully customize their race, clothing, hair and even skills.

We fought on the World Tournament Stage in front of a crowd of hundreds of beautifully animated fans. The game has some stunning visuals with some of the best cel-shading I’ve seen in a long while. DBZ fans will love the look of the game since it looks just like an episode come to life. When my red-haired heroine transformed into a Super Saiyan, the 13 year old inside me couldn’t help but shriek with joy. I kept thinking how fun it would be to take your own custom Saiyan against the world online.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse

The actual punching and kicking mechanics are a nice mix of strong, light and medium attacks mapped to the face button with the rear triggers used for selecting special attacks. There’s no button combo to memorize — just have enough energy and pray you’re facing your enemy. Two fighters clash and teleport into a fury of punches and kicks really is something to see. It’s once the combat turns into a ranged affair is where the problems lie.

The arena is a full with a high invisible ceiling for flying. There’s a lock-on camera that will keep track of your opponent. Raditz decided to create as much space possible to tossed Ki blasts at me. The erratic camera that’s been plaguing past DBZ games is still alive and well in Xenoverse. It’s easy to loose track of what you’re doing if your opponent decides to fly away at different elevations. This turned one of matches into a mess of errant energy blasts and occasional punching. I ended up finishing my matches by turning Super Saiyan and spamming my specials. The A.I. wasn’t very challenging but I have a feeling the difficulty was set on easy for the sake of the show.

The demo only had one-on-one matches, however the final version is promising 3v3 player group battles, online play and a robust story mode with your create-a-fighter dropping into key moments of DBZ history. As much as I was let down by the combat, I am in love with the potential idea of a Super Saiyan Jorge.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse is coming out 2015 for the PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360.