We’ve Had to Choose and Now We Create. Dragonball Z Xenoverse Gives Us the Best Saiyan Building Experience We Could Want
Create-a-fighter is not a new feature to be entered into the genre. It is something that games such as Soul Calibur and the Wrestlemania series have been doing for a long time.
Even Mortal Kombat has thrown its hat in the ring – even though it was promptly removed following Armageddon. Why, then, is it that Dragonball Z Xenoverse‘s create-a-fighter is so good?
We’ve already been treated to CasualGamer‘s in-depth video review of Dragonball Xenoverse, so I’ll spare you the repetitions of the voice acting and haywire subtitles. However terrible the story may be in execution, Xenoverse presented to us a cohesive tale that both respected the original world and allowed for a sensible place for our character to inhabit.
As a Time Patroller, whichever warrior we choose to create can seamlessly move into the climactic battles of the franchise without having players be taken aback by how he/she got there.With the exception of one sequence towards the end, I never had any qualms with where my character was. It all made sense within its own logic and I respected that.
Another pitfall that Xenoverse avoided is having the existing characters address each other and ignore us. Obviously it’s impossible to program for every possible combination of custom character but Xenoverse meets these in the middle. Indeed, one of the more charming interactions of the game was when Frieza chastised my (Frieza’s race) fighter for not realising that he was the supreme ruler of my people.
Dragonball Z is a story that has been told countless times. Through different iterations of the television show, the movies, and the countless games, this is a story that anyone remotely familiar with the franchise will know. The notion of ruptures in history and the need to correct them manages to present the same story that we all know and love in a fresh and exciting way.
Soul Calibur also gives players the opportunity to create their own character. The customisation of how the fighter looks is awesome but it falls apart when designing how the fighter can be played. Soul Calibur gives you the option of choosing which existing fighter’s fighting style you want to use. Which essentially makes your custom warrior an alternate avatar for the existing one.
Xenoverse may not give you many choices on how your basic attacks work together but the flexibility on how these short combos can be applied makes up for that. What it does allow you to do though, is choose any combination of any seven super moves that you desire (4 super moves, 2 ultimates, 1 evasive).
These can be acquired through training with a particular mentor, completing parallel quests, or buying them from the shop. The application of these in conjunction with the questing system allow for a fuller, richer experience with your character.
Choosing a race at the beginning is a bit ambiguous for those who have not played the game prior. Xenoverse offers brief descriptions of each race’s strengths and weaknesses but doesn’t give much detail. This is quite the oversight as each race’s clothing and accessories are specialised in particular fields. So your choice of Saiyan, Namek, or whatever pigeon-holes you into being inefficient with your items, changing your playstyle accordingly, or looking ridiculous.
Options, different skills and customisations are dolled out to the player throughout their journey in Xenoverse. Completing parallel quests and progressing through the story will unlock new items as well as new purchasable items. It gives the player a lot of incentive to play and replay certain areas.
With the level of customisation available and ability to play online with friends, players may find themselves going back to earlier parallel quests to either upgrade their abilities or unlock a new skill. With some of the more challenging quests, getting a strategic advantage by using certain skills can make the difference between failure and even completing the bonus objectives.
For instance, despite having finished the main storyline, I found myself pushing my character to complete Cell related quests as his unlocked skills aligned so well with how I wanted to play the game. Not to mention the Perfect Kamehameha is absurdly powerful.
The ability to quest adds in a level of RPG grinding that makes the custom warriors a more central part of the game’s design and not an activity in and of itself. Training, tailoring, and eventually showcasing your characters is as much the end goal of Xenoverse as is finishing the missions.