E3 2014: Powering Up Dragon Ball Xenoverse to the Next Generation

Kamehameha!

"Warriors, gather here!" a deep voice booms. Its cadence struck a familiar chord in me, as the camera panned across barren terrain and landed on the back of a recognisable orange gi. It was the uniform of Goku, the iconic lead character of an anime series that is nearly 30 years old. He clashed with another familiar face, Vegeta, and the duo made a show of exchanging blows.

The scene is a classic Dragon Ball Z battle re-created within Dragon Ball Xenoverse (XV), the latest entry in the Dragon Ball series of fighting games. Developed by Japanese studio Dimps, which previously worked on the well-received Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series, Dragon Ball Xenoverse marks the first time the series will be hitting the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.

Frieza gets decked by Goku.

I was treated to a viewing of a very early version of the game with global producer Shoya Yamazaki. It featured Goku engaged in one-on-one battles with a variety of familiar enemies including Frieza, Cell, and Buu. As a long-time fan of the Dragon Ball Z anime, seeing such battles take place again resonated with me.

For all their similarities however, these fights felt different to the anime counterparts I held in my memory. Energy blasts looked brighter, characters had gained visual depth that was absent in the anime, and Goku's signature kamehameha move pulsed with a newfound blazing energy.

Vegeta vs. Goku

Sure, the characters looked the same and their trademark moves remained conceptually unchanged, but the aesthetics in Dragon Ball XV brought the universe to a new level of vibrancy. And although the game will also see release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I was assured that developer Dimps was "building this game as a next-gen game."

Characters in Dragon Ball Xenoverse sport real-time animations during battles, as evidenced by the grimaces I witnessed on Goku's face during his fight with Cell. It was a small feature that had no impact on battles where mechanics were concerned, but added a nice little touch of authenticity. Fights occurred at a speedy pace and looked flashy, but Yamazaki assured me the combo system had been created with the goal of allowing the game to be more "accessible."

More skilled fans will still be able to enjoy the more complex mechanics, however, thanks to a combo layering system that would be present in the game, he added. Combos could be mixed up with different move input order, and holding down a button for longer grants it harder impact.

Despite my concerns that players would have a smaller pool of characters than some previous games in the series, Yamazaki was confident that the full game would feature a large array of characters. He pointed to the game's inclusion of a mysterious new city, as well as the teaser for a new unrecognizable character as an example of new features that would make their way into the released game.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse brings a 30-year-old anime universe to life on a new generation of consoles. Based on the brief glimpse I was shown, I am eager to see whether the full game will offer both longtime fans and newcomers a fun fighting game experience as rich as it is vibrant.

See more coverage of E3 2014 →

Written By

Zorine “harli” Te is a long time Australian competitive gamer and also an Associate Editor at GameSpot.

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Discussion

56 comments
Tiger_Ali
Tiger_Ali

I just hope they do it justice.

dementedseptin
dementedseptin

A Skyrim-Like DBZ RPG/Open Universe

Set many generations after DBZ Ended...

Character Features: Choose Race, Sliders for character creation, male/female.
Age Progression: You start out as a young child probably 5-7 and you age as ingame time goes on.
Example.= You start out as 5 years old, every 10 hours (irl) you age 1 year ingame. So 180 hours would make you 23 in the game, adding age progression to everyone else would make it feel more realistic. With age progression you can become a teacher, master or a trainee. 

I would like the RPG to feel how it felt when Goku didnt know anything about kai for a long time at first...
it would keep the game interesting, people would actually have to work hard to run into someone who can teach you how to fly or whatever.  

Special attacks learned by your master of choice. 

briarios666
briarios666

they should make a free roaming version of dbz taking the good points from dbz ut making your own character and being able to use the hyperbolik time chamber, and being able to work to transform ie training or some exp during events to unlock super saiyan levels in order to get your created character to each super saiyan level or even struggle events like when gohan transfomed in the cell saga etc. being able to fly to diifrent locations wile fighting or flying over a location then decending to start the fight you know like the anime bit more like that than a simple 1 v1 on one screen. hears hoping this game is atleast as good as dbz ut

jayedrewstephen
jayedrewstephen

Dragonball Xenoverse New Character Appears.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=btMkV3Abdk0&feature=youtu.be

daniel_aud
daniel_aud

Why not make a free roaming Dragonball z game with a main quest and side quest?

lorider25
lorider25

LOL! How many times are they going to remake this thing? HAHAHA

ksbwings
ksbwings

We really get sick of the same story as stater of the game........plz since DB is a game now....try to extend the story into whole new level.

C0nv3rsE_VIP
C0nv3rsE_VIP

they could, as nsuns3 full burst did, but they are just lazy

DeusGladiorum
DeusGladiorum

Good, Budokai 3 was easily my favorite DBZ game, hands down. The better opportunities for a deeper combat system in the Tenkaichi series were overshadowed by the mostly copy-paste character roster and the piss-poor story system. Budokai 3 had everything I wanted from a DBZ game. I'm glad Dimps is taking the helm again. 

bobjones1980
bobjones1980

Woo its not a card Battle game or has weird team mechanics

chieflion
chieflion

Also, I still think they should make a dragonball rpg/action game  some day. That would be probably all i need to play before i die.

seven7swords
seven7swords

As much as I love the anime the games have always been a let down since Budokai 3. Every character plays the same. Only real difference is Sayains and Bosses are stronger then everyone else in the cast of 70 some characters so there is no point in doing Majin Buu vs Tien cause Buu wins every time.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

They need to stop trying to make this series "more accessible".

The game needs to be as hard as possible with a deeeeeeep combat system.

We aren't talking about 2 normal people fighting here. We are talking about a game that has been done to death a million times over, and the only people still playing them are hardcore fans of the anime and games. These are fighters that are so far beyond human capabilities that it boggles the mind.

The fight system should reflect these ideas.

akira60
akira60

Well from what from my view I think they might do good with this as long as they make the gameplay from the one way back like budokai and I hope from what little info given that they add a little on to the story with this new character but from what I have seen from this and the demo witch I recommend watching I think that they might do good with this one I can't wait to see

Fatbeaverlol
Fatbeaverlol

Tenkaichi> budokai i dont like that standard fighting type style I love the free roam fighting alot more

gerd357
gerd357

I don't want a budokai tenkaichi style dragon ball i want a budokai type of game . Dragon ball is one of the most recognized fighting anime of all time , it is due time that it get's a fighting game of high level . The old budokai triology was good , but still not in the pantheon of fighting games

meatz666
meatz666

They could do a deeper fighting system, and make the characters more different when it comes to basic attacks. 

Foppe
Foppe

I wonder if we can play as Ghost Nappa.

Chatch09
Chatch09

Definitely getting this, it will be the first DB game I've had since the 1st Budokai.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

'Transformations haven't been part of the Dragon Ball series of fighting games before, but will be introduced in Dragon Ball Xenoverse. Characters will be able to transform into their available super saiyan modes in-game, negating the need for multiple versions of the same character in the selection menu.'

Would someone explain what this bit means? It sounds like it's saying transformations such as going super saiyan have never been in a DBZ game before when they clearly have, but the fact it goes onto say 'negating the need for multiple versions of the same character in the selection menu.' obviously shows the writer knows transformations have appeared before, unfortunately taking up multiple character slots. What are we classifying transformations as?

leimonides
leimonides

I'm very happy to hear about transformations; I have always felt it was lame that they were not in game (the few games iv'e played, anyway, which aren't too many to be honest, at least from what I can recall); you always had to choose your form. I do hope that the transformations are gradually attained as you move through the classic story; if that is a thing.


The inclusion of a new city and character; i'm a little interested to see where that goes and how it is handled; not quite sure about it yet though (kinda hard to be, with such little information, right?)

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Of all the DBZ games, why hasn't there been a Crossover (DBZ vs something) DBZ yet? Don't you think it's time for a DBZ vs whoever for once and get this series a change? DBZ vs Bleach. Unless you got something radical for this series, I'm not buying anymore DBZ games until there's DBZ vs something.

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

"Transformations haven't been part of the Dragon Ball series of fighting games before"

Nooo, the article goes to hell as you say you haven't done any of your homework... :(

revile_hannibal
revile_hannibal

Maybe all of this is too ambitious for a DB game, but that would be the ultimate DB game in my opinion.

gameofthering
gameofthering

@STARKKASH Same. This is the one game that has the power to make me get a PS4. Depending on whether it's good or not.

helldragonzer
helldragonzer

@chieflion there is one really good on GBA, probably one the best DB games ever, they should make it into consoles.

itswinter
itswinter

@seven7swords Haha, no way.  Budokai was when they started getting good.  (the Budokai series and Infinite World were decent at best).  The BT series was amazing, Burst Limit wasn't great at all, the Raging Blast series was also amazing, DBZ UT was decent (had really nice graphics and some good features like destruction doesn't disappear, interactive parts of fights in story mode and beautiful animated cutscenes.  that's about it though), DBZ Kinect was the worst game ever, and BoZ was decent.

gokussj529
gokussj529

@seven7swords Nah man, you are by yourself on this one... If you cant beat majin buu with tien just lower the difficulty.


HAHAHA!!  Noob!!!!

regrozenah
regrozenah

@DamnILoveGames Well I can't speak for older games, but I know Battle of Z had Super Saiyan forms and other transformations listed as separate characters in the roster. Maybe some of the older games might have had the same thing. I think Budokai Tenkaichi did aswell, not sure.

Frankly, it's good they're acknowledging that since Battle of Z was just garbage. I really hope this one turns out a lot better. I kind of miss how things worked in Raging Blast. Those were some good DBZ games alongside the old BT series.

BIGFELLAH26
BIGFELLAH26

@GH05T-666 I'm glad I'm not the only one who'd love a DBZ RPG. I loved BUU'S FURY on the GBA and would love a game like it. Or if it has to be a fighting game I would like one like the Naruto Ultimate Ninja games where you can explore the world, do side quests, hang out in the village etc.

osyrhiah
osyrhiah

@EasyComeEasyGo There's already J-Stars Victory Versus but its not entirely Dragonball, just a lot of shonen jump characters 

leimonides
leimonides

@EasyComeEasyGo Bleach is a very weapons based while DBZ is very energy based; a versus for that would be interesting, however, I would think a Naruto vs would fit a little better. Either way, a VS game would be a nice route to take for something a bit different for the franchise. 

Zorine
Zorine moderator staffmoderator

@Mega_Skrull 

The game producer started off the demo by saying that. 

itswinter
itswinter

@helldragonzer @chieflion 2 really good ones actually.  DBZ Legacy of Goku II (the first one was no where near as good, and I still can't get passed the temple on Namek) and Buu's Fury.  I don't know why they don't remake them in HD with new features for 3DS.  -.-  It would also be nice if the DB Heroes 3DS games were released in other countries in Japan.

bond21
bond21

@regrozenah @DamnILoveGames First of all this article is complete trash. What DamnILoveGames is saying is the writer is a hack and doesn't know anything. He's not really asking a question. In-game transformations have been in DBZ games as recent as Burst Limit, and before that, the Budokai trilogy all had ingame transformations. All the Dimps games have them, the only games worth a crap.

The only recent games that don't have in-game transformations are the garbage Spike games aka Tenkaichi and Raging Blast. You know, the ones with the camera slightly behind the back of the characters where all the characters play the same and the combat engine consists of mashing one button over and over again. So apparently the writer has only played crap and none of the good ones, and also has failed to do basic research.


It's unbelievable how the only DBZ games people remember are the god-awful Spike ones.Does noone remember the Budokai trilogy? I'm still shocked at how this article has been published given that there have been at least 5 games in the past 10 or so years that had ingame transformations. Not even counting the rereleased Budokai collection that came out less than 2 years ago.

 Also I love how the writer says she has concerns about less characters as a result of ingame transformations. It's just the complete scrub's mentality. I'd rather have 25-30 good characters like in a Budokai game as opposed to 150 characters that are nothing more than different skins who play entirely the same way. Which is exactly what the Tenkaichi/Raging Blast games are like. Pure 100% unfiltered trash. And I pity anyone who has only played those and not Budokai. Not to be confused with "Budokai Tenkaichi" (leeching off a better game's branding to sell garbage).

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@regrozenah So what does the article mean when it says transformations haven't been in past Dragon Ball games when I can't recall playing a single Dragon Ball game that didn't have them?

osyrhiah
osyrhiah

@bond21 @regrozenah @DamnILoveGames Eh..... every character on Budokai had the same attack animations and slightly different combos. I don't get why Tenkaichi is criticized for that whilst Budokai is pretty much the same. So I don't know, calling out the writer for her lack of research is strange considering you know little of the games after Dimps left making Dragonball games. Meh, none the less.It just sounds like the usual fanboy gibberish. Both styles of games were nice but could've been done better. I hardly understand why anyone would hate the other if they're a fan. 

BIGFELLAH26
BIGFELLAH26

@bond21 @regrozenah @DamnILoveGames I don't like the aticle so it's trash and the writer's a hack.

That's what you're really saying. you sound like that jerk on the IMDB Dragonball Z boards who thinks he knows more about the series that the creator.