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



"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.
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
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.

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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.

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Avatar image for Tiger_Ali

I just hope they do it justice.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for jayedrewstephen

Dragonball Xenoverse New Character Appears.

Avatar image for revile_hannibal

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

Avatar image for daniel_aud

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

Avatar image for lorider25

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for C0nv3rsE_VIP

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

Avatar image for STARKKASH

Make one for PC please...

Avatar image for SpLiTMaN

<< LINK REMOVED >> i was gonna say that too!!!

Avatar image for gameofthering

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for bobjones1980

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for helldragonzer

<< LINK REMOVED >> there is one really good on GBA, probably one the best DB games ever, they should make it into consoles.

Avatar image for itswinter

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for g1rldraco7

A next gen DBZ game? I'm hyped.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for itswinter

<< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for gokussj529

<< LINK REMOVED >> Nah man, you are by yourself on this one... If you cant beat majin buu with tien just lower the difficulty.

HAHAHA!! Noob!!!!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for Fatbeaverlol

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

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for samus_my_life

definitely getting it :)

Avatar image for meatz666

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

Avatar image for Foppe

I wonder if we can play as Ghost Nappa.

Avatar image for deactivated-584419ec3a052

'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?

Avatar image for itswinter

<< LINK REMOVED >> Not to mention there isn't just SSJ transformation.

Avatar image for regrozenah

<< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for bond21

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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).

Avatar image for osyrhiah

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for aa29648612

I remember the SNES games lol

Avatar image for BIGFELLAH26

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for deactivated-584419ec3a052

<< LINK REMOVED >> 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?

Avatar image for GH05T-666

I'd love a DBZ RPG game

Avatar image for 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.

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