previews\ Jun 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Dragon Ball Xenoverse Preview: Go Super Saiyan on Xbox One and PS4


One of the big highlights from Bandai Namco at E3 this year was the debut of the Dragon Ball series of fighters on new hardware. For years, the series has been relegated to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, where the games found plenty of success and offered up a frantic, fast-paced fighting experience for fans of the anime. Now, though, Bandai Namco and developer Dimps are getting ready to launch the series on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with Dragon Ball Xenoverse, which should mean nothing but exciting news for fans.

Sadly, there wasn't a playable version of the game at E3, but that wasn't too much of a shocker considering it was just announced and several details are still under wraps. Judging from the guided video footage I checked out, though, Xenoverse looks to be exactly what fans want from the series on the newer consoles.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse - E3 2014 - 1

Because the game was running on the PlayStation 4 (and I believe this would apply to the Xbox One version, as well), the first thing I noticed was just how great it looks. In the past, Dragon Ball titles have featured a slick cartoon look reflective of the anime. The same holds true with Xenoverse, but everything looks much richer. Colors look bolder, environments are more vibrant, and character designs aren't blocky.

Another visual enhancement is the use of varying facial features. Characters don't sport a mindless expression on their faces at all times. If they take a huge blow, their faces show their anguish. If they're powering up to deliver a fatal attack, you can see the rage building up inside them. It's not exactly a massive change, but it's a nice little addition that helps give both the characters and the game itself a more distinguished anime-like personality.

The advanced hardware is also being utilized with the environments around you. Destructibility is quite pronounced this time around, and as you do battle, you'll be able to notice as the battlefield that surrounds you is affected by your actions. Walls and boulders will break, cracks will appear on the ground as you slam into it, and other such little noticeable effects will occur. Again, we've seen things like this in other games in the past, but there seems to be more attention to detail here, which shows that the jump to newer consoles isn't being taken lightly by Dimps.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse - E3 2014 - 2

In addition to multiplayer mayhem, which should keep plenty of fans playing for a long time, Xenoverse also features a brand new single player storyline. Details were scarce, but we do know that the game takes place within a futuristic city and stars a mysterious new antagonist. Sadly, that's all Bandai Namco shared at E3, and the company further teased that players could look forward to a big secret. What this secret entails is entirely a mystery, but the publisher stated that it was doing “something that's never been done before.”

If you've been playing these games for a while, you can expect a lot of the familiar series staples, as well as some enhancements. Gameplay is still combo-based, and it still looks super flashy. Aside from fighting on battle-torn ground and in the sky, you can also get your fight on underwater.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse - E3 2014 - 3

You've got a familiar cast of characters to choose from, which means the roster of fighters is quite sizable. In addition, characters will now be able to take on their Super Saiyan forms during battles. Not only does this eliminate characters taking up multiple spots on the fighter select screen, but it gives fans a more accurate portrayal of their favorite series mainstays during actual bouts.

A release date has yet to be confirmed for Xenoverse, but if you're looking forward to the next chapter in the Dragon Ball series, this upcoming title definitely looks like a promising brawl. Oh, and don't worry if you haven't made the transition to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, because the game was also confirmed for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

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