Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dragonball Xenoverse Network Test Review

The past week I got an email from Namco Bandai stating that I was accepted as a beta tester for Dragonball Xenoverse Network Test on PS3. So this weekend I spent my time playing and testing the game and messing around with what I could do.

Dragonball Xenoverse picks up where Dragonball Online left off. A game that never managed to leave Korea and Japan but has so many amazing stuff in it that could not be neglected. For the first time in a Dragonball game you can create your own character, go on quests, battle other people and travel back in time to witness actual moments of dragonball history.
You can choose a character race ranging in Majin, Earthling, Namekian, Saiyan and Frieza's race (choosing Saiyan and Frieza's race was not included in Dragonball Online). The network test only provides with Saiyan and Namekian though. You can set character name, hair style, color, basically everything you can set in character you create in an MMORPG. And this is the promising part. It has the potential to be a really big and great MMORPG if it wants to and not just a game with online battles, stores and hubs.
The battles go up to 3 vs 3 which is actually pretty intense.

As this is a test there are obviously some issues with lag, performance and mechanics not working correctly (I was having a fair bit of issues with the lock on system not being accurate or not responding) but for the most part my experience has been excellent. There is a bit of a learning curve but after an hour or so I was using melee, jumping and stringing together combos ending with Kamehameha waves right into my opponents that were being launched away. The combat is full of variety with players able to select 4 super attacks, 2 ultimate attacks and an escape move which will get you out of a tough spot at the expense of your guard gauge.

Other attacking options include weak and strong melee, jump attacks and throws, all of which are able to be combined into a combo. Side steps, jumps, boost dash and ascend/descend make up your movement arsenal and there is teleporting, guarding, just-guarding (a sort of parry) and the aforementioned escape move for your defensive options.

Apart from the fights, the hub area known as Toki Toki City is alot of fun and allows you to run around, interact with others, go shopping and partake in missions which can branch out to different objectives if you meet certain conditions (for example, getting Gohan to show up in his Four Star Dragon Ball outfit to protect his dad). The Network Test is very limited in what you can buy (there are only about 5 outfits for each body section) however mixing and matching them is still fun. At the moment you can not edit existing character’s trademark items colours but we are hoping this changes with release. There is a great variety of super attacks available that you can equip to your characters slots, many with different properties and effects such as melee specials, beam attacks, explosive attacks, ki charging and transformations like the Kaioken.

Fans of create a character will be very pleased with the offerings here, with the Beta alone providing a lot of variety in all parts of the character including hair styles, eye type, nose type and even how big you want your pupils to be. The full game will allow you to customise much more including body size, build and even your voice. We’re also hoping for the ability to edit aura style and colour and basic attacks such as your throw. If you want to fight with the characters from the show, pretty much the whole gang from the Saiyan Saga is also available for you to fight with in any mode.

Unfortunately I did not manage to record any gameplay video as my HD console recorder (don't want to share a brand here) got water spilled on it and I did not get around to buy a new one.

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