The lights are on
We weren’t able to get our hands on Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse, but Bandai Namco did play the game for us, and offer some teases for what’s to come.
Before even starting the demo, Bandai Namco said that Xenoverse, from developer Dimps, not only brings new elements to Dragon Ball Z fighting games, but also to the world of Dragon Ball Z. In an effort to tease on this promise, we were shown two images. One of an unrecognizable futuristic city, and one of a new character seen from the back. He had hair like Goku’s, but it was colored red, wore a jacket with a prominent Capsule Corporation logo on the sleeve, and wore a Saiyan Scouter on his left eye. Bandai Namco teased that he may be a combination of other Dragon Ball Z characters, but that’s all it would offer.
The demo we got to see was billed as more of a, “sneak technical preview.” The game is set for simultaneous release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, but Bandai Namco said the new-gen versions are the main focus of development. The game looks sharp, but the most impressive element of the visuals were the characters’ animations and facial expressions. We saw Goku take on Frieza on a collapsing Namek, and you could really see all wincing and angry brow-furrowing that goes alongside a Dragon Ball Z fight.
Next up we saw a fight between Goku and Cell on the arena that appeared in the show. Xenoverse uses the Havok physics engine, so elements of the environment were collapsing in a more realistic fashion, and the arena floor was accurately responding to the on-screen action by breaking apart into chunks.
Next up was a quick fight with Goku and Buu. It was during this fight we saw underwater fighting – a new addition – and Goku’s ability to go Super Saiyan mid-match. You won’t choose between the regular and Super Saiyan versions of characters anymore before the match. Now, you will be able to power-up through the course of the match. We saw Goku go up to his third Super Saiyan form with his long flowing mane of yellow hair.
From our brief showcase of the game, the gameplay seemed to be more in line with the recent Battle of Z than previous Dragon Ball Z fighters from Dimps. When I asked for confirmation regarding whether we would be seeing a more open arena fighter as opposed to a more traditional fighter, Bandai Namco was coy offering that the game was still early in development. We should learn more regarding the game’s release window before the end of the year.
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Dragon Ball Z is the game for me, especially if it's released on the Wii...U.