Dragonball Z has a lengthy series of video games. Some of the games were more mediocre, while others offered simplistic fighting gameplay allowing anyone to join in on the action. All do a great job at giving fans of the show a chance to relive their favorite moments. It’s that time of the year again. The great Shenron is upon us and another Dragonball Z game has appeared. This time, however, Dragonball Xenoverse offers players a chance to place themselves within the Dragonball universe while also altering the story enough to feel fresh in our heads.

Xenoverse allows players the opportunity to design and play as their own original character while visiting memorable moments in DBZ history. Players can choose their own race, each with their own series of base stats, as well as their preferred fighting style. Customization is pretty in depth and each character looks authentic enough to have made an appearance in the show.

Xenoverse starts with players being summoned by the magical dragon Shenron to become a member of the Time Patrol, a team of fighters who fix errors occurring in the DBZ timeline. Instances such as making sure Raditz is hit by Piccolo’s Special Beam Cannon, or defending Goku for enough time to create a Spirit Bomb allows players to bring their own characters into the action and participate in famous scenes. I enjoyed the refreshing take on the traditional game story after years of playing through the familiar tale.

To make your own personal fighter stand out amongst the rest, several customization options are available through different special attacks and clothing. Special attacks are plentiful, allowing for different options when creating your ultimate fighter. Long-range, short-range, and defensive attacks are all available to fit your personal playstyle. Different articles of clothing can be used for addition stat boosts giving many the extra edge they need in battle. Players can also add a Z-Soul to their characters, giving their characters an addition perk in the midst of combat.

Parallel Quests are where players will be spending most of their time. Each quest allows players to invite up to two supports characters, whether it be computer controlled or through online co-op. These quests task players through several challenges, mostly centered on defeating several waves of fighters within a limited amount of time. Parallel quests offer rewards such as clothing, new powers, and Z-souls. Each quests can be replayed until all of the rewards have been collected. Although collecting rewards may seem exciting, many may have to do missions several times until they finally get the item they wanted. This becomes even more exhausting during the lengthier quests, where players will find themselves fighting about ten enemies, not get the item they wanted, then have to try again.

Dragonball Z is known for its flashy, fast-paced action and Xenoverse is no different. Fighters fly around the field just as they would in the show, firing ki beams and launching massive special attacks. Special attack options often encourage repeated use. Many matches can be conquered by going Super Saiyen, and spamming the same ultimate move over and over again. Whenever you are faced with an unfair challenge, where you’re fighting three enemies alone, this seems like the only way to win. All of it looks awesome, but can be shallow and repetitive.

The online component plays a more prominent role than previous entries in the series. I enjoyed seeing everyone’s different characters and moves within the different modes. Versus modes are incredibly chaotic, no matter which mode you play, whether it be versus, 3v3, or king of the hill. The servers, however, are currently in a state of disarray, so finding a day where you won’t be kicked into an offline server is a challenge. There’s even an offline mode where two players can duke it out on the couch. All these features can be found within the game’s main hub area. Here, players can select the different modes, and even interact with other players scouring the city. I like the social environment, but I wish there was a more convenient way to begin an online match then run across the city.

I haven’t enjoyed a Dragonball Z game this much since Budokai 3 back in 2004. I liked creating my own character and putting him up against the various villains of DBZ’s past. It may have taken me a while to compete with the best, but I felt like I was actively participating in the insane action with Goku and friends. It’s not the best, but I definitely wouldn’t mind a sequel