Dragon Ball Xenoverse is a fighting role-playing video game based on the Dragon Ball franchise developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco Games. It was released in February 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. A sequel, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was released in 2016.
The game is set almost entirely within a number of 3D battle arenas which are mostly modeled after notable locations in the Dragon Ball universe, accessed from the main hub – the Toki-Toki City. Fighters can traverse the levels free-roaming in large spaces and can fight on ground, in the air and underwater. The game features spoken dialogue from a majority of main characters while in battle, and characters show facial expressions when they strike an opponent or take damage. Although limited, the players have some freedom to explore the planet Earth as it exists in the Dragon Ball universe along with a handful of other locations, including the aforementioned Toki-Toki City. Xenoverse is also the third Dragon Ball game to feature character creation, the first being Dragon Ball Online and the second being Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi. Player-created character has the option of becoming an apprentice of the original Dragon Ball characters in order to learn their special moves and access specific costume items.
With character customization, players are able to customize their character's race, gender, facial hair, body features, clothing and character's voice effects. There are five available playable races: Saiyans, Namekians, Earthlings, Majins and Frieza's race; all of which have race specific advantages and bonuses as well as shortcomings.
The online multiplayer is accessed from the Toki-Toki City, which serves as a hub where players can form groups and take on cooperative, time-traveling missions.
Unlike the previous games of the series that usually follow the original Dragon Ball story, Xenoverse features an entirely new story, featuring the player's custom character. The 2014 V-Jump #7 issue, in which the game was announced, draws attention to a mysterious figure watching the first battle between Goku and Vegeta from the shadows. With red hair, a scouter, and the Capsule Corporation logo on his sleeve, this character's identity was not clear. However, it was later revealed that this character is in fact a newly created character, confirming character creation feature. Another returning character is Time Patrol Trunks from Dragon Ball Online, who helps the player. Two new areas are also showcased: a completely new area named the Time Vault, and the other being a high-tech city with what appears to be a Time Machine landed on it.
The story is revealed to focus on two villains named Towa and Mira manipulating history and Time Patrol Trunks who is set to stop them. Trunks asks Shenron to send him a hero (the player being the hero) who would help him restore the timeline. The story borrows elements from the previous game, Dragon Ball Online, including Towa and Mira manipulating time, and Time Patrol Trunks trying to restore the timeline with the player's help.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse, shortened as Dragon Ball XV, is the 15th Dragon Ball fighting game released on home consoles since Dimps' first Dragon Ball Z: Budokai game, and the first fighting game developed by Dimps to feature full 3D battles similar to the Budokai Tenkaichi and Raging Blast series developed by Spike. It was originally known as Dragon Ball New Project, until the actual title was revealed on June 10, 2014 during E3 2014.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse received fair reviews. On review aggregating website Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating in the 0–100 range, the PlayStation 4 version holds the score of 69/100 based on 50 reviews, while the Xbox One version holds 67/100 based on 18 reviews.
Popular Japanese video game magazine Famitsu gave the game an overall score of 30/40 saying that it "isn’t without its faults and flaws" noting the repetitiveness of in-game missions and lag in team battles as its main drawbacks, concluding that the game is "aimed at Dragon Ball fans" and it might "appeal to fighting game fans and gamers that love fast action games". IGN gave the game a score of 6.7 out of 10, praising its "true-to-form graphics", unique story and customizable characters while criticizing its "shallow combat" and "unfair missions", noting that the game might appeal to "someone who enjoys anime, fighting, and role-playing games". Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 3.5 out of 5, praising the "create-a-character functionality", game mechanics and multiplayer mode, while criticizing the in-game camera movement and distancing from the established Dragon Ball continuity. GameTrailers gave it a slightly lower score of 6.0, noting the same flaws mentioned by both Famitsu and IGN, such as the "shallow combat" and repetitiveness as well as its potential appeal to mainly the franchise's established fan base rather than general audience while also noting that "those without such a strong attachment to the franchise may not be able to stomach the compromise."