Dragon Ball Xenoverse
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dragon Ball Xenoverse is a fighting game that involves mostly melee-style battles against opponents throughout history. Players punch and kick enemies and sometimes use weapons and magic to win a match. Occasionally, small amounts of blood can be seen, and opponents will cry out in pain when defeated. The game also has some sexual references, such as one character whose clothes are torn and whose buttocks are mostly exposed. An achievement or trophy is called "Lots of bosoms, I love it!" There is mild profanity, such as "hell" or "damn," used throughout the game. This title is the latest in the massively popular Dragon Ball franchise, so parents should be aware that a fan of the game may want to purchase the other games, comics, cartoons, and other merchandise after playing. It also packs unmoderated multiplayer, which could raise red flags for parents.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
The latest in the bestselling Dragon Ball series and the first to support next-generation video game consoles, DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE is a fast-paced, anime-based fighting game. Travel through time to face off against a variety of enemies -- many of whom will be familiar to fans of the franchise -- such as Vegeta, Frieza, and Cell. Your goal is to prevent the future from being altered. Play as Avatar, a new character based on the player's wishes; you get to choose the species, skill set, and look of the fighter. After you create your character, you're brought in by Trunks as a member of the Time Patrol to travel back in time and defeat a number of opponents in mid-air and ground battles (including three-on-three skirmishes, too). Gamers can play against computer-controlled opponents or friends beside you on the same television or venture online through the in-game multiplayer hub to face off against players on another console.
Is it any good?
Dragon Ball Xenoverse isn't bad, but it could've been a lot better. First, the good news: There's a lot of variety and customization in the fighters; an interesting story; and, along with a robust online component, a supplemental game mode called Parallel Quests, which serves up dozens of scenarios, including fighting alongside baddies such as Frieza. Plus, it looks great on current-generation consoles. But Dragon Ball: Xenoverse falls short in a few areas, mainly in its inconsistent experience. At times, it has unfairly tough and unbeatable enemies compared to your customized fighter who's clearly at a disadvantage. At other times, AI opponents are way too easy to defeat. That makes the combat sequences (especially one-on-one fights) feel repetitive.
Another inconsistency is that your character reacts perfectly to the controls in some moments and completely unresponsively in others. The frame rate isn't stable, so the game will slow down during action sequences, which interrupts the flow of the fights. Plus, over time, you may think the leveling-up system doesn't seem to make much of a difference as you advance through the narrative. Finally, you have to complete the story mode before unlocking the aforementioned Parallel Quests or Versus mode (online and off), so your freedom in exploring the game is restricted. Although it may be fun for younger fighting-game fans and those who follow the Dragon Ball universe, Dragon Ball Xenoverse probably needed a couple of extra months of testing, balancing, and refining to make it a better overall experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Parents can talk about violence in video games. Are fighting games such as Dragon Ball: Xenoverse a harmless -- and fantasy-based -- way to blow off steam, or could they desensitize players to violence or make them want to fight in real life?
Talk about time travel. If you could travel back in time, what would you like to do? Are there certain historical events you'd want to see or people you'd like to meet? Why?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $49.99 to $59.99 (depending on version)
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Namco Bandai
- Release date: March 11, 2015
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, History, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Cartoon Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.