Dragon Ball Xenoverse: One of the Most Overrated Games Ever

There are always a few games a year that everyone absolutely raves about, swearing they are the best games ever made and all that.

I never pay attention to reviews or fan feedback, because a lot of it is nitpicking or unworthy praise or something, so it is very rare that I will buy a game based off of just global praise alone. I like to be the judge of a game, simply by seeing if it looks fun. On those rare occasions when I do buy a game (on sale, of course) that the world united on praising, I have found that 99% of these games are quite mediocre, which makes me feel that I am looking for something much more different than the regular gaming community. But don’t get me wrong, some games can be overrated and still be amazing, The Last of Us, for example. I would give this game a 10/10, but for years I heard it was easily the best game ever made, which to me, it is far, far from that.

nappa getting punched

So where does Dragon Ball Xenoverse fit in to all this; as a great, yet overrated game, or a pile of mediocrity? For starters, know that I did not buy this game because the world was calling it “the best Dragon Ball game ever made!” I bought it because I absolutely love the Dragon Ball franchise and this was a new and exciting twist for the game.

And after playing it, here is my conclusion…

It is one of the worst Dragon Ball games I have ever played. It is not the worst, but probably in the top 5 worst ones. Like, I can’t see why anyone even likes this game. It is so boring and seems to go on forever. I was miserable practically the entire time I played it.

So why do I hate it so much? Where do I begin?

For starters, when I bought it, I got the game and season pass on sale for $20 on the PlayStation Store. So when I went to access the DLC, it wouldn’t work, or rather, it didn’t show up, claiming I never bought it. After literally 45 minutes of research on the internet, I found that the DLC was a major glitch, and then I had to look up how to install it, which involved a whole lot of messing around with settings and such on my PS4 and then re-downloading it.  I am not very tech savvy, so I would never have figured that out on my own, and I am willing to bet 95% of everyone else would not have either. So that’s a huge strike for me right there. But since it has nothing to do with the gameplay itself, then it’s sort of forgivable.

That is until we get to the actual game. For starters, it takes like 30 seconds to connect to the server to be able to even play the game. This is really great, since I only want to play single player.

connecting to server
Get used to looking at this…

You start out in some hub town place, which is far too big and your characters walk too slow. All the places you would want to visit regularly are all spaced out as far as possible from each other, so that it takes like 3 minutes of walking just to reach a destination. You are a super powered being! Why can’t you just have the option of quickly flying around!?

hub area
Ugh…Why can’t I fly?

When you finally are able to start a mission, it brings you to the character select screen. Aside from having a very tiny selection of characters compared to previous Dragon Ball games, I have another annoying observation. There needs to be a confirm button after selecting your characters! Typically, you get to pick your character and then 2 others to fight along side you. But so many times I end up choosing the wrong character and then it goes into the match immediately. There should be a “Use These Characters?” box that allows you to pick yes or no. And I usually end up picking the wrong character because the selection thing moves so stinking slow that I always end up pressing the select button before the right character is lit up.

Now that we finally get in the game with the right characters, it turns out to not be worth the trouble at all.

The gameplay is so boring. All you do is throw punches, which send your opponents flying, then you have to chase after them, and repeat over and over again, until you discover a combo that doesn’t send them flying away. So you just do this combo over and over until your energy is charged up, then unleash your special attack to do a decent bit of damage. This is okay in the early parts of the game, but eventually the opponents have so much health that it becomes a very dull chore. I’d rather dust every house on my street then sit through this game again!

dbx gp

But the fights aren’t that easy! So there’s a lot of frustration mixed up in that dull wearing down of health!

For starters, let’s talk about blocking. It’s atrocious. Your character has to come to a complete stop for like 2 whole seconds before you can block. That might not seem like much, but when you’re in a high speed match against 2 or 3 opponents, it’s a friggin’ eternity. But the computer players, they can block whenever they desire. It’s so lovely to watch them do things you can’t.

And speaking of doing things you can’t, some enemies just use their ultimate attacks like 5 times in a row, over and over again. SS Trunks and SS Vegeta seem to do this the most often, though I’ve since learned that this is a special Saiyan ability or something, that for a limited time they can spam the hell out of attacks that will kill you if hit by two of them. Saiyan ability or not, this should not be in the game. That gives them an enormous advantage and messes up the balance of the game.

Another thing the computers seem quite adept at doing is hitting you with beam attacks. Unless you add the beam attack in the middle of a combo, you will most likely miss 8 out of 10 attempts. But the computers will hit 7 out of 10 and this is because they can somehow change direction mid attack. They can bullseye you with a Kamehameha Wave like it’s their business, because they change direction right as they fire it. But as the player, that is the worst, most useless attack in the game, for you will always miss. And no, you can’t change any direction while shooting it.

Dragon-Ball-Xenoverse-07

And on top of that, they do not flinch when you punch them while they are charging up to do an energy attack, but one punch of a small ki blast will knock you out if you are doing the same.

And speaking of ki blasts, you have the ability to shoot many quick ki blasts at a time, and oh my God, this is the most annoying thing in the world! You can shoot these all day at the computers, and if they hit them, which seems to be a 50/50 chance, it won’t have much effect usually, but man if you get hit, they will stop you dead in your tracks. And the computers use this constantly. I mean CONSTANTLY!!! It would be easier to push through a speeding train in real life than get through these ki blasts.

And you know what else they use constantly? There are abilities that, if you have enough energy, will blow away all nearby opponents in one way or another. So if you manage to make it past the barrage of ki blasts, it’s only so you can then get blown away by these special attacks. And then you start all over with the ki blasts. So annoying. They overuse this ability like crazy!

But chances are you will never even get to this point, because you will never be facing your opponent. You can lock on to someone, and you would think that they would automatically direct their punches at that person. Nope. You always have to manually turn your character to face your opponent, which is really awkward, especially when you are getting attacked by multiple enemies and can’t see anything. It’s annoying and stupid. Countless times I found myself punching at air because my opponent was behind me.

This is the last complaint, though I probably have more that I can’t think of right now, and it is simply that the difficulty increases way too fast. The first few missions are simple. You could win with your eyes closed, but then all of a sudden, it’s like you are playing against pros, and you haven’t even fully learned the controls yet. And it just gets harder and harder from there.

Bottom line, the game is boring and frustrating and is definitely not the best DB game ever made! It is not even a good game! I’ll stick with the Budakai and Tenkaichi trilogies. They are much, much, much better.

It warms my soul however, to hear that nobody really likes the sequel, for it is EXACTLY THE SAME GAME! What A-hole developers! God dang it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Gripes

I’ve already talked about Final Fantasy 1 & 2, so here I am with another installment as I trek through most of the series. Today I will be talking about the 3 part game known as Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection for PSP, but more specifically, the third and final game, The After Years.

Final Fantasy IV is a pretty solid game, and really is quite good. I like 2 better, but I have no real complaints about the game. The second game, titled the Interlude, is just a quick 2-3 hour plot filler basically.

Then we come to After Years. It starts off with separate tales starring most of the cast from FFIV, their lengths ranging from 2-3 hours. Most of these are okay, if not a little monotonous. You basically just venture around, doing God knows what while trying to solve the same mystery in each tale. Because they are so short, you will get in monster fights every 3 steps to make sure you really get your fill of fighting. But this is all okay, except for Edward’s tale, the wuss of the game, who is stuck with even weaker soldiers to help fight you through his tale. This is the longest tale probably, and only because it takes forever to kill anything with this weak batch of people.

But anyway, the tales all end in one of two areas, combining all the cast into two separate groups. Once you beat all the tales, you unlock the final tale, (can’t remember what it is officially called). By the time you reach this tale, you are kind of burnt out and are thankful that only another 3 hour segment and the game will be completed.

Well…it was going into this game with that mentality that really made it annoying for me, for the final tale is not short. In fact it is around 20 hours long, which is how long it took me to beat the original game. So combined with all the tales, that’s around 40 hours, which is fine, but I felt tricked that it was so long.

That isn’t even the real issue though. I don’t mind long games at all, as long as the length is through reasonable approaches, like story progression or fun gameplay and the like. This is not the case with the After Years. They just made the game long because they could. There is nothing new and clever at all with this game. It is the same locales from IV, and features the same enemies and bosses.

In short, the game drags on and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. I could type that for hours and if you read it, then you might get a feel of how much the game drags. There isn’t even a well told story, so there is nothing interesting to keep you motivated to beat it. I was just beating it for the sake of beating it.

In the final tale, after doing all sorts of stuff, you go to a new moon and have to trek through a long 14 floors of some tower or something. It might even be longer. After you finally make it through that and you again think you are close to beating the game, you are treated to another 23 floors! Dear god…really?

And again, I stress that this wouldn’t be a problem if it was fun and interesting. It is just a monotonous, never ending adventure. And here is everything I recall that really make these some 37 or more floors even more annoying.

Back Attacks…

FFIV_PSP_Back_Attack.pngThis is when the monsters randomly sneak up behind you and get in first hits. This also means your characters set in the back row are now in the front and your front row characters are in the back. Characters in the back row are usually there because they have ranged attacks and low armor values. So these back attacks, if the monsters gang up on one of these characters, ensure a speedy death for them.

This wouldn’t be so annoying, except I swear 90% of the random encounters start with back attacks. In fact, they are so often, I eventually switched the rows of my characters so I wouldn’t have to waste time switching their rows mid battle. But guess what? When I did this, the back attacks stopped happening. I rarely got a back attack. So I switched the rows back to normal, and then the back attacks started to happen overly frequent again. WTF!?!?!?!?

In addition to the game being long and dragged out, so are the battles. Even some regular enemies take forever to kill, these battles lasting close to 5 minutes sometimes. And mind you, when you get a random encounter every 1-3 steps, it becomes so tedious and time consuming. That is when the impatience and rage really starts to build. Floor by floor you go, fighting and fighting, unable to escape the relentless attacks. Oh my God, it is annoying!!

And you know what is even longer? The boss battles. Some of these take 10-15 minutes. It is just a marathon of how long you can keep your guys alive while slowly whittling down their health. And to do the most damage, you would use the most powerful spells and attacks, right? But guess what, that is incredibly time consuming as well. The more powerful the attack, the longer the animation is for the attack. Some attacks have an animation of over 10 seconds long. While they look impressive, it just adds to the length of the game horrendously. And just think, you have 5 characters, and sometimes the enemy can have just as much. If everyone involved uses some big attack, that’s like 2 minutes just for one round!

So in short, you get too many random encounters, that take too long to kill using attacks that have animations that are too long, to go through a tower that is too long, to fight a boss that is too long. And when you kill that boss, it takes like 15 seconds for the thing to explode or dissolve away. If this was a good game, you would take satisfaction away from killing it, reveling in it’s elongated destruction. But no… you are so impatient and angry at this point that each extra and unnecessary, tedious second is like someone twisting a knife in your gut.

And let me tell you how many bosses there are in those 40ish floors. Around 30, if not more. All you do in that big long tower or whatever it is is fight bosses. Over and over again. You fight nearly every boss from Final Fantasy 1-6 I’m pretty sure. I’m not even sure if there are any new bosses mixed in there. And to make matters worse, the random encounters become tougher and longer with each floor too! They eventually become all bosses themselves!

Oh yeah, and every time you kill a boss, you have to painstakingly listen to what each of your five characters individually think about that fight. I’m assuming they are thinking to themselves, because they all have nothing to do with each other. It’s like one says, “That was an interesting fight,” then another will say, “That creature had dark powers,” then another says, “It smells like death in here,” then another says “I need new socks.” Who cares? Just shut up and let me take 3 steps so I can fight another monster! This happens after EVERY BOSS!!!

While killing all the demons in hell and traversing through the tower, there are rest points. These usually spawn an entirely unnecessary story sequence which usually consists of two characters talking at night about more or less nothing. The scenes are so boring, so uninformative and so long, that it just all dumps onto the raging impatience of just wanting the putrid game to end. And there are probably about 20 of these scenes too.

And when you FINALLY get to the last boss and beat him, which takes about 30 seconds for him to explode, you think you beat the game right? Nope. Now you have to run from the place you are in, all the while getting in constant encounters with the still dying boss. This part just happens to annoy you further. It dangles the end of the game in front of you, while doing everything that annoyed you for the last 40 hours all at once.

And then when it is finally all over, you are treated to an incredibly long and boring ending. By this time you are so fed up with the game that you just want to see the final screen, save your game and never look at it again. But this never seems to happen, because my god, the ending is so long. The only thing more boring and longer that I can think of are the ending credits to any Assassin’s Creed game.

FF4 is a great game. But stay away from the After Years, because all it will do is shave a few years off your life.