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Interview: Masahiro Kashino, Dragon Ball Xenoverse

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It’s been in development for quite some time but Dragon Ball Xenoverse is finally set for release on 13 February 2015. With all-new storylines, an array of characters and a slick 3D battle system, it’s tipped to be the best Dragon Ball game yet.
I sat down with Masahiro Kashino, Xenoverse’s development producer, at this year’s MCM London Comic Con to find out about the game’s exciting new features.

How are you enjoying the convention so far?

IMAG0005I’m very happy to be in the UK. I’m happy to see many people trying out the Dragon Ball Xenoverse demo in the Bandai Namco booth.

What’s different in the new game? 

I am strongly confident that this is the best Dragon Ball game that I have worked on. For the previous Dragon Ball games, it was always you becoming one of the main characters and re-experiencing the original story from the manga or anime. In this game, you can create your own character and interact with the main cast from Dragon Ball. The character creation system is very unique – it’s very new from previous Dragon Ball games.

The Network Test conducted a few months ago seemed to be very well received. Did you make many changes after the feedback was given?

So the main objective for the network testing was just to check the stress test on the server, but at the same time we have received a lot of feedback from fans asking about the possible changes in the final game.
Dimps is tuning it up even now as of today to finalise it, so yes the feedback has been taken and is being implemented in the game. The playable demo that you can find at the Bandai Namco booth is before the game is tuned up so the final game will be slightly different.

A lot more thought has gone into characterization than previous games. Why is this?

There is a game called Dragon Ball Heroes, an arcade machine in Japan, that involves character creation and the feedback from Japanese kids especially is very positive. I also know that in western markets, customizing your own character is one of the most important aspects of any game, so it’s not 100% fan feedback. It was also my intention that I wanted to implement the character customization in Dragon Ball IMAG0016_BURST002Xenoverse.
When I was a little kid, I was dreaming of shooting Kamehameha. For this game I didn’t want to see Goku shooting Kamehameha, I wanted it to be me shooting Kamehameha. That’s what I wanted to emphasise in this game.

There is talk of a tournament to decide the best fighter in Europe. Could you tell me more about this?

The main online tournament is called Tenkaichi Budokai and that is divided into two parts; one is pre-match and the other is the final match.
So pre-match is basically a bunch of people applying to fight and the winners are decided based on the points that they earn during the battles. The top rankers will be able to go to the main match of the Tenkaichi Budokai tournament and depending on how we set the server we can see who is the number one fighter worldwide, who is the number one fighter in Europe, and we can even see who is the number one Frieza player. Depending on the server setting that we make, we can set up a lot of choices to find out the number one player worldwide.

There are a few new characters. Could you tell me more about them? 

There are four new characters implemented into this game; two evil and two on the good side. The evil side have twisted the history of Dragon Ball from the anime, so your objective is to go into the universe with Trunks to fix the twisted history to the original manga storyline, as the good side of course.
Mira is the android and Towa is the mad scientist. And there is one little girl lookalike, a main character who is good called Supreme Kai of Time. She is supposed to be 75 million years old but she looks very young. Also there is one small bird called TokiToki who has an important role to fix the history with Trunks and yourself.
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This is the first time that a Dragon Ball game will be on all four platforms at the same time; Xbox 1, Xbox 360, Steam and PS4. There is a pre-order offer available, which includes two costumes for your personal avatar and an exclusive Trunks figurine.
The release date for Xbox 1, Xbox 360 and PS4 is 13 February, and 17 February for Steam.

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