It’s Front Mission time.

DragonBall Xenoverse combat mechanics


DragonBall Xenoverse is a full 3D fighting/action-game developed by DIMPS and it contains action, control of your character, freedom and a Character creation system.
You watched some DBXV footage from stream, but don’t know how this games work? You want to know, how to play this awesome game? Have no fear, I have analysed the footage, informed myself about the controls and stuff and now I have a rough idea how this game works. Let’s get started.

Disclaimer: There are might some undiscovered mechanics and some things might change in the final version.

UPDATE 1: Added “Locked on by opponents” section (26th September 2014, 01:00am Germany)
UPDATE 2: Unblockable Attacks added (30th September 2014, 4:30pm Germany)
UPDATE 3: Released a v2.0 of the breakdown, it can be read here: DragonBall Xenoverse Fighting Mechanics v2.0 (8th October 2014, 3.30pm Germany)


Basic Controls:

As you can see, the controls for the combat is quite similar to Infinite World, Burst Limit and the Shin Budokai series of DIMPS, with [ ] being a light attack, /\ being a heavy attack and O being a Ki blast. The Block button is mapped to L1, though and this game also added a Jump button, which is also used for ascend and descend. But now to the GUI on your screen.

Your screen:

This is your GUI. Pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Let me explain some things to you.

Special meter/Ki: Your Special Meter (as I will call it Ki from now on, because it’s DBZ) is used for your Special Attack such as Kamehame-Ha, Kienzan/Destructo Disk or Volleyball Fist (1 bar each). An Ultimate Attack such as Super Kamehame-Ha, Final Flash or Makankosappo/Special Beam Cannon uses up 3 bars of your Ki. You can fill it with either attacking the opponent, getting hit, being in a Deadlock/Melee Clash or Ki charge.

Energy meter/Guard Energy: Your Energy/Guard Energy(I will refer it as Guard Energy for the future) is used for some movement options, vanishing, blocking certain moves and Escape Moves. You fill it by not attacking and not Aura/Boost dashing.

Basic movement options

Simple movement: Left stick, not that hard, is it?

Sidestep: L2+flick left stick
Just a step in the direction you pressed

Jump: tap X
It’s a first for DIMPS DBZ games, but they included a jump, you can jump in any direction and also perform a Jump Attack, also you can cancel some move recoveries/lag with jumps

Ascend: Hold X
It’s your Ascension, aka you fly up, you can combine it with Aura/Boost Dash

Descend: “X X” or “L3” or “L1+X”
Your descend to land on the ground, you have a variety of methods to chose from, so make yourself familiar with it. Also combineable with Aura Dash.

Boost/Aura Dash: L2+hold left Stick
It’s your dash, you use it for fast movement or following up your opponent for a combo. It uses your Guard Energy, though, so be careful.

Basic offensive options

Light Attack: [ ]
A light attack, which is usually fast, you can chain multiple Light Attacks to form a string or combine it with Heavy Attacks

Heavy Attack: /\
Your Heavy Attack, like the Light Attack, you can chain them with Light or Heavy Attacks. Also most Heavy Attacks drains the opponent Guard meter and if you fully charge a Heavy Attack, you break the guard of the opponent and deplete the complete Guard Energy of your opponent.

Ki Blasts: O
Your basic Ki blasts, a ranged weak attack, which you can use while moving. If you hold your Ki blast button, you shoot multiple Ki Blasts.

Jump Attacks: Tap X, the [ ] or /\
Your Jump attack. You can also cross up with your jump attack.

Dash Attack: During Boost/Aura Dash [ ] or /\
Your dash attack, it has the possibility to break the guard thx to its Guard meter draining properties, but it can be easily evaded, so be careful with it.

Directional Attack: Left Stick into a direction + [ ] or /\
Your directional attack, use it to anticipate Snap Vanishes or gain control of a crowd, can be used during a string. Notice how Vegeta stays backturned against the opponent.

Throws: L1+O
If your opponent blocks all day, try to throw him.

Defensive Options

Block/Guard: L1
Your simple Block button, be careful though, because there are certain situations, there you can’t block. I will mention it later, that the block button is not omnipotent. You also won’t realign yourself to your opponent during the block animation, so you can be attacked to your back.

Vanish: double tap X, while being hit or blocking.
Your vanish, it uses up 2 Energy bars, though. You can also use it to interrupt an attack animation. You can use it to escape a combo or escape a blockstring.

Escape Move: L2+R2+X
Your Escape Move. It costs 3 bars of your Guard Energy and the effect of the depends, what you have equipped to your character. It has invicibility frames, you cannot be hit. In this state your opponent cannot drop your Guard Energy with Heavy Attacks, Super/Ultimate Attacks or Charged Melee Attacks. Also can be used to escape combos. Really useful in crowded battles. You can only have one Escape move equipped.

Just Guard/Block (or Parry): time L1 with the attack of your opponent
An advanced blocking technique. Time your block with the incoming attack to perform a Just Guard, which results into a pushback and less blockstun (means you can attack earlier). Also you gain one bar of Ki for each successful Just Guard. If you just block a Guard meter draining attack, your Guard Energy won’t drop in this case.

Misc. Controls

Scouter: D-Pad Left
Your scouter, you can check stats of your opponents.

Items: D-Pad Right
You can eqip Items to your character before a battle. This shows you a list of useable items, which all have different effects.

Lock On: R1
To target and focus an opponent, you need to lock on an opponent.

Switch target: Right Stick
You want to switch your target? Use your right stick.

Special Attacks

Special Attacks are iconic moves from the series, which all have different effects and costs. The most iconic move is obviously the Kamehame-Ha. They are selectable in the Super move selection screen, which you can access to with R2 and then press the button which the attack is assigned for. You can customise the Special Attacks for everyone to your liking. Each Special move requires one Special move slot and you have 4 Slots available.
Let’s view some of these:

The most iconic attack of DragonBall and Goku’s signature move. It’s a basic energy beam, which can be charged and damages your opponent. It drains some Energy meter of your opponent. It costs Special meter.

Close Combat Rush (not actual name)
A furious highspeed rush, which gradually drains your Ki. It drains the Energy of your opponent and is comboable. A versatile tool.

Ki charge
The Ki charge, which returns to the DBZ gaming franchise after its absence in DBZ BOZ, this time as a special move, though. It charges your Ki, although at a slow rate. Also the startup and recovery of the Ki charge is quite long. According to dataminers, there are more effective of Ki charge planned for this game.

A Power up move for Goku. It boosts Goku’s speed, damage output and possible Guard Energy draining abilities. It gradually drains your Guard Energy, though. According to dataminer, there are 3x Kaioken and 20x Kaioken planned.

Ultimate Attacks

The Ultimate attack is an the finishing blow of your character. They deal an insane amount of damage, but each of them consumes 3 bars of Ki. There are some oddballs Ultimate Attacks, though. You can have 2 Ultimate Attacks equipped each match.
It’s also interesting to note, that most Ultimate Attacks have Armor properties on startup at least, which has the same properties as block. You can be Guard breaked during the execution of an Ultimate move, though.

Super Kamehame-Ha
An enhanced version of Goku’s Kamehame-Ha

Final Flash
Vegeta’s finisher against Cell, a very devestating Beam. Looks awesome, does it?

Maximum Gohan (Not actual name)
Gohan’s Charge headbutt attack, only that he continously headbutts the opponent. Also note that the opponent tries to hit Gohan, but he still executes the move.

Makankosappo/Special Beam Cannon
Piccolo’s Finisher, which he used against Radditz in the DB series. Devistating Attack.

Scatter Kamehame-Ha
Krillin’s Ultimate attack, which he used to defeat multiple Saibamen. It’s a good move to control the crowd. Also note the Armor properties of this Ultimate attack.

Super Saiyan transformation
And here it is, the Super Saiyan transformation. It slowly drains your Ki, but it boost your abilities and also it let you use Special Attacks and Ultimate Attacks for practically 0 cost. Also your Ki won’t increase in this state and you fall back to base state, if you run out of Ki. It uses up an Ultimate slot, though, so you need to know, if you either want 2 Ultimate Attacks, one Super Saiyan state and one Ultimate Attack or 2 different Super Saiyan transformations.
Ki draining during Super Saiyan state
Special Attack not consuming Ki and reverting back to base:
Ultimate Attack not consuming Ki:

Ultimate Attack Warning
If an opponent performs an Ultimate Attack, you will warned with a character face shot of said Character and the aprroximate direction of your opponent. Let’s be said that it can be pretty chaotic in a 3vs3 battle, though.

How to get through an blocking opponent

Here I explain, how you crack an opponent, who relies on guard

Attacking them into their back:

A guarding opponent usually can’t be hit from the front. Their back is vulnerable, though, so sidestep into attacks to their backs or other means are possible. Remember, guarding won’t realign their character to you (aka they don’t spin to face their opponent).

The Crossup:
A special variant of attacking them into their back. You jump over your opponent and attack them with a Jump Attack to their back.

The Guard Break: You can attempt to drop the Block Energy of your opponent to 0, which results them into a Guard Break state. There are multiple ways to perform it. Also you can’t break the Guard of an opponent, who uses an Escape Move.

Heavy Attacks:
Use Heavy Attacks to lower the Guard Energy of your opponent step by step. It can be Insta-Guarded, though. I speculate, that Kaioken boosts your Guard Energy draining capibilities.

Charged Heavy Attack:
image You charge certain Heavy Attacks to Maximum (the Hormone) drop the Guard Energy instantly to 0 with one hit.

Special/Ultimate Attacks:
Special and Ultimate attacks drains your Guard Energy, if you block them. As you can see above, a Kaioken boosted Full charged Kamehame-Ha drains at least 5 bars of your Guard Energy. Other special attacks will drop your Guard Energy instantly to 0 as you can see from Nappa.

Unblockable Attacks:
Another method to get through a blocking opponent is through an Unblockable Attack. Although an Unblockable Attack and a Guard Breaking attack shares similarities, an unblockable attack doesn’t drop the Guard Energy of the opponent. Only known unblockable attacks to my knowledge are atm Makankosappo/Special Beam Cannon and The Nappa Finger. This might change in the future. Also it seems, that unblockable attacks are Ultimate Moves and possibly Special Moves. It is unknown, if an unblockable attack disrupts the usage of an Ultimate Attack.

The Guard Break State:
The Guard Break state is achieved by blocking a Guard Energy Draining attack and drop your Guard Energy this way to 0. In this state, you cannot block, use any escape moves, Aura Dash and snap vanish. Know when to block and when to avoid an attack by dodging. Also your Guard Energy will refill, but you won’t able to access it until it’s fully filled again.

The Lockdown/Melee Clash:
You trigger a Melee clash by 2 people trying to hit each other with a basic close range move at the same time. It will result into a little cutscene, which will refill your Ki and your Guard Energy.

Jump/Ascend/Descend cancel:
The recoversies of some moves can be cancelled with a Jump/Ascend/Descend and you can continue to pressure your opponent with it or extend combos.

Combo Possibilities:

A video only showcasing the scratch of the combo system of this game.

Properties of an Ultimate Attack:
An Ultimate Attack counts as Attacking and Blocking simultaniously, which means, you can’t be hurt during an Ultimate Attack unless you get Guard Breaked. Guard Energy draining attacks will still drains your Guard Energy, so be careful to have enough Guard Energy.

An Ultimate Attack gets Guard breaked

Unblockables vs Ultimate Attacks:
An Unlockable Attack won’t disrupt the opponent from performing an Ultimate Attack, but it will still damage the opponent. In this example, the unlockable Makankosappo/Special Beam cannon hits the player character during her execution of her Ultimate attack, but the player character still perfors the move, although she takes some damage. It is unknown if it’s a bug, which will patched out in the final game, or a feature.

Reviving a party member:
In a team battle, you can attemot to revive a fallen party member. You have to lock on the fallen member first to revive him.

Locked on by opponents
In a 3vs3 battle, things might get chaotic. Sometimes it seems, that your opponents are ganging up against you, sometimes it’s the opposite? Want to know who are all targeting you? Then you should take note of these small red arrows around your character. It shows, that you’re locked on by characters and shows their approximate location. It doesn’t show you, which character locked you on, though.

I hope you learned some things about this game and I wish you fun for the future with this game, when it releases.


Front Mission (Super Famicom) - Mission 8 Map

Study: Front Mission - Gun Hazard


Albert (Pilot)
Front Mission: Gun Hazard (1996)
Developer(s): SquareSoft, Omiya Soft
Frame sheet can be found here.
Sprite map can be found here.


Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard

(SF/JP/Febuary 23, 1996)

Music by (but not limited to) Nobuo Uematsu and art by Yoshitaka Amano. Amazing sprite work to boot, and the the side scrolling action to match.


Front Mission: Hunting Party by `ukitakumuki


new t-shirt - Front Mission 3 (Square - PSX - 1999/2000)

buy it here


Front Mission by ukitakumuki


To push as many polys and textures as possible, Front Mission 3 (Squaresoft, 1999) would render the wanzers as 2D sprites on the maps, switching to 3D models when you exchange fire, drawing only the wanzers involved in the duel.

The engine always did its best to pick great camera angles, and sometimes would use split screen, which halved the framerate, as hardware limitations forced them to refresh only one half of the split screen every frame.