Later this month, Bandai Namco Games is releasing Dragon Ball Xenoverse, a game that will offer fans of the legendary anime series its first completely new storyline in many years. According to well-known Dragon Ball voice actor Chris Sabat, though, that storyline may not be the game's biggest draw.
Sabat is well-regarded in the Dragon Ball fanbase for voicing many characters in the series, including Vegeta, Piccolo and Yamcha. He now runs his own sound studio, where he's currently serving as the voiceover producer for Dragon Ball Xenoverse.
"We finally got a new story, but from a localization standpoint it was a little confusing," Sabat told Polygon in an interview last week. "There was nobody to ask, 'Okay, what is this? What exactly does this mean?' That information was locked away in some creator's head somewhere.
"I don't know if I'm allowed to say this, but there will probably be a couple of times in the story where you tilt your head and get confused."
That may sound bad, but Sabat says there are other exciting parts of Dragon Ball Xenoverse that will draw players in. For example, it's one of the few Dragon Ball games that allows for character creation.
"I think the new story is cool, but I think where a lot of people are going to have a lot of fun in this game is the customized characters," Sabat said. "There's so many ways to customize characters. I think most people would get their money's worth just by popping open the game and making a character that they want to make.
"They've done crude versions of a character creator before, but nothing like this. When you make a character in Xenoverse, it looks like something that [Dragon Ball artist] Akira Toriyama could have made."
In addition to choosing from multiple races from the series and many clothing options, character customization in Dragon Ball Xenoverse will feature 20 different possible voices.
"Those are the people who got the shit sandwich on this game, from a voice standpoint," Sabat joked. "They had to come in and not only do the regular battle callouts, but they to do every single attack for every character."
Sabat has also put in work to ensure that Dragon Ball Xenoverse will feature talents from as much of the original Dragon Ball voice cast as was possible, though they had to make replacements in some cases.
"I got everybody who was available and appropriate for the roles," Sabat said. "There's some actors who I don't even know where they are anymore. I wouldn't even know where to find them. The original voice of Chiaotzu was a librarian at the University of North Texas. I don't have a clue where she is now."
Dragon Ball Xenoverse launches on Feb. 24 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC.