Dragon Ball Xenoverse is almost upon us. The game will hit store shelves on February 24 in North America, and fans of the anime series and manga are ready to battle the forces of evil. One of the main draws of the new title is the ability to create your own character. There are eight custom character slots allowing players to choose between male and female combatants from four different races.

While the network beta test late last year offered an early look at the Saiyan and Namekian races, a lot of people have been wondering what the differences are between the races, and which race is the best to start with. Before we detail all of the races, keep in mind that male and female characters have varying attributes depending on the race, and your height (selected after you choose a race) also impacts your stats. If you increase your height you gain more attack power, but movement speed decreases. Likewise, if you lower your height you lose attack power, but movement speed increases.

Saiyan

The Saiyan race offers lower health than other races, but balances this with high attack power. A Saiyan's attack power rises even more when their health is below 25 percent. In addition, all of a Saiyan's stats increase if they're KO'd and revived by a teammate. Saiyans also have the ability to transform into Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan 2. It's still possible we'll see Super Saiyan 3 and 4, but only the first two Super Saiyan transformations have been confirmed at this point.

Male Saiyans feature stronger normal attacks and longer lasting buffs (from items and abilities), but their special attacks are weaker. Female Saiyans have a higher Ki and Stamina recovery rate, but lower overall health. If you're looking for a character with strong offensive potential, choose the Saiyan race. You'll essentially be a glass canon, so try to equip at least one defensive ability or health item to compensate.

Namekian

Namekians have lower overall attack power, but higher health. In addition, their Stamina refills faster and items are 1.5 times more effective. Namekians also regenerate their health when it falls below 70 percent. There are no female Namekians which means there are no gender differences with this race.

If your play style favors a defensive approach, the Namekians are going to be a great first choice. The ability to refill Stamina faster means you can use the Vanish (teleport) ability more often to escape combos and other bad situations. With more effective items, you can gain higher attack power to balance out the lower attack power of the race, or boost your defense even more depending on the items you select.

Earthling

The Earthling race has fairly balanced stats, offering the well-rounded option for players who don't necessary favor offense over defense or vice-versa. Their Ki refills automatically, with their attack power increasing when their Ki is at maximum. All of their available transformations are not yet known, but we do know that they can use Kioken at the very least.

Playing as an Earthling is great for gamers who aren't familiar with fighting games or are more casual when it comes to gaming in general. The balanced stats of the Earthling race, plus the automatic Ki regeneration ability makes them much easier to learn than any other race. However, once you get the hang of the game, you should use items or abilities to help boost your offense or defense to match up with the other races.

Majin

The Majin race offers higher defense than other races, but lower Stamina recovery speed. However, when their Stamina is at maximum their defense increases even more. Males have more health but slower movement speed, while females have higher movement speed and lower health.

If you're a defensive player then you should probably start as a Majin or Namekian race. Both offer defensive buffs, so it depends on your play style as to which race is best for you. Namekians are easier to play with, while Majins offer more perks for skilled players. For example, if you prefer to use the Vanish ability to escape combos, you should favor the Namekian race because Majins have slower Stamina recovery. However, if you have better defensive skills to avoid taking hits, the higher defense of the Majin race will make your character very difficult to KO.

Frieza Clan

While some believe the Frieza's clan is known as the Arcosians, Dragon Ball Xenoverse is currently calling the race simply, "Frieza Clan". They have high movement speed, with lower attack power than the other races. To compensate, their movement speed increases when their health drops below 50 percent. They also have the ability to use a beam that paralyzes opponents.

The best way to describe the Frieza Clan is to say that they offer a runaway play style. Their increased movement speed gives them the ability to move in, use a few fast attacks, then quickly escape before an opponent can effectively counterattack. This should only be your first race if you feel you're a skilled player. Lower attack power will make it more difficult to score KOs, and it's possible that the increased speed will make it more difficult for lesser-skilled players to control their characters. However, the paralyzing beam will allow for big attacks, especially when you're playing teams instead of one-on-one.

With the release date for Dragon Ball Xenoverse quickly approaching, keep a close eye on Prima Games for more in-depth coverage of the upcoming title.