Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Hands-On

Platforms:
PS4Xbox OnePC
Released:
October 25, 2016
Publisher:
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer:
Dimps

Feature article

Luke: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was never going to be my forte, that’s for sure. I’ve watched bits of Dragon Ball Z and have a vague understanding of how it works, but I consider myself relatively knowledge when it comes to fighting games, with a background in Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Dead or Alive, Tekken and more. I figured the mechanics of this surely wouldn’t be too dissimilar, but I was completely wrong in that regard! Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is like a shock to the senses, featuring a bunch of different crazy power-ups and attacks that must be very familiar to fans of the anime.

Jakob: I’ve played some older Dragon Ball Z games, but Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was something else in terms of how expansive the controls are. It did take some getting used to, but it was nice to see that learning said controls wasn’t prohibitive. I’m confident that the final product will have a tutorial of some kind that will alleviate the frantic stress of having to discover the controls for yourself. Having said that, we both managed to get into a groove after only a few rounds of the PvP section of the game that was on offer. We had fun doing so too, I think the entire ACMI office could hear us laughing.

Luke: Yeah, I was concerned about the ‘pick-up-and-play’ factor because it was a different point of view from the 2D plane I’m used to with fighters, but once we’d had a couple of battles and I’d figured out what was going on, it instantly became very enjoyable. The characters have a bit more health than your standard fighters as well, so the battles weren’t exactly quick. Lots of flying around, shooting fireballs at each other and trying to pummel each other into the ground. It’s about as nuts as I was expecting.

Jakob: The fact that the fighters are a bit more durable appealed to me as it meant you’d have to work that little bit harder to take them down.  Once you got the knack of managing your Ki, recharging it as you fight and changing forms to take advantage of the stronger abilities, the stage is set for all kinds of madness. Dragon Ball Z is known for extended powerups and form changes, so this title holds true to some of the cornerstones of the franchise.

Luke: The power-ups themselves are super fun to pull off. As with any good fighter though, just spamming them is not going to be effective at the end of the day. Timing your special attacks is important, as they can be dodged by a savvy opponent, which happened a few times during our battles against each other. It creates a much needed balance within all of the chaos, as some cleverly placed attacks could turn the tide of battle in a big way, and ultimately result in victory. Like any fighting games, balance is very important, and I can already see this back-and-forth becoming integral the more you play.

Jakob: I have to say that this game is possibly the first multiplayer that I have considered buying for my PS4… EVER.. Which is a pretty big thing. Dragon Ball is an anime that I adored when I was younger but never had that much of an inclination to pursue in its gaming adaptations. I think Xenoverse 2 has changed that, and I’m keen to replicate the experience that we had at the preview session in the comfort of my own house, especially to remove the fear of shouting too loudly in a room of concentrating gamers.

Luke: I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 promises to include a lot of new features as well, like  an avatar customization system, a larger hub city and new characters, along with a better frame-rate and  camera. With any of the issues from the previous game in the franchise being addressed and the amount of fun that a game like this can provide, even I am considering spending some more time in the Dragon Ball Z universe with Xenoverse 2 set for release at the end of October.