Xbox One, PS4, PC
October 25, 2016
Bandai Namco Entertainment
From the moment I started watching the Dragon Ball cartoons as a teen I was hooked. The world of Goku, Vegeta, Frieza and their epic battles had me glued to the screen and tuned in, getting up early day after day to see what happened next. When I wasn’t watching Dragon Ball I was either talking about it or reading about it. A true fan-girl in the making. This love only evolved like a Saiyan through the years and grew just like the Dragon Ball franchise grew, and today we have new anime, more manga, movies and even a slew of Dragon Ball games! The latest of which is Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.
It’s been a little over two years since Dragon Ball Xenoverse was released and while it wasn’t a perfect game, it was still highly enjoyable from a Dragon Ball fan stand point. Xenoverse managed to bring much needed life back into a series which had lost its way and above all, it went back to basics. It threw in an original tale that remixed the usual sagas and for the first time gave players an unprecedented amount of choice for a Dragon Ball game. It was fun, massive and addictive stuff, clearly someone had gotten the seven Dragon Balls together!
Before starting the game, it asks if you want to transfer your Time Patroller from the first XenoVerse. If you have a pre existing character and you wish to do this, then before even accepting, or even launching the game, I would recommend that you get the items you want for your character. After that’s done, you will get the joy of creating your new Time Patroller. Once you select a race, either a Majin, Saiyan, Human, Namekian, or perhaps a member of Frieza’s Clan. You will be given the option to change your character’s appearance, as well as their name and voice. Just like in the first game, there’s options aplenty, enough to leave you taking your sweet time making the perfect character or 12.
Moving on to gameplay, Conton City is the Main World Hub and it’s a massive improvement! It’s approximately seven times bigger than Toki Toki City from the first game. There’s so much to explore, not to mention that everything is actually in one place, as opposed to Toki Toki City which was smaller yet still had you transitioning to other areas. There’s the added joy of being able to ride a vehicle right from the beginning, which makes things much easier and saves a lot of time. You’ll also soon earn a flying license, allowing you to fly. This gives you the means to go anywhere you need to go if you don’t feel like instantly transmitting yourself via the services of one of the many handy droid’s dotted around the hub. It also sadly makes the vehicle redundant but still extremely fun in my opinion.
The main story at times can feel like a rinse and repeat of Xenoverse itself, although this didn’t deter me from wanting to continue to play the game or from me getting drawn in like the eager little Dragon Ball fan I am. Aside from the main story, the game also has side quests to complete. Most of these involve fighting certain characters, using particular moves on opponents or collecting items. The premise here is to level up your character whilst also acting as a training ground until you can progress with the main story. Unfortunately, quests do get repetitive very quickly and there is a lack of motivation to keep repeating them once you have reached their max limit and relevance to the story. I did enjoy the secret missions, though, especially how they showed development for the present characters and I also found some of the small NPC interactions which can be done in Canton City highly amusing.
“The gameplay itself isn’t too complex with the fighting mechanics being the only real tricky part to grasp at the start.”
The loading times in Xenoverse 2 are still atrocious; while possibly not as frequent as in the original Xenoverse they are still long enough for me to do tasks between gameplay such as make a cup of tea, visit the little gamers room and even feed my own demanding Lord Beerus!
Like most beat em up’s the combat is usually a mix of button mashing mixed with special moves that require some skill to pull off. Most of which, can be charged to a more powerful form. The gameplay itself isn’t too complex, with the fighting mechanics being the only real tricky part to grasp at the start, although I thought the controls still felt sluggish at times.
In group fights, you’ll suddenly feel more like a god bugged by a million mosquito’s as enemies and allies will dash and fly around the entirety of the map, making it difficult to follow and keep track of everyone’s location. There’s a lock-on system which will focuses your attention on to one opponent at a time, but I found in most cases with group fights that the lock failed to hold on the one target out of the group and there were occasions where it wouldn’t snap onto the next target. This meant I spent far too much of my time either trying to locate my next target or flying around like a crazy person with a wonky GPS.
One of the really fun things I found was that Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 features a new Expert mode which lets you to team up with friends or random players online to fight bosses. This doesn’t sound like much but the added fun comes with the fact these bosses can disrupt teams and cause havoc by taking control of a teammate and forcing them to fight their allies. I found this to be a really unique concept and even great fun and laughs. However, online lag is always an ongoing issue, but seems more present here than it needs to be with enemies failing to load right away and even other players doing the famous lag lambada.
Graphically not much has changed; there are minor improvements, with character models and smoother more vibrant environments having been made. But featuring the same cel-shaded graphics of the first Xenoverse is what also helps recapture the look and feel of the anime so well; so much so that I have found myself re-watching the anime again along with playing the game and being drawn right back into my own private Dragon Ball Universe.
- Fantastic character customisation
- Visuals really capture the anime
- Plenty of support and content
- Blasting someone in the face with a kamehameha!
- Long load screens
- Awkward camera and lock-on system
- Controls can be sluggish
- Fighting indoors can be painful
- Some quests become repetitive
After spending hours playing and quite probably even more so feeding the endless pit of Buu I’m still keen for more. The wonderful character customisation has me constantly creating and wanting to keep playing as well. While Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is a fun sequel that plays it safe by sticking to the original formula, trying to improve on its shortcomings, it mostly succeeds and is a must for all Dragon Ball fans!