Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Review
Dimps and Bandai Namco are back and after the success of the first installment, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was announced at E3 2016 to the excitement of fans. It includes an updated roster along with a new story-line, new hub for players to meet and form up teams, and a continuation of the story from the last game with some new henchmen under Mira that fans will find familiar. New threats to the timeline have been brought up and the Supreme Kai of Time selects a new Time Patroller to help Trunks and the Hero of Toki Toki City against this overwhelming force. Will this game be the next best Dragon Ball game of all time or just a re-hash of the first Xenoverse?
Solid gameplay that’s not complicated: For those that aren’t versed in the Xenoverse series the gameplay is simple and easy to understand but has an understanding to get intimate with. What is implied by this is that the player will need to become accustomed to the controls and how to maneuver in multiple directions while flying. Timing is also necessary to practice as oftentimes the player will get surrounded and need to quickly activate their escape action. It all blends together to make smooth gameplay that has been there since the last title but feels more polished this time around. It’s extremely satisfying to pull off iconic moves like Final Flash and Kamehameha against your opponents and to play out your favorite childhood moments from the show.
Plot includes more than DBZ story: Considering that the background of the game details that there are multiple timelines and dimensions, it’s great that the plot takes you to the worlds of Dragon Ball‘s other stories like Super, GT, and the many movies they released. They’ve incorporated characters like Turles, Lord Slug, and even an alternate version of Bardock from Dragon Ball Online into the plot. Their involvement has been chalked up to being from alternate timelines, which solves any inconsistency and canon issues that would be argued by fans, normally. Like with the last title, the gamer experiences an original story instead of just a retelling of the typical DBZ tale — which Bandai has often done in the past — to create a unique adventure through the universe with lots of attention to specifics.
More detailed models than ever: As expected of the latest in the DB video games, the character models look absolutely amazing down to the folds in the clothing and lining of the warriors’ muscles. There’s so much definition put into each fighter and it’s fair to say that this is the biggest roster ever seen in the series so a lot of hard work must have been put in to craft them, the environments, and even the special moves. There’s also lots of different alternate costumes for characters based on the show since the beginning of Dragon Ball all the way to the latest in Dragon Ball Super. The attention to detail is so prominent in that the game even delves into more discreet territory when it comes to clothing and accessories, which will only be appreciated by the die-hard fans out there.
More customization and transformations: A big complaint from the last DBXV was that certain transformations of races were absent and that it was something that should have been included. Although the new Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (Blue) was added in Xenoverse 1’s last DLC for Goku and Vegeta, nothing was put in for your customized character. The Majin can now shrink down like Kid Buu, Frieza race can turn Golden, Namekians can grow to huge sizes like Lord Slug, and there’s Super Saiyan 3 forms for your male/female hero. This is great for for those who want to see their own Time Patroller finally do what their heroes and villains could do in the shows/movies. Not to mention that there’s an even bigger assortment of items, clothing, move sets, and accessories to collect throughout the entire game, making the customization factor even more broad to differentiate your hero from other online players’. It’s great that Dimps made sure to cake the title with so many little tidbits to show off that they are some of the biggest fans, themselves.
Tons of gameplay modes and content: Along with everything that was included in the first game like Parallel Quests are many multiplayer modes for players to enjoy including the 5 v 1 mode. There’s just so many tasks to do when cruising through the worlds and around Conton City, which is a large hub in itself, to keep the player busy. You can go to iconic locations where you defend Namek from incoming invaders, join Frieza’s army, or even work as a bodyguard to Hercule. This is fun to do after playing the game in the typical manner gets exhausting from its repetitive nature (which will be mentioned later). You can really get absorbed into the world when exploring Conton and other lands, making interactions with main characters that feel fresh and interesting.
Nothing innovative in terms of gameplay: As was mentioned earlier, the plot was continued but this title felt more like an extension of Xenoverse rather than an innovative sequel. There’s nothing particularly different about combat and there’s only one new type of a gameplay mode for players online. The developers probably felt that the gameplay mechanics were already close to perfect and didn’t need to change much, instead focusing more on character models, new attacks, and other various additions to the game. Conton City is definitely a huge upgrade from the first’s Toki Toki City as it includes more to explore, the ability to fly around, and even operate a little vehicle to go about but otherwise nothing feels fresh in terms of actual fighting mechanics.
Gets repetitive and grinds down on you: The problem with Xenoverse 2, which carried over from the last, is that the gameplay is so simplistic that it begins to feel stale with so much repetition. Playing through the story, Parallel Quests, and training with all the instructors will wear down on the player as they will feel like they’re doing the same thing over and over. Since the gameplay mechanics remain consistent, other than changing your move sets throughout the game, you’ll only be watching your Time Patroller smack their opponent across the screen just to go blast off towards them and repeat simple combinations. The game does try to throw missions with altered parameters to complete at you but these are often annoyingly difficult to finish. Players will find the most fun in playing through the new roster of fighters versus online opponents, but all of these need to be unlocked through the story first, which will exhaust the player of Xenoverse before they get the chance to.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 brings back everything we love from the first game but with added flavor like extra characters and a new, more interesting plot. None of the gameplay has been changed, which many players will like, so it doesn’t add anything really innovative to it. This is a must get for fans of the series who absolutely loved the last title or want to grab one of the best Dragon Ball games made over the years. Be warned, however, that there will be a lot of grinding in order to get your custom character strong enough to proceed throughout the game. Otherwise, enjoy the huge amount of fan service that Dimps and Bandai have shoved into this epic ride.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It was released for the Xbox One [reviewed], PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows on October 25th, 2016 in North America, October 28th in Europe, and November 2nd in Japan. A review copy was purchased by the reviewer on behalf of The Hidden Levels. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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