Dragon Ball series has a long history of successful video games. Xenoverse can be considered one of them as not only it tries to invoke the nostalgic feelings that fans had when they watched the original Dragon Ball Z, it also spices it up with an excellent gameplay that manages to capture the craziness and fast paced action of the Dragon Ball series.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 features the same basic premise for its story as the original Xenoverse. We play the role of a Time Patroller who has to go back in time to several of the key fight sequences featured throughout the Dragon Ball Z anime as we attempt to help the heroes defeat their villains. The story is rather basic in its execution but if you have watched the Dragon Ball Z anime, you will appreciate the recreation of some of the classic fight scenes which used to go through multiple episodes before the battle actually progressed. The sequel also adds some of the scenarios presented in the newly released animated movies, Battle of the Gods and Resurrection F, but to tackle their continuity issues, they are presented as an alternative history.
The main hub of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is called Conton City. This hub serves the purpose of connecting players online and it is full of content. There are vendors selling items to NPCs offering sidequests and story missions, it will take quite a while to fully explore the main hub and attempt each of the story missions as well as the side content. It is easy to get overwhelmed in the start because of the sheer wealth of activities that are offered in Conton City.
The start of the game requires the player to create their own character. We can also import our Time Patroller using our save from the original Xenoverse, but it is simply limited to Conton City having a statue of our Time Patroller as a hero. There are some limitations in place here when it comes to importing such a character and if you don’t want to do it, you can start fresh by creating a new character.
In term of the character creation, there are limited options on offer here compared to an in-depth RPG. We have the choice to select either a male or female gender from Human, Saiyan, Namekian, Majin, and Frieza’s race. There are additional customization available for these characters but they mostly range from slight alterations in a pre-defined set of attributes and features. Just don’t expect deep customization options here.
This sequel is an improvement over the original in every way. The character customization has been increased, the gameplay has been tweaked and now feels smoother and the main hub has been expanded letting the player enjoy a bigger world in free roam. Even in term of parallel quests, that were side missions set in an alternative timeline from the main story missions, the number has been bumped and now there are total of 100 parallel quests to finish. They carry some replay value as we can play them in either co-op or online.
The gameplay usually revolves around fights that can be teamed up with other players or AI controlled characters. Considering how crazy some of the Dragon Ball Z battles can end up, the developer appears to have done a remarkable job trying to portray their craziness in gameplay. While it is not as addicting, the aerial and land combat works as intended, there are also special moves and more powerful than that, super moves, that can be unlocked by going through the story and side quests. Using them in battle gives a sense of sanctification that is unmatched.
It will take some time to grasp the controls and unfortunately they still feel sluggish at times. There is a stamina and KI meter that attempts to add some limits to the character powers but honestly the game isn’t really that difficult. Combat is usually a mix of button mashing mixed with special moves, some of which can be charged to a more powerful form.
Talking about the visuals, there isn’t much of an improvement over the original Xenoverse, which didn’t look bad either. The art style closely resembles the anime and the fight scenes are beautifully animated. There are also some pre-rendered and animated scenes that are used to advance the story at times. Overall, the game manages to nail the look and feel of the anime, immersing the player in the world of Dragon Ball.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is an iterative sequel that plays it safe by sticking to the original formula, and then tries to improve on its shortcomings. It might not be a perfect game for everyone but it is a delight for Dragon Ball fans as they experience their favorite moments from the show in the game.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is available now for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. It was developed by Dimps and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. This review covers the PS4 version of the game.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Review
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 gives the player an opportunity to explore the world of Dragon Ball and interact with their favorite cast of characters. The game's story deals with the scenarios presented in the classic Dragon Ball Z series while also adding the latest movies to the mix. As a sequel, it manages to stick to the same old formula but tries to freshen up by improving on its predecessor.