Note: For the purposes of this review, I played the PS4 version of this game. This game is available on PS4, XBox One and PC.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is the latest Dragon Ball video game by developer Dimps. It comes hot off the heels of last year’s Dragon Ball Xenoverse, which was an enjoyable take on the Dragon Ball fighting games, taking them to the online co-op world. The first Xenoverse was a fun package with loads of fan-service, but it wasn’t without its flaws. In the grand scheme of things, though, it was a great entry in the long canon of Dragon Ball video games. So how does Xenoverse 2 stack up against it?
Punching Things with Friends
This game is an enhanced version of Xenoverse that greatly improves on the original. The core mechanics are still here. You start off by creating your very own Dragon Ball avatar out of one of 5 races. Your choice in both race and gender will determine your stats, and your choice will influence your play style. For example, Earthlings are pretty balanced characters. Saiyans are much more fearsome offensively, but have lower health, Namekians have more health but less attack power, etc. Nothing has really changed on this front.
Once you’re out in the world, you are dropped directly into the main overworld of Xenoverse 2, Canton City, which is much larger Xenoverse’s Toki Toki City, but doesn’t really feel any larger thanks to the thankful introduction of flying. Canton City is a hub world from which you can access the game’s many features, which remain essentially unchanged. You still play through the main events of the Dragon Ball Z series through the perspective of a time patroller, working to stamp out inconsistencies in the timeline that are caused by the game’s returning antagonists, Mira and Towa. You can participate in co-op Parallel Quests, battle other players, or train with your favorite Dragon Ball characters.
The main story mode is a pretty mixed bag. It is pretty close to the first Xenoverse, although there are a few changes here and there. For example, Cooler is recruited to assist Frieza during his attack on Namek, and Broly appears during the Majin Buu saga. However, the maps are pretty much identical to those in the first Xenoverse, and it doesn’t really make this game feel very fresh. It didn’t take very long for Dragon Ball story fatigue to set in after going through the story of the series for the thousandth time in a video game.
Parallel Quests, the grindier but more rewarding co-op alternative also returns. I loved playing with friends, and it was a blast to show off new moves that we learned through the course of the game. It’s just a real shame that this doesn’t extend to the game’s story mode, since that is the main way of progressing through the game and getting more unlockables.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 1.2?
While the main core of the game remains largely unchanged, the differences in Xenoverse 2 lie in the small tweaks to the battle mechanics. In the first game, winning was pretty simple. All you had to do was spam special attacks, charge and repeat. While this is still true to a smaller extent, the physical attacks have been noticeably improved, and it’s pretty fun to use combos on enemies as well. It’s still a ton of fun to customize your character’s abilities as you progress in the game.
There are a bunch of other small additions with varying levels of success. You can visit multiple floating locations in Canton City, such as Guru’s House and Frieza’s Spaceship, and participate in several activities there, but none of it feels like anything more than a diversion from the main meat of the game. I found myself trying out some of these features and never really returning to them.
I found it very hard to justify the 2 in Xenoverse 2. In fact, I felt pretty ripped off coming from the first game, since there isn’t that much that is really new here. However, some small tweaks and additions to the game’s content does go a long way to improve the experience. If you have not played Xenoverse, I would recommend getting the second game instead. However, if you have already played the first game, it’s hard to justify the $60 price tag. Like with the first game, I would only recommend this to people who are looking for a Dragon Ball fanservice fix.
- Battle mechanics have slightly improved from the first game
- Great package if you want Dragon Ball fanservice
- Great co-op mode
- A lot of content to keep you busy for quite some time
- Story mode/single player can get pretty bland
- Graphics and music can get rough
- Not enough changes from the first game to justify purchase to people who have played Xenoverse