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Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Video Game Review

5 min read

xenoverse-2-logoYour wish is granted.

What They Say:

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 builds upon the highly popular DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE with enhanced graphics that will further immerse players into the largest and most detailed Dragon Ball world ever developed.

DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE 2 will deliver a new hub city and the most character customization choices to date among a multitude of new features and special upgrades.

Relive the Dragon Ball story by time traveling and protecting historic moments in the Dragon Ball universe
Brand new hub city more than 7X the size of the original game with 300 players online at the same time
Next-gen visuals bring the Dragon Ball anime experience to life
New characters and boss fights
More in depth character creation system and battle adjustments
Post launch support for one year

The Review:
Audio:

Right off the bat, Xenoverse 2 is faithful to its anime counterpart by featuring most of its returning Dragon Ball Kai English cast. Fan favorites like Goku, Vegeta, and more can be heard with the same great voices long-time fans will remember since childhood. Sadly, fans of the original Japanese cast will be disappointed to find only the English version available. The game’s soundtrack instantly brings back memories, with its chirpy but slightly off-beat scores, along with optional remix DLC that is a nice addition. Perhaps the most remarkable audio detail is the excellent use of sound effects in battle. Every kick, punch, ki blast, and instant transmission has that iconic sound taken straight from the anime.

Graphics:

Going into Xenoverse 2 as my first Dragon Ball game in a long time, I was shocked at the level of graphical fidelity. It’s clear the development team at Dimps tried to match the anime’s visuals 1-to-1. Even outside of the well-polished cutscenes, the graphics consist of the animation style of Dragon Ball translated perfectly to a 3D space. This allowed for the game to really feel like I was writing and starring in my own Dragon Ball show.

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Content:

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 follows your own original character through a time-leaping journey to fix the Dragon Ball timeline. Those that played the first Xenoverse will find a very similar premise and story here, with some welcome improvements. From the start, you are able to pick from five races: Saiyan, Earthling, Namekian, Majin, and Frieza Race, and then proceed to customize them to a satisfying extent. With my better-than-the-original Frieza Race, I set out to save the Dragon Ball universe from villains Towa and Mira. The overarching story strangely is kind of elusive in the very beginning.

Right off the bat, you are set free in Conton City, a decently sized hub world, with dozens of quests and content to play through. Parallel Quests, side quests, Time Vault, Time Rifts, online battles, instructors, and more left me surprisingly unsure what to do first. The amount of content is vast and great, but it was a few hours in before I even realized where the main story was. That didn’t matter much, though, as the main story is mostly a generic template to allow for crazy interventions in the timeline, except the surprising turns at the very end.

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Instead, Xenoverse 2’s strong point is its combat. I’ll admit, I’m not a fighting game expert, so it was nice to see that Xenoverse’s gameplay is easy to learn, but hard to master. The sheer amount of various options like attacks, defensive moves, supers, and transformations create an onion-like layered fighting system. Thankfully, the game explains different mechanics as you go and never in a forced way. Before I knew it, I was flying back and forth, teleporting, blasting, and transforming. Above all else, the combat is just oodles of fun to use and it masked over the almost grindy and repetitive format of the game. As a pseudo action-RPG, there is a leveling system and different attributes to customize. This leads to several walls in the story mode, where you need stop and go do something else and level up before you can even leave a scratch on enemies.

Also, dozens of hours into Xenoverse 2, you begin to see a very limited repeat of objectives. Though there are some varying missions aside from fighting like collecting dragon balls and reviving fallen allies, once you’ve completed them the first time, you’ve seen all that it has to offer. The novelty of them last for a good while, but once I got bored, I stay bored. Beating the story left me simply not wanting to play anymore. The only redeeming section in the endgame is online play. The standard online PVP is all here, but it’s the co-op missions that surprised me the most. Being able to play key moments in Dragon Ball’s history and fighting iconic bosses together with 1-5 friends online refreshed the entire experience long after the 30-40 hour story. Seeing dozens of other players flying around the hub city and grouping up with them made the game feel alive and like an MMO-lite. Here’s hoping that Bandai Namco continues to support the online experience with more quests and the Martial Arts World Tournament to keep players engaged for months to come.

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In Summary:

As a kid watching the Dragon Ball Z anime, I could only dream of being a Super Saiyan like Goku and Gohan. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 lets you not only create your own iconic Saiyan or Namekian, but fight alongside beloved characters in key moments in the history. The combat, graphics, and vast amount of content come together to create the ultimate Dragon Ball game. While repetitive at times, Xenoverse 2 is still a must-play for all Dragon Ball and fighting fans.

Grade: B

Released By: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Dimps
MSRP: $59.99
Release Date: 10/25/16
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

This review was done with a review copy of the game provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment. We are grateful for their support.

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