I dived into this game with cautious optimism. Dragon Ball Xenoverse was a fun game which I did enjoy but ultimately did not have the longevity to keep me coming back for more. Now the sequel is in my hands and I wanted to see if it could build upon the strong base set in the original.
Game: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Publisher: Bandai Namco
(Review copy provided by publisher)
The story of Xenoverse 2 strongly echoes the original but throws ixen a few new story arcs to change things up slightly. You are a time patroller recruited to help Trunks and Supreme Kai stop the villains, Mira and Towa, from changing time and destroying the future. There are moments in the story that definitely pull on your heart strings, especially if you are a long time Dragon Ball fan like myself, how ever most of the story is pretty lighthearted and action packed and is fun to go through. I do believe however it lacks a bit of originality and it really does feel too similar to the first game.
Similarity is a common theme within the game, with the combat being virtually identical to the last game. Having said that, is this a bad thing? The combat mechanics represent the anime very well. That fast paced, non-stop action can be recreated with what is available in Xenoverse 2. It’s simple to pick up with Triangle and Square used to create combos for basic and more powerful melee attacks. with Circle to fire off ki blasts. You still use the triggers and an action button to use more advanced and special attacks. It’s a simple and easy to pick up set of mechanics and it is easy to see why it’s been left in. I personally would have liked to have seen some added functions but if it’s not broken, why fix it?
One area the game which did impress me was the visual side of things. The cutscenes, as you would expect, are stunning. The in game visuals are also great, and do a great job of giving you your favourite characters to control and play with environments that look beautiful. The lighting is perfect in my opinion and the characters are represented perfectly. There is literally no complaints from myself on a visual level.
What I do have some complaints about is the audio. The music to the game is okay, very typically Japanese which is okay. But the audio for characters is so choppy it takes any immersion and throws it away. Instead of conversations between characters feeling natural it’s interrupted by you needing to press X to skip to the next sentence. This would normally be okay but once done it just doesn’t feel natural and does take away from the overall experience. When there are actual cutscenes this isn’t an issue but they are few and far between compared to the in game conversations. It may seem like a small issue but it was one that I consistently thought of while playing the game.
In this iteration of Xenoverse players are treated to a complete overhaul of the social space compared to the original. It has one extremely cool feature if you played the previous game. There is a giant hologram of your previous character that is right in the middle of everything! The space is far larger than before and has much, much more to do. This has its pros and cons. It is brilliant to have more to do and see but if it takes forever to get around then it can be a real pain. Credit to the game, it recognises this and tries to combat it in several ways. It always allows you to fast travel to specific points of the social space; you are given a hover board and eventually you can fly around. However, the hover board isn’t much better than running and the other options do not come until later into the game. This left me pretty frustrated trying to work my way through the social space.
The online aspect of this game is the biggest strength of Xenoverse 2. Teaming up with your friends or others to complete parallel quests is so much fun! Especially missions with Great Apes in them! Connection wise I never had any issues, the servers seemed stable and never gave me any problems. This, I believe is the key to the game and they need to support Xenoverse 2 with more quests in future DLC. If they do this then the longevity of the game is greatly increased.
Honestly, overall I am disappointed with the lack of changes, but if you loved the first game then you won’t feel the same. Think of it as Xenoverse 1.5 and not a real sequel. The majority of fans of Dragon Ball gamers want a game more akin to Budokai 3 but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. This is the future of DB games and while it’s not perfect, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is definitely still a fun and enjoyable game.