So I’ve been really enjoying Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for the past few
days weeks now since it’s release and while this isn’t a review I do have some things I’d like to say regarding the game. First off I’m a huge Dragon Ball fan have been since I was a kid so it’s not a big surprise I’m writing in regards to this game. I bring this up in the spirit of disclosure as some of these points may come across a little fanboyish - for those who aren’t one I apologize. For everyone else this is likely for you.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 in many ways feels like a 1.5 entry into the series rather then a full on sequel. While normally this would be a bad thing (Fallout 4 anyone) here it actually works. As Xenoverse alone was really good, this game is just bigger with more content included. In short its more of what you loved about the first - assuming you liked the first of course.
However if you’re coming in expecting a revolution on the formula you’ll likely be disappointed. Xenoverse 2 is content while offering you more of what you love from the first game. That being said there is a lot more to enjoy in terms of costumes, move sets, and mission types. Including some particularly hilarious moments that capture the magic of the early manga/anime.
This takes place in two different ways the first is that all custom characters finally get transformations regardless of race. If you’re a Freiza Race no more making due with a Kaio-Ken you now get a Golden Form, Nameks Super Namekians, ect. That being said not all transformations are created equal the human fighters transformation is kinda laughable - in many ways it is a continuation of the long tradition within Dragon Ball of being the aliens story not us humans.
Furthermore transformations including Super Saiyans are no longer time limited. If you want to finish the fight transformed the race specific transformations allow you to do it. Each merely comes with weakness you have to adapt too. Such as slower stamina or Ki regeneration, making each race unique in how you both approach their builds and move sets.
In the previous game Super Saiyans were horribly broken beasts especially in missions where you had to fight multiple different ones in the late game. They basically became beam spam machines and it would be a common occurrence for you to be wailing on Goku while Gohan blasts a Masenko into your back. This is no longer the case.
Super Saiyans are now basically are just a more powerful version of yourself with slow Ki regeneration. If you hit hard before, you hit harder transformed, if you blasted strongly before you now do only more so - just less often. It feels like the developers have finally found that sweet spot. The legendary transformation of the warrior race feels both impressively strong and balanced in a way that just wasn’t present in the first game.
The mighty Super Saiyan 3 is finally in the game and luckily its pretty easy to reach actually. As all transformations are now streamlined, instead of having the choice of three Super Saiyan transformation you now only have one. This is the same for other transformations I’ve used like the Kaio-Ken. If you release the Super Saiyan transformation at 2 Ki bars you go SSJ, if you release it at 3 Ki you go SSJ2, and if you release it at 5 Ki bars you go SSJ3.
The same is true of other graduated transformation like the Kaio-Ken with range from x1, x3, x20 Kaio-Ken (which was Goku’s max Vs. Freiza - no mistranslated x100). Sadly unlike in Dragon Ball Super you cannot mix and match transformations - called awakenings - as there is only one slot provided for them. No Super Kaio-Ken (kinda...) for us players that might have been a little too insane.
One of the biggest complaints about Xenoverse was the fact your outfits contributed to your stats. For competitive online players this often forced them to use only one or two sets of uniforms as the most optimal choice for their build. This forced a choice; optimize your build or make the character you always wished.
Since Xenoverse was built around the custom character YOU wanted to be this was a very limiting gameplay choice. Thankfully in Xenoverse 2 you now have choice in the matter, where you can make QQ Bangs - custom made stat modifiers. When equipped they override your outfits natural stats giving you free reign to wear whatever you want. Well unless your character is Freiza Race which still has very limited outfit options...
Oh no! Yamcha got Yamcha’d! If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball you know this concept quiet well, not everyone is quiet a powerful as everyone else on their team especially among the humans. Yamcha’s and Raditz’s weakness is actually a running gag on Dragon Ball Z Abridged for a reason. The Xenoverse series does not forget this as no matter how much they try Yamcha will ALWAYS be Yamcha’d first.
This leads to interesting choices as the game in many missions presents a way to victory that you may not think of. For example to get a “Z” Rank Mission Rating sometimes you need to ignore these gnats and focus on the main fighter - your mark as it were. Or sometimes its just a lot of fun to wail on Yamcha, Krillen, and Tien as Goku and Gohan watches.
This is always an issue in these kind of games certain characters not being as strong as they should be or others being too weak. For example in the manga ANY fighter before the Freiza Saga would likely have been defeated by just a look standing before a Super Saiyan 3. While many characters can still put up a fight against these great fighters.
This is of course a small complaint and one done for balancing purposes, however for hardcore fans its always worth a good chuckle. Especially when a “Weaker” fighter gets a few good hits on your supposedly almost god level fighter - especially in a series were literal Gods exist.
Despite a substantial level cap unlike Xenoverse Xenoverse 2 just doesn’t feel like such a slog anymore. With more game modes and training options unless you are grinding for Dragon Balls or Z Ranks, you likely wont need to play the same mission multiple times - well unless you want too of course. As character progression feels much more natural now and easy to obtain.
For the fighting game enthusiast playing this makes the game much more easy to get into I would expect. As for the JRPG enthusiast not having to spend countless hours grinding away - again unless you want too - is very nice as well. It feels like Xenoverse 2 respects your time more then the original game.
Xenoverse 2 is the first in the series to be released only on current generation consoles and PC’s as such it performs noticeably better than its predecessor. Running at a very solid 60 FPS the battles are smooth and have a quickness that is lacking in even most of the anime. While it looks very much the same it’s easy to tell this is a better game running under the hood. I’ve only noticed one frame rate stutter and that was fighting Great Apes.
FUSION HA! Xenoverse has always been that weird combination of the two things. Much like Borderlands merged RPGs with looting shooters, so too has Xenoverse merged the traditional RPG with fighters. Creating a hybrid that isn’t either but entirely new, in short its Vegito something better then its component parts.
Indeed there is a little for everyone in the game. For noobs to the fighter genre (like myself - hell I can barely beat the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm games) the system is shallow enough you can just power up enough to beat any threat by using basic combos and throws. However for a fighter pro while it will never be an E-Sport the system is surprisingly deep with a lot to keep in mind. However you want to play it Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 accommodates you.
Well those are my major thoughts on the game. I hope I didn’t go full fanboy but the game is worthy of your time and energy. That I can say with certainty. Xenoverse 2 like it’s predecessor gets a lot right and a bit wrong, however what is undeniable is it nailed the most important thing it’s simply put fun. Well I’ve spent enough time telling you what I thought of the game, what do you think of the game - hell if you haven’t played it we can talk Dragon Ball itself, I’m always up for that too!
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