Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is the first current gen exclusive in the Dragon Ball video game franchise. This game does play similarly to Xenoverse 1 and reuses some of the missions, but it does enough to stand on its own.
Story Mode (7.5/10)
The story in Xenoverse 2 takes place not long after the events of the first game. Those who played Xenoverse 1 will get a little more out of it, but it’s not necessary to have played the first game to enjoy the second. You’re put into the shoes of a new Time Patroller assigned to protect the Dragon Ball timeline. Your mission? Stop the evil sorceress, Towa, from altering history and resurrecting the Demon Realm.
The plot is interesting enough, but there are issues with dialogue, captions, and cut scenes. There were instances where one character would say something and the other would respond in a way that made no sense. It felt like they didn’t run the narrative by a native English-speaker when doing the dub. The captions had a similar problem. They read as though they were translated & transcribed off the Japanese version as opposed to the English. The result was that the captions would be close enough, rather than exact transcriptions.
Overall, I think fans will enjoy the story in Xenoverse 2 as it’s one of the more in-depth story modes I’ve seen in a Dragon Ball game.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is like a combination of a fighter and an MMO. When you’re not fighting, you navigate your way around Conton City. There, you can pick up additional missions & quests, learn new techniques from mentors, or interact with other players. DBXV 2 adds the option to ride a vehicle or fly as a way to cover distance faster. It’s more helpful than you’d think, seeing as the map is about seven times larger than Xenoverse 1.
There are over 100 Parallel Quests and Expert Missions in addition to the story mode. These basically take the existing story line and ask “what if this happened instead?” Complete these and you’ll unlock various rewards like new moves, outfits, items, stat modifiers, and Dragon Balls. When you get all seven, you can wish for characters, special/ultimate attacks, items, and other things that can only be unlocked via the Dragon Balls.
As mentioned, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 lets you create your own Time Patroller. There are five different races to chose from; Saiyan, Earthling, Majin, Namekian, and the Frieza Race. From there, you can customize everything from height, stockiness, face shape, eye color, hair style & color, voice, clothing, and special/ultimate attacks.
Each race comes with its own unique transformation that raises your stats in battle. Saiyans can go Super Saiyan up to level 3, Earthlings get to summon the Nimbus Cloud, Majins turn into Kid Buu, Namekians transform into Giant Namekians, and the Frieza Race can turn into Golden Frieza. There are also transformations like Kaioken and Potential Unleashed which can be applied to any race.
As much as the character creation system offers, it’s missing one major thing. Your hair still doesn’t spike up when you go Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan 2 (it changes for Super Saiyan 3 as shown). So, if your character has straight hair, it’ll turn gold, but won’t spike up. Many fans asked developers to include this feature in Xenoverse 2 as it was a big issue with the first game. For whatever reason, the decision was made to keep that system the same.
All that said, this is indeed a fighting game, so let’s move on to the combat. Because Dragon Ball battles involve flight and moving at light speed, the combat system is not that of a traditional fighter. Timing is still important, but there’s a lot of teleporting and vanishing so there’s as much emphasis on evading as there is blocking. The controls are pretty responsive, though there will be occasions where you’ll enter a command and it won’t work because of timing.
The combat system does have a few other issues. One is that there are times when the item menu does not close after you use a heal, power-up, etc. during battle. Because things move so fast, you can end up using an item by mistake when you actually wanted to strike or evade.
Another issue is that cut scenes often interrupt you in the middle of a combo or special/ultimate attack. It’s especially irritating for the latter because specials/ultimates depend upon having enough ki (energy) to do them. If you’re in the middle of a special and you’re interrupted by a cut scene, you lose the ki and deal no damage.
Graphics & Sound (7.5/10)
The graphics in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 are some of best I’ve seen in a Dragon Ball game. Keep in mind that the designers aren’t necessarily trying to make everyone look like 4k human renders with games like this. It’s more about trying to make the best looking versions of the Dragon Ball characters, and that’s exactly what they did. As far as animation, the character movements and attacks look good but there is something to be desired for the some of the cut scenes because of the caption/dialogue issues mentioned earlier.
The Funimation crew does the English dub, so it’s legitimate in that regard. However, because the translation is a little off, you may want to switch to the Japanese voices for a better experience.
The music is nothing special, but it’s not bad either. Honestly, you’ll probably tune it out after a while. The sound effects on the other hand do a great job of making you feel like you’re playing through an episode.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2‘s online play has been an experience. There can be some minor lag which can create phantom hits or cause you to suddenly punch in the wrong direction, but nothing that ruins the experience.
You can use one of the 80+ characters, or you can take your Time Patroller online to see how they fare. There are ranked/unranked matches or you can do the World Martial Arts Tournament. I’m not sure if they’ve worked everything out for the tournament though. Every time I’ve joined a tournament lobby, it ended up being a 1-on-1 match up with no ladder.
A little note to those who don’t play online: If you fancy yourself a DBXV 2 Master because you dominate the A.I., you’ll be in for a rude awakening. Unlike A.I., Online players actually know how to combo and make you pay for mistakes. Expect to tweak your style if want to keep up, and even that might not be enough. So many players have this game down to a science that noobs don’t stand much of a chance. Even though my character is maxed out and I’ve changed my build, my record stands at 16-55 or about a 22% win percentage.
You can do also do Parallel Quests and Expert Missions online. If you weren’t able to beat a specific quest or mission on your own (they A.I. is pretty useless as a teammate), it’s a good way to farm for skills or outfits.
All in all, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is probably one of the better Dragon Ball games I’ve ever played. Though it has its flaws, it definitely does more right than wrong. If you’re a Dragon Ball fan and are on the fence about this game, I think it’s worth a purchase. There is DLC to come so you may want to factor in the price of a season pass ($29.99) if you want the complete Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 experience.
What did you think of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2? Do you agree with our score? Let us know!