General game information
Game name: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Release date: October 27, 2016
Price: US$ 49.99
Available on: Steam Humble Store
Genre: Third person fighting game with RPG elements
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is a third person fighting game based on the popular anime show. As a sequel to the first Xenoverse, it features the same solid gameplay, a vastly improved hub city, an in-depth character creator, and stable servers, something that the previous title in the franchise lacked during its launch week.
Gamers start Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 as a new member of Future Trunks’ Time Patrol, something that lets them create a new character from scratch. Five different races (Majin, Saiyan, Earthling, Nemekian and Frieza Race) can be chosen as the player’s avatar, and there are many customization options that can be tweaked as well. The player’s chosen race will have an effect on their combat abilities, and some events also reward specific races. Gamers who played the previous Xenoverse title can import their old character data, and most of their skills and clothing items will transfer over to the new avatar, with the old Time Patroller being hailed as a hero.
After the character creation process has been completed and the story has been introduced, the player will be free to explore the new and improved Canton City, a location far bigger (and more interesting) than Dragon Ball Xenoverse‘s Toki Toki City. This city functions as a hub from which gamers can access shops, skill instructors, quests, and even interact with other players online. A map can be accessed at all times, and aspiring Time Patrollers can also use a hoverboard to move faster when they are in the hub city. Every major character from the Dragon Ball franchise can be found here, and many side quests or minigames will pop up from time to time. Thanks to other human controlled avatars appearing in the same instance, Canton City can feel like a living, breathing place at times, a big improvement over the previous game’s hub.
As a Time Patroller, the player will have to take orders from the Supreme Kai of Time and the Time Patrol high command, traveling through time and space in order to correct alterations that threaten the universe’s well being. The story picks up where Dragon Ball Xenoverse left off, and, as it was the case in that title, it’s a great way of meeting well known Dragon Ball characters and fight alongside some of the franchise’s greatest heroes and villains. Gamers can also take the fight online, with both cooperative and competitive options available (although the main story can’t be played with other human controlled characters) The amount of missions available will probably be enough to sate even the most dedicated Dragon Ball fans, and an impressive range of unlockable clothing options and skills will keep players on the loop for a pretty long time. On the clothing options front, DIMPS have listened to player feedback and now there is a way to wear outfits without having to worry about their stats, thanks to new items known as QQ Bangs.
Completing quests and winning battles lets the player level up, and the attribute points earned can be used to fortify different stats, such as health, basic attacks, the amount of Ki or stamina available to the player during combat, or the the damage done with ultimate abilities. This RPG mechanic can substitute player skill in some situations, letting gamers overcome difficult situations with brute force.
Combat is still as solid as it was in the first Xenoverse, and gamers who enjoyed the previous title will not be disappointed with this one. The same range of moves is available here, with light, heavy and super attacks being mixed with a healthy serving of ranged Ki powers and the series’ always flashy aerial movement system. Combos are fairly easy to learn, and players who wish to master the game’s most intricate moves will find themselves rewarded with fights that would feel right at home in the TV show. Some missions feature different combat scenarios, with Great Ape fights being the standout moment in many quests.
PC gamers burned out by subpar personal computer versions of console games will be happy to know that Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 runs like a dream on all the setups that I’ve tried. The PC port has been handled by QLOC, a renowned team which was also responsible for the marvelous Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen PC version, and the recent God Eater Steam releases. The game’s graphics options menu isn’t as in depth as Shadow Warrior 2‘s, for example, but it’s a step above the usual. Keyboard and mouse controls work well, and players can rebind buttons if they desire to do so. The online part of the game seems to be working well, with no sign of the numerous server hitches and disconnections that plagued the first Xenoverse during its launch week.
Ultimately, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 feels like a textbook example of a safe sequel. Gamers who enjoyed the previous title will definitely get a kick out of this one, thanks to the bigger and more detailed hub city, expanded character customization options and solid online servers. Newcomers to the franchise should probably skip the previous game, since DIMPS‘ latest production is better in every way.
8/10 – Very good.