Do you Ka-ma-ha-me-ha? Yes it’s the time once again for another Dragon Ball game. In a licensed franchise that seems to be going just as long as the show it’s created from, there seems to always be a game for both newcomers and old fans to jump back into the world of Dragon Ball. Xenoverse 2 has arrived on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 and it’s an improvement over the original, but by how much?
Story wise, if players experienced the first Xenoverse, a very similar experience is here. Joining the time patrol, players create their own avatar, and going through various moments in time to correct the inconsistencies and keep history the same. There are some villains that pop up in the story more so then in the previous game but characters that fans are familiar with. Those that don’t know much about the franchise won’t get much from the game as it’s a huge character dump with little background to fill in. So fans that have played the plethora of other Dragon Ball games and watched the show will have had some of these fights ingrained in their brain and perhaps tired of the same retreading the series tends to do. Meanwhile newcomers will find lots to take in but with little context aside from the short cut scenes that play out. I’m a casual fan so I fall right in the middle. It’s a weird position to be in for a franchise, and Xenoverse 2 doesn’t escape that. More of the same, but not quite enough to give new folks a solid understanding or history. That said it’s still an incredible fun experience if the core gameplay entertains enough.
Fighting seems to be an improvement of the first Xenoverse which featured a very arcade like fighting game mixed with an arena free flying simulator. It’s fast paced, adrenaline filled at times, and provides lots of thrills, there is more ways to combo and juggle enemies then before, but it still feels like I’m going through the same motions with every battle. Experience can be earned and skills bought, so customization and changing up how the characters can be played is good enough and can provide enough variation. Knowing when to flying into enemies, transport behind them, knock them away, and throw a huge meteor blast always feels satisfying. If practices, some very intense fights can occur, those that are more button mashey though can still enjoy and look cool in the process. I do feel sometimes the difficulty spikes but doing side quests, leveling up, and getting more skills seems to offset that.
Online multiplayer is a key aspect and I feel can give the game some longevity long after the lengthy campaign is complete. Playing with an online group of fighters can be as thrilling as the campaign if not more so due to the unpredictable of fighting a real person versus AI. Working together or against each other can provide hours of fun.
Ultimately there is a ton of content in DB Xenoverse 2 with slight improvements all around to the experience. A better hub world, tons of side quests, options for customization, and both single and multiplayer content to last hours. It’s not a huge improvement to the Xenoverse franchise, but it’s got enough to give fans of the first a reason to jump back in and newcomers to check it out.
A pre-release Steam code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.