Dimps’ fast-paced fighting sequel follows on from the original Dragon Ball Xenoverse, which hit PS4 and Xbox One back in early 2015 and became something of a cult favorite among Dragon Ball fanatics. Xenoverse 2’s plot carries on from its predecessor, though the storyline pretty much follows the original Dragon Ball Z series. There are a lot of new movie characters popping in to change certain parts of the story, but overall the plot just feels a little too much like the original game despite some new additions.
Your main goal is to stop Towa from changing time and getting power for Mira; this is pretty much the exact same reason as the first game, where the final goal is to open up the demon realm. This is quite disappointing as with this sort of narrative, you could do so many different awesome things but they have played the game a little too safe. While there are several new maps shown off in the story including the Tree of Might stage and Hell but this doesn’t feel enough. The story can take around 10-12 hours to complete depending on if you watch every cutscene, though most of the fights do not seem to bring any kind of challenge, unlike the first game.
You may recall that the first game had some artificial difficulty spikes with the AI using something called Super Armour, which is the ability to defend or evade pretty much every attack you use against them. Pleasingly, Dimps has removed this for the sequel, which has made battles less frustrating for the most part. That’s not to say fights are a walk in the park; enemies now boast increased HP, and there’s more of them on screen too, so the game still presents a challenge—it just feels more balanced this time around. The new movie characters are also a nice twist, but they have removed any GT-based story from the game and have opted to eschew any original Dragon Ball show material. I would of liked to see the game have more GT content even though it’s not canon as the original title had this as story-based DLC, so the content is already made. It just feels strange that they decided to skip over this.
The fighting system seems a lot more improved, with combos feeling a lot more fluid than the previous instalment. Sometimes, in the original Xenoverse I would be attacking thin air as I started the combo before the enemy moved, and it was so sluggish that it was faster just to end the combo then to move. Fortunately, the action now flows much better. Stamina can now be used to follow enemies in combos to extend them also, though this can be risky as it can mean your stamina will break a lot faster as it drains rapidly during a teleport.
You can acquire new moves by purchasing them with Zeni like the previous games, or with the new optional medal currency; techniques are fairly cheap when bought with medals, and if you have a save from the first game, you will be able to a heap of them at the start of the game. Furthermore, if you transfer your character from the first Xenoverse, you will keep any attacks and gear that is equipped to the character and he will also remain part of the main story. The game has a slightly increased roster with the movie characters, but the main bulk of the lineup seems to be pretty much the same as the first one, which is a bit disappointing.
The game has brought back PQ side quests from the previous title to help flesh things out, although sadly many of the missions are simply rehashes of what you played in the original Xenoverse. Dimps has also removed much of the random factor of quests, which was one of the underlying negative factors of the original, which means you can obtain your items a lot faster then before, making things overall far less of a grind. The benefit of this is you can gear up very quickly, though the flip side means you will have less incentive to play the game once you’ve acquired all the gear you want. On the plus side, there’s the new new six-man expert missions which can be played offline with random bots or online with other players, featuring enhanced enemies from the story such as giant ape Vegeta and turtles. There is supposed to be raids, and the main reason why this review is so late is because I was waiting till I could attempt the raid; sadly, at the time of writing I still was not able to get into a single raid. At launch Xenoverse 2 suffered with some noticeably long loading screens, though this problem has been since been patched by Namco.
One issue I have with PQ titles, especially online, is that if you are not the host of the match you will not get the ranking at the end of the bout. As such, no matter how cool you look or how much effort you put into the round the score will not matter at all. In addition, this seems to also not count towards Trophy progression either, so if you are trying to complete the game and get all the Trophies, you will have to host the PQs.
Xenoverse 2 features a very advanced versus mode with standard 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3, plus an endless battle function and the ability to disable level benefits for matches. The split screen now includes multiple different stages unlike the previous outing. Overall, the online experience feels alot smoother, though until the recent patch the namekians were highly overpowered, though Dimps seems to be really trying to balance the content with a series of new updates being made available.
Xenoverse 2 still has some of the issues left over from its predecessor, but the smoother combat and improved online experience definitely provides an improved gameplay experience. Yes, there’s some elements that could still be tweaked on the combat side, and the visuals aren’t exactly groundbreaking (they look very similar to last year’s effort), but overall Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is still worth checking out for fans of the long-running series.