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Home In Time For Super: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Review

 

After the highly successful Dragon Ball Xenoverse, fans eagerly awaited for a sequel to Namco Bandai’s fighting/RPG mashup.  The wait is finally over, as Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (DBX2) has arrived.  While fans of the previous game will find a lot of familiar territory, there’s enough new and adjusted content in the sequel to make it a worth-wile purchase for fans of Goku and the gang.

Welcome To Time Patrol

Story-wise, the game picks up after the events of Xenoverse 1.  Towa and Mira, two of the major villains from the previous game, are back and causing havoc on the major timeline events of the Dragon ball Z story.  As a member of the Time Patrol, it is up to you and your created character to help Future Trunks and the Supreme Kai of Time to once again put past events back to the way they are supposed to be.  Your created character can be a Saiyan, Namekian, Human, Majin, or member of the Freiza race, all having different qualities and skills when compared to their counterparts. Those looking to be a Saiyan, for example, start with stronger attacks and can work to become a powerful Super Saiyan 3, while gamers choosing to go green and become a Namekian hero can look forward to increased health an the ability to become a giant Super Namek during fights.  Each race brings along different pros and cons from initial startup, with an ability to ignore or strengthen certain aspects of the character with the use of items and clothing earned during game play.  With varying skills and cosmetic choices on hand, it is very easy to create a fighter a suits your needs and tastes, with many choices being free for you to customize whenever you feel the need to switch things up.

Like the previous game, character creation is one of the best parts about Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, providing even more options to let your imagination run wild.
Like the previous game, character creation is one of the best parts about Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, providing even more options to let your imagination run wild.

What's Old Is New....And Better!

Along the way, you’ll meet a lot familiar faces if you're a fan of Dragon Ball, and maybe even some new ones as you battle to grow stronger and save all of time.   Those that are new to the series can expect a huge game that successfully combines some MMO-lite RPG elements to go along with an arena fighting game system that accurately portrays what you would expect in a Dragon Ball game.  There are also multiple options for online play against and alongside other gamers, and offline play still presents plenty of single player missions to keep you busy for a while.  Those that are more familiar with the series' past will have a much lower learning curve, because at its base, DBX2 is a lot like DBX1.  Many of the same game play mechanics return, so if you played the last one, getting into this one should be pretty easy.

This familiarity, however, may also be to the game's detriment for those that may be looking for something completely new.  There are a lot of re-used assets from the last game, including stages, characters, and even a lot of missions that you participate in. Still, even you don't count the new story-related content, there are some adjustments that make DBX2 a better overall game compared to its predecessor.  For example, bosses no longer have super armor that allows them to avoid damage throughout a battle.  These encounters are still tough, but not to the point of being so near impossible that you'd have to grind levels for hours just to make a dent.  In addition, leveling is a lot easier now, as you can reach respectable heights without having to spam missions over and over like in the last game.  Transformations (like Super Saiyan) don’t drain out on you while in use, making them more permanent fixtures while in battle (thank goodness).   In a nutshell, this is just a bigger, better, more balanced game than the first.  It isn’t perfect by any means, (camera issues are still a nuisance at times, for instance) but there is little reason to return to the first game, which is worse in comparison.  And if you need the details of the first story bad enough, I highly suggest watching the clips on YouTube, and save yourself some time.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 improves on a lot of the previous game's stronger and weaker points, including refined gameplay and more playable charcters.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 improves on a lot of the previous game's stronger and weaker points, including refined gameplay and more playable charcters.

I'm Just Saiyan...(Sorry)

DBX2 does a great job of building on the ideas presented in Xenoverse 1, which was a very good game in its own right.  DBX2 has taken the best parts of the previous game and made them better, while adding in enough new stuff to the mix that helps you overlook the realization that this is essentially the same game from 2015 with a new story.  Even the familiar elements aren’t enough to give this Dragon Ball game a negative grade, and anyone interested in the series should definitely give it a play.

Presentation & Graphics:   Characters look good, but stages can look pretty basic at times.  This can be forgiven, due to the semi-destructibile nature of the environments.  The animated cutscenes make you feel like you are watching the show, and the few 3d versions are so amazing that you wish the show was made this way.

Game Play & Fun Factor:  The arena style fighting is simple but effective, and the RPG elements are implemented well.  Playing with and against friends can be a blast, but playing on your own is also a viable alternative.

Sound:  All the familiar voices are here, and there are a few catchy tunes here and there as well.  Would have loved more tunes from the current show, but I'm just being greedy.

Staying Power:  This a pretty big game that you can a lot of play from if you want to.  Playing missions online and offline add to the replayability of the game, and it is easy to get sucked into creating multiple characters to level up in the game.

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