The world of Dragon Ball is back with Bandai Namco’s Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, bringing Time Patrollers back into the action to stop a new time-altering threat that’s slowly changing history. With new challenges, more battles, epic team-ups, and plenty of flashy, high-powered martial arts, is Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 worth your time?
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Developed by Dimps / Published by Bandai Namco Entertainment
Available on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Reviewed on the PC.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 continues right where the first one left off, with players taking on the role of a new Time Patroller recruit that has to help restore Time and prevent changes from the likes of a group of new super powered enemies. With the previous time patrolling hero (the player character from the original Xenoverse, which is a cool touch) busy, players have to step up to the plate and help protect the timeline before it is altered forever.
Story-wise, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’s plot is silly fun, keeping with the tendency of over-the-top action, colorful dialogue and plenty of energy blasts to satisfy fans of the series. While players will be retreading familiar ground once again, taking on the events already seen a million times in other Dragon Ball games, movies and TV shows, the alternative history angle and introduction of a new cast of menacing foes keeps it fresh and exciting, despite knowing how the majority of it plays out.
The fun though light plot is also backed up with excellent visuals that faithfully capture the essence of the popular series. From the all new animated and CGI cutscenes that perfectly match the kinetic energy of the source material, to awesome character models and excellent animation and effects, it’s hands down the best-looking Dragon Ball game to date. It’s excellent.
The game also plays great, following up on the open world, mission-based gameplay of the original, with players creating a new Time Patroller from scratch and taking on quests from the Supreme Kai of Time and others in order to protect time from alteration. Here players will travel through various time periods and take on specific events from the Dragon Ball Z timeline, teaming up with Goku, Gohan and co. as they face altered versions of foes like Vegeta, Frieza, as well as recurring video game antagonists Towa and Mira. Players will be able to freely explore locations and new hub world Conton City on foot or in the air, collect hidden items, and engage in furious battles against familiar faces and foes.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 excels in the combat department, allowing players to zip up to foes, land crazy combos, shoot enemy projectiles from afar, and use a variety of super moves to decimate opponents. Players have a couple of systems in place to dictate how much dodges and super’s they can use, such as KI and stamina, but the systems are easy to get a hang of, and the majority of combos and abilities are simple to execute. The game is also pretty competitive and balanced as well, so it’s a ton of fun to brawl.
While you’ll be mostly fighting in the game, there’s plenty of side quests and stuff to do in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. Players will be able to train under a number of popular characters like Piccolo, Yamcha, and more to learn new abilities and skills, complete fetch quests that’ll have players explore the world for items and loot, level up their character in order to improve their stats, customize their looks and equipped skillset, buy items and create new ones to take into battle, and more. Online players can join others to complete multiplayer missions together, which is always fun, or battle others to see who’s the top dog, further adding more stuff to do.
Now, the game isn’t perfect. Since players are navigating an open world and taking on a variety of missions and side quests, there’s a lot of transitions and traveling, which means there’s a lot of loading, which is kind of draining, especially when it’s a short side missions like training. The animation can be occasionally wonky and jarring, especially in the hub world where in-game cutscenes feature some robotic movement. In battles and cutscenes the animation is superb, but in the hub world it’s kind of bad.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is ultimately a solid sequel and excellent fighter, building upon what made the first one a good time. While there’s a few flaws here and there, the fast and brutal combat, open world gameplay and fun plot will have fans of the series loving this new adventure.