Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 – colour me surprised.
Let’s go back in time to where I was in my early teens and a huge fan of anime movies, especially those made by Manga. When I heard we were getting a Dragon Ball Z animated series in the UK, I got excited as I heard great things. All was going great. for a few episodes – you know the ones where they fight between 10 episodes of recharging. Anyway, my love of the series was short lived so I didn’t play many of the games, in fact I think I played two Dragon Ball games in my life – one on the SNEs and the other on PS1 – exactly what I expected, just beat-em ups. So when I was going into Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 without even playing the first game, I’m sure you can guess what I was expecting, but.
Well right off the bat, we get an intro about the Time Patrol; basically, this group of elite fighters who protect the timeline from those who dare travel to change their destinies (where were these guys in The Flash season 2, eh!?). Once the game begins, I received my first surprise – you create your own character for your game. I didn’t expect this at all and you also get to choose not only your appearance but race too, so I had to go for Saiyan as they are badasses. I created my character and got into the game.
The story then follows as you train and level-up before taking on the main missions, taking you to events through the Dragon Ball storyline from the anime where a group of villains are trying to ruin the timeline and recruit the strongest in the past to help them do so. Its your job to stop them or the fate of the universe shall be forever changed. Yes, this is a game where the story depends on your actions, as you fight through the many races of villains that plague the timeline.
The gameplay takes place in a hub world where you can train and update your stats, find items, buy new items, armour or clothing. Going to the quest points on your map shall take you into mission arenas where you take on foes in 3D land or sky battles. I mean, come on, of course you are gonna want to kick some butt in the sky – it is Dragon Ball after all! You have a series of different attacks – projectile, super and ultra attacks. I thought this would be more complicated to learn, but Bandai Namco did well in implicating the training to learn how each attack, dodge, block and super is executed. Soon, you will feel like an invincible being who can never be taken down, until you face Vegeta and Nappa in their Super Ape forms and get pummelled to the ground, again and again and again. I beat them eventually, and carried on.
The game starts off easy and gets challenging, so get your levels up and don’t forget to add your ability points to your character. You’ll also get the chance to play as other characters and even make up teams during certain missions. If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball, or even the games, then I think you will have plenty of fun here.
As with most anime games, the graphics usually go the cell-shaded route which really suits the look of the characters, especially when cutting between 3D and anime 2D cutscenes.
Audio includes good ol’ anime voice and attack sounds, with those epic tweaks where emotion and powerful attacks are involved – music to my ears, and speaking of which, the music in the game is very much enjoyable. Forgettable, but enjoyable – sounds almost Sonic the Hedgehog-ish to myself. Great and fun all round, like ear candy.
Final Notes: I cannot deny that this game surprised me on several levels. It won’t have me watching any of the episodes or movies (especially that live-action one) anytime soon, but I’m sure to keep playing and unlocking new costumes, characters, powers and abilities as I progress. If you are an anime fan, especially one who enjoys fighting games I say pick this up, I’m not a fan of Dragon Ball but even I can pick up, play and enjoy this game.
Graphics: 9/10 – Only issue I have with the graphics is that cell-shaded may look better in resolution on more powerful consoles but that’s about all. It looks great and that’s why the high score.
Sound: 8/10 – As stated before, lots of enjoyment to my ears but at the same time, apart from the enjoyable soundtrack, its what’s to be expected.
Gameplay: 9/10 – A lot more enjoyable than I thought and not a mindless masher. Strategy and dodging is key, especially against tougher odds.
Enjoyment: 8/10 – The story has multiple paths even if it seems pretty straight forward, fun all the same. Also, I think fans will be playing this game constantly to get further and unlock their favourite characters, gear and items.
Overall score: 8.5/10 – A must-get game for any fan of the series. If you are not a fan then wait until the game drops in price but still worth picking up.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Players: single-player
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1