Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 – Review

In early 2015, Dimps and Bandai Namco introduced us to the idea of a Dragon Ball MMO for the first time. Combining the 3D battles of the Budokai Tenkaichi series with online quests and an incredible level of character customisation, the game’s concept received great reception. With Xenoverse 2, the developers aimed to improve on the teething troubles of the first game and offer an even more compelling universe to the franchise’s massive fan base.

A vibrant city

In the original Xenoverse, I didn’t like Toki Toki City at all – it was empty, lifeless and didn’t transport the spirit of the Dragon Ball franchise in a way I would expect it from a licensed game. Xenoverse 2 improved many things in this regard and introduces us to Conton City, a much more vibrant and dynamic setting for the sequel. Every corner is full of new things to explore and quests to receive, which allows you to let your very own character become the mightiest fighter of the universe. Like in the first game, there are many ways to personalise your hero – with free choice of races, equipment, cosmetic items, skill points and even attacks, it is safe to say that every character feels and looks unique.

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Not the usual story

I can’t even count how many times I’ve finished the Cell and Frieza sagas to this point. Every Dragon Ball game simply recycles it and artificially extends them by adding dozens of filler fights. Xenoverse 2 may also build on these story arcs, but retells them in a different way, since the two new time-travelling villains Towa and Mira have mixed up the history of these events. As a part of the Time Patrol, you and Future Trunks have been charged with the task to fix this chaos, what leads to engaging “what if” scenarios. Especially these missions make the graphical improvements really apparent. You will notice the smooth 60fps frame rate and the improved lighting effects on the usual cel-shaded character models immediately. The only visual bummers I have noticed was the dreadful lip-syncing and the general brightness of the game. It seems like there’s a dim filter over the screen at all times, which is a weird design choice and clearly takes away from the colourful finisher moves.

Dragonball Xenoverse 2

Not a grind

While the original Xenoverse forced you to farm the same Parallel Quests for hours, the sequel really improved the way of how progress works. In my time with the game, I never felt like I had to fight some extra fights, just to get another item or reach the next level. Xenoverse 2 takes you by the hand and rewards you much more than the previous game – it simply appreciates your time, what is a rare feeling when playing an MMO-like game. The only thing that bothered me when playing for longer sessions were the loading times. Training sessions often require you to fight for a mere 30 seconds, which forces you to endure two uncharming loading screens to get you from the hub to the fight and back. By passing on the last-gen versions of the game, I thought that loading times wouldn’t be an issue with this iteration, but apparently, it was too rushed to really benefit from the current hardware.

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A classic sequel

Despite lacking some finish and optimisation, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is an essential improvement over the first game in almost every single way. Conton City offers the perfect playground for Dragon Ball fans and retells the narrative in a refreshing way, why also being the most gorgeous-looking game of the franchise to date. With steps this big, I can’t wait to see more of the now established Xenoverse brand in the future.

What we liked:

  • Vibrant world
  • Less farming
  • Depth of combat
  • Emphasis on customisation

What we didn’t like:

  • Dim graphics
  • Terrible lip-syncing
  • Tedious loading times

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Shinigaming

This review was written using a PlayStation 4 review copy provided by Bandai Namco. How do you like the changes from Xenoverse to Xenoverse 2? What’s your favourite Dragon Ball game? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

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