DRAGON! DRAGON! FIGHT THE DRAGON!
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 on PS4
While it wasn’t the best game in the franchise, Dragon Ball Xenoverse managed to inject some much-needed freshness into a universe that was steeped in nostalgia. For years the Dragon Ball games seemed to be almost afraid to step out of the standard arena it built around itself, focusing on the same characters while just slightly tweaking gameplay and visuals. Finally, there was something that let fans become a part of the world that they have loved for so long, and it was actually pretty good even though it had some issues. For Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Dimps and Bandai Namco set out to address those issues which has lead to something better, yet still flawed.
If you played the first entry in this series, the story will not prove to be much of a surprise. You’re once again an agent of the Time Patrol, sworn to defend history by traveling back to pivotal points and making sure evil doesn’t rewrite major events. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 actually has you create an entirely new hero for this run, though. You can bring over one of your created fighters from the previous game if you’re playing on the same platform family, but they’ll serve as Trunks’ partner throughout the story.
I will admit that I was at first a bit miffed that I would have to start over from scratch after having put in so much effort with my first Hero of Time. It took hundreds of Time Patrol runs and several playthroughs of the story to get everything exactly how I wanted it. Plus, unlocking all of the secret items using countless Dragon Balls was an incredible task all on its own. Fortunately enough, though, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’s adjusted gameplay quickly pushed this thought from my mind. The focus on a tighter, much smoother experience made the act of grinding out experience yet again an enjoyable diversion.
The previous game had a slow build before you felt like you were truly accomplishing anything of note. Combat started out incredibly slow as you slogged your way through missions in order to earn at least one move that was worth equipping to your hero. This latest entry forgoes all of that and makes every fight feel exciting from the get go, while still ramping up the challenge and intensity as you progress. Enemies are much faster, and there is much less of a pause between attacks allowing skilled players to string together seemingly endless combos as they fend off multiple opponents at once. There also appears to be a lot more balance in the game, which shows that the developers were definitely listening to criticisms of the first game.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 still features an incredible amount of customization options that include clothing, accessories, Z-Souls, and attacks. Those attacks were always a point of contention because there were a few that were virtually unbeatable, revealing cracks in the facade of choice. Sure you could choose whatever move you liked most, but if you wanted to actually win, you were cornered into only a handful of options last time. Thankfully, Dimps took everything into account so a single move won’t make anyone an unstoppable monstrosity. Strategy, stats, equipment, and an assortment of different abilities are what will make the greatest warriors, not a single equip. This is further bolstered by the fact that different races now fall into a more defined class system.
That’s actually a great addition to Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 as it makes the standout new activity more of a blast to play. There are now Expert Patrols which pit teams of up to eight players against huge, powerful bosses. These foes have different abilities than what you’ll see in the story or on a standard Parallel Quest, making strategy a far more important consideration, and, in the most difficult cases, team makeup proves to be a huge factor. Namekians are great at recovery even though they don’t do a lot of damage making them perfect for running interference, Majins are known for their defense allowing them to get up close and personal, and Saiyans (the greatest of all warrior races) are DPS aficionados.