If you were to tell the 13 year old me, sat playing Budokai Tenkaichi on the PS2, that one day I could play a Dragonball Z game where I could make my own character and interact with the events of the manga/anime, I’d have snapped your arm off quicker than an Instant Transmission.
The original Dragonball Xenoverse struck a chord with many players by essentially being pure, unadulterated fandom wish fulfilment. Make your own character from one of five races, including Saiyan, Human, Namekian and whatever the hell Frieza and Buu are? Check. Insert yourself into famous battles, taking on the greatest villains from the series? Check. Ultimately become the most powerful being ever? Checkity check check check.
Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is practically the same formula, just with more additions. Same premise, same gameplay, same purpose. The combat is still pretty straightforward. No complex combos or special move inputs here, just fighting that looks like it was ripped straight from the anime. It’s all here, from Kaioken to Kamehameha; Special Beam Cannon to Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan and everything in between.
The main campaign sees you as a new Time Patroller, tasked with amending any changes that occur to the main timeline. There is an overarching thread that’s new and continues on from the first game, and you can even import your Xenoverse 1 Hero despite them not being playable. However, the events you’re tasked with protecting do overlap with Xenoverse 1.
This is a problem that affects all the Dragonball games, though. If the game didn’t feature all the popular moments from the Saiyan, Frieza, Android and Buu sagas, it wouldn’t feel like a Dragonball game. Plus, the time shenanigans that occur, with villains appearing seemingly whenever the hell they want, help keep things a little fresh.
Also like Xenoverse 1, you can take on side missions called Parallel Quests, which are challenges of increasing difficulty generally centred around a theme. Defeat all the Z Fighters, collect all the Dragon Balls, beat up a super powered evil Yamcha… That sort of thing. Plus, you can have one of the characters become your instructor and train you with their moves. With around 20 instructors and nearly 100 Parallel Quests, there’s already more content available than the original.
But it doesn’t stop there. The hub world of Conton City, which is bigger than the last game’s Toki Toki City and doesn’t need loading screens, by the way, also offers more side quests. Some are pretty straightforward, like training with Vegeta or protecting Namek from invaders, but there are some interesting inclusions.
One sees you becoming Great Saiyaman 3, another sees you rise up the ranks of the Frieza Force. The last one does involve helping Majin Buu raise a family, which is probably the weakest of the bunch due to being a glorified fetch and carry quest, but they all serve the triple purpose of distracting you from the main game content, allowing you to earn some items and EXP, and unlocking some endgame content once all the side missions are completed.
BUT WAIT! There’s still more! Another new addition is the inclusion of Expert Missions. Essentially a six player boss battle, each fight offers up a little gimmick to keeps thing interesting, such as allies being mind controlled or being sent to an alternate dimension. It’s an interesting idea, and allows for the hilarious sight of six powered up guys and girls smacking the crap out of every single DBZ villain.
The problem is that very few people are matchmaking to play them, meaning you’ll have to call on your buddies (if you’ve got any who own Xenoverse) to help. Sure, you can use the AI, but they just follow you around and barely do anything, which is hardly useful when trying to fight Metal Cooler.
Another problem is the lack of endgame content to support your playtime once those credits roll. Sure, there’s always PvP and plenty of Parallel Quests and Instructor Missions to keep you occupied, but they’re just filler content. You could make a new character as a different race, but there’s no real change besides your abilities and in-fight dialogue. Unless you’ve got friends or you really want the extra achievements, you might not feel the incentive to continue once the main baddies have been blasted to kingdom come.
Still, Xenoverse 2 is possibly the most content-rich Dragonball Z game ever released. Even the most casual of DBZ fans will find 20-30 hours worth of content here. A must-have for any would-be Z Fighter.
Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is available right now on the Xbox Store for £49.99, or as part of a bundle. Have you been playing it? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, and check out the trailer if you haven’t already!
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A must-have for any would-be Z Fighter.
Dragonball Xenoverse 2 has content bursting out of every orifice, although you might be bored before you’ve seen it all. Still, Bandai Namco and Dimps have created one of the most definitive Dragonball gaming experiences around.