Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is a game whose release I’ve been low-key anticipating since the news broke of its development. I thoroughly enjoyed the first game and it had a pretty cool story so I wanted more and more is what this game brings to the table. There’s more characters, more customisation options, bigger central hub, tonnes more side missions and parallel quests for you to do. It even allows you to join Frieza’s Fighting Force in a bid to climb up its ranks and become one of its most influential officers tossing Dodoria and Zarbon to the side like some brightly coloured leftovers. The game is set 2 years after the original and focuses on the havoc that Towa and Mira, the antagonists from the first game, are wreaking through the history of Dragonball.
As before in the game, you create your own character to play in the game and are given a choice between 5 races the Majin, Saiyan, Earthling, Namekian and Frieza race. Each race has its own slew of customisation options from including height, body type, head/hair etc. As far as the options go there’s definitely a lot more than the first game though if I’m honest I was expecting a little bit more than what’s on offer. You’re not allowed to fully customise the look of your character as you only have 3 body type which lowers or increases mass depending on which you choose. In a game where playing as your own character is one of the focal points, I am a little disappointed in this mostly because as someone who’s played Champions Online my expectations are a little high.
When Dragonball Xenoverse 2 begins you can import one of your old characters from the first game who is now the Hero that saved the Timelines and is partnered with Trunks. Whoever you choose to be the hero will get their own Holo-Statue in the middle of the Shop Area which. admittedly, is baller. There are some items that the hero will have on him that can be imported from the previous game but there are also items that can’t be. For the items that can’t you are reimbursed in Zeni, the currency in the game, and Time Patrol medals which are the game’s secondary currency and is a lot harder to obtain than Zeni. Once you make your character you then travel to your central hub which is called Konton City and it’s at this moment you realise that every is much grander not just in the buildings but in the amount of Time Patrollers hanging about.
I won’t talk too much about the specifics of the story itself just know that while you do revisit points in the time that are identical to the first game in Dragonball Xenoverse 2 not everything is as it appears and while Towa and Mira are the main evil they are not the only ones. The game plays with the histories a little more than the first and doesn’t focus too much in the one saga and you usually only have 5-6 fights in each era to contend with. Just like in the first game things will go ham as the story progresses. The cinematics of the more important parts of the story is animated in 2D while others are rendered in-game. It’s a fun storyline that has you help out Goku and his friends and is just and enjoyable romp through Dragonball history.
Along with the main storyline, you have something called Parallel Quests and these are side missions you can do that sometimes overlap with the main story but are usually situations or fights the developers have made specifically for the game. Doing the Parallel Quests lets you unlock new clothing items, accessories, skills, characters and Super Souls all of which you’ll probably need to complete the main story. Not only that but it lets you grind out experience points so you can level up and increase your attributes. Increasing these attributes is the only way you’ll be able to finish the main story and they are Ki, Health, Stamina, Basic Attacks, Strike Supers and Ki Blast Supers. The harder a mission is to do the more experience you get and the more attribute points you earn to level up these stats.
Parallel Quests aren’t the only way to get skills, items or money because you can also get these by taking part in training lessons given to you by the cast of characters throughout Dragonball. You can learn moves from these guys you may not be able to obtain in the main story missions or Parallel Quests. You can also ask one the instructors to become your master and the higher your relationship with them the more chances of them giving you a hand in fights. In order to learn more advanced techniques, the game has to offer you can also do advancement tests where you fight a match and try to meet its requirements which are usually to defeat all enemies on the map. Elder Kai also has different abilities and techniques he can teach and I would highly recommend you do this to get even better at the game especially if you want to do PVP.
In Dragonball Xenoverse 2 there’s plenty of things for you to do as mentioned above and I’ve not even talked about the 5 other areas that contain quests which you can only get to by teleporting. You can visit the Capsule Corporation and take part in Vegeta’s training which will benefit Saiyan characters more than other races.There’s the aforementioned Frieza Fighting Force that is better for the Frieza race, Majin Buu’s house which is helpful if you want to get even more items or clothes. Just bring Buu food and he’ll make child-like copies of himself and they’ll get you certain items depending on what type they are. Guru’s Spaceship is for Namekian’s and they’ll get the most out of it and here you can defend Guru which will give you lots of stuff. I fucking hate this place because way too often have I gotten the Guru’s house is under attack notification. It feels like it happens at the end of every mission. Last but not least is Hercule’s mansion where you can become Hercule’s bodyguard by running errands for him and if you complete those errands he gives you Zeni but if you’re human you get bonus Zeni.
As you can see there’s a tonne of stuff that you can do in the game even if you’ve blazed through the main campaign and Dragonball Xenoverse is the epitome of a developer keeping what worked in the first game but just adding lots more stuff to the sequel. There’s lots of things to do and I always find myself doing the training in between the main story missions because the fighting in the game is enjoyable.
My only concerns of the game have to do with the actual fighting and seeing as how this is a core mechanic of the game they’re fairly big concerns. Too often it feels like the way they’ve designed enemy AI is for cheap victories while your own support AI are idiots. The enemy has great vats of stamina that they can turn to just when you’re about to gain momentum and using this they can effectively juggle you in mid air with you unable to counter. Just as your about to turn the tables they dodge your attacks and continue juggling you like they’re seals in a circus and you’re a beach ball. The support AI dies way too fast and is nowhere near intelligent enough to be of help. They’ll rush in to help you and then stand there doing nothing as if they’ve fallen asleep while Frieza is over here doing a 40 hit combo on you as you’re praying for your stamina to regenerate in time to dodge one of the attacks.
That’s been my major complaint throughout the game but it’s not a case where it takes away from my enjoyment of the game. If you can pump most attributes into Stamina and Basic Attacks you can deal with this issue. You don’t even need to throw a single Kamehameha to win a fight if your Stamina and Basic Attacks are in the thirties. All in all it’s a great game that knows its own identity and just gives more of what made the first game a success. One of the rare occasions where a sequel is better than its predecessor.
Brilliant game but AI needs some fixing.
Guru’s House is under attack!