Review: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

The original Dragon Ball Xenoverse was a surprisingly fun game, but suffered from a limited variety of gameplay options and a lot of content padding. The sequel, DBXV2, addresses all of those concerns, though it does introduce a few new ones. If you liked the original, or like simplified 3D mass Dragon Ball combat, this is the game for you.

As in the first game, there are a number of distinct play types when progressing through the game. In addition to the plot, master quests, and parallel quests, DBXV2 introduces five subplots and new 6-on-1 “Expert Missions.” Not only that, but master quests have been completely redone. No longer do you need to wait for your master of choice to randomly appear, or grind between each mission. Now all unlocked masters are immediately available, there are more of them, and progression is immediate (though sometimes capped by advancement test missions). Each fight also acts as a tutorial for the ability you earn from it. Parallel quests have also been revised slightly, in that a lot of the randomness has been removed. In my experience, if you fulfill the requirements for an ultimate finish, it always happens. Drops are still random, but they’re more spaced out so it’s a bit less grindy.

The new modes are also a lot of fun. There are five side stories and five races, and each race gets an extended version of their own. Between this and the new racial transformations, the game clearly wants you to try out every race to see everything. There is a surprising amount of variety in the side stories, from repeated combat in defense of Namek to collecting food to feed Buu. They tend to be very generous with experience, which is actually somewhat problematic–but I’ll get to that. Finally, there are the expert missions, which introduce a lot of interesting mechanics and function as huge boss fights. Unfortunately, your computer-controlled allies don’t play well with the mechanics, and these missions get super hard. They would likely be a lot more fun with human allies, but I played the game late and haven’t had luck making that happen.

In addition to all the modes, DBXV2 introduces a huge number of new abilities. The biggest change is how transformations work. Rather than taking up a super or ultimate ability slot, there is now a dedicated transformation slot, and multi-tiered transformations like Kaioken and Super Saiyan are now a single ability. The level of transformation depends on your ki at the time of using the ability, which is generally a great idea, but can be annoying with something like Kaioken x20 that drains your stamina so fast that you might prefer a lesser version. The four non-Saiyan races also get their own exclusive transformations, three of which are fun but gimmicky. I’m glad they did something, but it leaves a bit to be desired. This is especially true since there are three versions of Super Saiyan (and I don’t mean 1, 2, and 3, but rather three different sets of stat boosts and restrictions).

All of this new content is great, but the game does suffer a bit from having too much of it. Specifically, if you do all the side missions as they come up, you’re probably going to outlevel the plot very quickly. If you do the plot, you’ll outlevel parallel quests, and so on. About 1/3 of the game will be trivially easy when you do it just because of how fast you advance. This problem is compounded by the fact that if you want to try out all five races, you need to repeat all of this for all of them. While your item and skill lists are shared (and thus you can at least skip the master missions), your plot and even parallel quest progression is not. A thorough player will spend a lot of time doing low-level missions at a trivial difficulty level.

The bottom line is that DBXV2 took the template of the original and made it way better and meatier. If you liked that game, you’ll love this one. There are some new basic combat options, and even trivial stuff like the hub world has been improved dramatically. The roster is enormous, and the DLC is getting into the new Dragon Ball Super. At least in terms of fan service, this game is everything a Dragon Ball fan could want.

Review Score: A−

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