What an amazing renaissance that Dragonball has experienced in the last 3 years. After being dormant for over a decade, fans finally got the new series that they had been begging for with Dragonball Super. A brand new Dragonball Super movie is set to launch next week with Dragonball Super: Broly. The wild success of the show led to a bold new video game franchise in the form of Dragonball Xenoverse. The original was met with mediocre critical success but the commercial success warranted another opportunity for Bandai Namco to give the ravenous fans the game they truly deserved. As a Dragonball fan myself, I feared we would never get a game outside of the fighting genre that offered more than a temporary diversion. My play through of the story and subsequent 80 hours or so of side quests, training, and online battles easily managed to ease my worries though.
A Saga of Your Own
Dragonball Xenoverse 2 offers a brand new and original story within Dragonball lore for you to play through and enjoy as a character that you build from the ground up. You can become a Saiyan like Goku or Vegeta, a Namekian like Piccolo, a Majin like Buu, a human like Tien or Krillin or a member of the Frieza race. In traditional RPG fashion you will level up your character to become stronger, obtain new techniques, and unlock new quests. Choosing a Saiyan allows you to level up and earn certain transformations. The famous Super Saiyan transformation is here along with SS2 and the long haired SS3. There are also more obscure transformations, such as the Ultra Super Saiyan transformation, only achieved by Vegeta and Trunks. These transformations aren’t just for show, as each offers different alterations in your character’s strengths and weaknesses.
The story requires you to join Trunks as a Time Patroller that leads to a mission to save all of history and all of the timelines from two brand new enemies, whom have planned to take control of past enemies by traveling back in time. It’s a refreshing new story that allows players to enjoy battling familiar enemies within a very unfamiliar narrative. Yes, you will still join the Z fighters in their famous battles against the legendary villains from the series. By defeating them, you unlock them for use in other game modes and can even recruit them to help you battle within the story. The story concludes with an epic ending that truly makes you feel like a hero and savior. Going a little above and beyond in some side quests offers a secret ending involving a fan favorite (and Goku’s father), Bardock. Xenoverse 2 excels in giving Dragonball fans new material to enjoy for the first time ever in a DB game.
Kame Hame HAWESOME
To appreciate battling in DBX2 means to accept the game for what it is. An RPG that is attempting to hold true to the legendary battles and fighting styles of the franchise. Combos and specialty moves are simple to execute and do not necessarily require expertise and repetition, and to fighter enthusiasts this will likely be a letdown. To the RPG fan, however it serves as a very satisfying reward for finishing the necessary quest and/or training involved to unlock the special attack or combo.
With there being so many to unlock and customize, you can truly shape your warrior into anything you see fit. Unlock powerful melee combos to become a tank like Broly, or unlock special ki moves and become a dangerous, ranged warrior like Vegeta or Hit. All of your favorite characters movesets can be unlocked and added to your warrior’s repertoire. My only complaint with the battle system is that, sometimes, the AI of your allies can make questionable decisions at the worst times. It doesn’t matter as much when you play through the second half of the story as you’ll probably be strong enough to get by on your own by that point. It can be frustrating in some of the more difficult early battles, however.
The Z in HD
Dragonball Xenoverse 2 runs beautifully on the Switch, in both docked and handheld modes. Some of the edge lines may not seem as bold in handheld mode but you would have to really be paying attention to notice. Controls can initially feel awkward in handheld mode but it isn’t that bad of an adjustment. Playing multiplayer with joy cons is fun, but if you’re playing on the go the small screen of the Switch can make it slightly difficult to keep up with teleportation in a fast-paced battle. Having the option to pull your Switch out and brawl with a buddy is still super cool and just feels right for a Dragonball game though. I believe that the ultimate way to experience the game is with a Pro Controller paired with docked mode, as performing every combo and special just felt smooth and natural that way.
Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is available on other consoles, and I have played them, but the Switch is the best place for the game to call home. The handheld options take the game to a new level, online battles work just fine with Nintendo Switch Online, and local multiplayer is a blast even with joycons. Dragonball Xenoverse 2 for the Nintendo Switch is easily one of the best Dragonball games ever made, and it surpasses The Legacy of Goku as the best localized Dragonball RPG ever. Although the game has been out for a while now, it’s still going strong. It is a great time to pick it up due to its $40USD price point, and brand-new DLC that adds Broly and Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta are just on the horizon. Simply put, this game is a MUST PLAY for Dragonball fans.