Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Action & Fighting
Release Date: 7th of September, 2017 (JP) & 22nd of September, 2017 (PAL & NA)
Prepare to watch your hair go from jet black to golden blonde, for the time to go Super Saiyan has arrived, only this time around, the experience is portable!
After a good and long standing relationship with Nintendo, many a Dragon Ball title has made its way to a Nintendo platform over the years and now the latest game to add itself to that list is Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for the Nintendo Switch! Only it’s not the same version as seen on other platforms, as it may not run as efficiently, but it’s a port that has a lot of new Switch specific features.
First up, being a console you can pick up and play anywhere with anyone, local co-op is supported even for single Joy-con play, but does not apply to Story Mode. Motion controls are supported, so for the players who wish to actually perform a Kamehameha can, provided they can nail done the required movements for it and so many other Ultimate Moves. There’s support for up to 6 players simultaneously over local wireless and online play. Plus there’s support for local 6 player co-op Raid Boss battles and 3-on-3 grudge/versus matches. But even then that’s not all!
In addition to all that and the content the game comes packaged with, there is plenty of DLC available for it, including one particular Time Patroller pack that for 1 month from launch, can be downloaded for free that actually allows you to replay events (Legend Patrols) from Xenoverse 1, but you will need to play through some of the game’s main missions/story events in order to access them. Personally, this is a nice touch since Xenoverse 1 isn’t out on Switch, so this is definitely one fine way for Switch owners to go hands on with it, without having to buy it and play it on another platform. But now that we’ve got what’s new out of the way, it’s time to cover just what exactly is Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2?
Well, since there is a 2 in the title, you would be right to assume it is a sequel because it is, so being a sequel Xenoverse 2 takes place 2 years after the first game and carries on theme of Time Patrollers who are duty bound to step in and fix anomalies in time, which in other words means when forces of evil try to change the established timelines from the Saiyan Saga to the Frieza Saga and so many more, try to warp events to their own liking, it’s the Time Patrollers who need to keep Dragon Ball history we all know it to be!
It is not an easy task as many a terrible battle await the Future Warrior (the very customisable protagonist, whom players players,) but at least the Future Warrior does not stand alone as there are those who will stand with the Future Warrior in battle, like the Legendary Goku and Vegeta, but why settle for just fighting alongside them when you can also learn from them and pick one to act as your own personal Instructor with whom you can form a relationship with and even have them come to your aid when undergoing Parallel Quests. It may not seem all that much as the whole Instructor Master system works almost the same way it did in the previous title, only this time around the relationship feels more personal and meaningful given the fact your Instructor/Best Friend will make time to talk to you, instead of ignoring them when you encounter them in the story mode missions.
Nevertheless though, the Instructors and relationships are not the best thing about Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, as that title belongs to the customisable options. From deciding on what sex your character should be (male or female,) and what race (Saiyan, Frieza, Namekian, Eartling and Majin, all of which have their own special transformative “Awoken Skill” such as Super Saiyan 3 for the Saiyan race). You can then alter height, hair colour, eye colour, skin colour and so much more, which includes outfits and your desired skillsets. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is a game dedicated to letting you truly immerse yourself in the world and lore of all that is Dragon Ball and cast yourself as the hero of your own story.
Granted you can’t alter your clothes and skillset all that much when first starting, due to the fact you won’t have all that, but that’s where Conton City comes to play. As the home of the Time Patrollers, Conton City is the hub world for Xenoverse 2, is 7 times larger than the hub world of the previous and is the location you can expect to spend a lot of time in as it is home to various shops that deal in the local currency (Zeni) and TP Medals, which can be collected from doing things like Training Lessons with various Instructors, and Parallel Quests. As for the reason why you will be spending so much time there, other than interacting with characters in a bid to hire them, going to and fro from missions, story events, quests events and more, although your character is capable of flight, until you get your Flight License, a lot of your travelling will be done on foot, or riding a vehicle and while the latter is better, nothing beats flying wherever you want!
Still, I’ve said all of the above and I have yet to even mention the fighting and I really need to get that. Granted Xenoverse 2 only runs at 30FPS, compared to 60FPS like on other platforms, but if you’ve never played it on another console, you are not going to notice it, because all you are going to notice, is some fluid combat that is so fast that you can miss quite a lot in the time you blink. From various simple combos such as a mixture of weak and strong attacks, to dizzying combos that include knockbacks, throws, the occasional punch, dash strike and an Ultimate Move, every fight is worth the watch, even if they do prove a tad repetitive at times.
But then so what if it is? Xenoverse 2 is a game with some incredible visuals, combat and cut-scenes that the repetitive action soon becomes worth it, especially since in true Dragon Ball fashion, battles can go from being fought on the ground, to the sky and then underwater so for the players who like to mix things up, you absolutely can and that’s not the only way how. When doing Parallel Quests, you can actually choose who you want to go into battle with you, so if you want to double team Krillen with Yamcha, then by all means go for it. If you want to align with Goku and beat up Gohan, then it’s parent abuse but you can do that too, but you have to make sure you succeed because if you don’t, not only will you fail the quest, but you’ll lose any and all items you were able to find with the wearable scanner, which also reveals levels and power levels of over players and it’s a good thing too. It is one thing to decide to take on the Time Patrollers you can encounter when undertaking certain quests, but it’s another thing entirely when you consider the fact that you’re only Level 20 and your opponent is a Level 80. (Trust me, I made that mistake and it did not work out for me.)
Still there’s more to Xenoverse 2 than what I’ve mentioned so far as there are Time Rift events that also require things being done, such as defending the Namekian Dragon Balls, joining the Frieza Force and wreaking havoc, choosing sides and taking orders. But then there’s finding food for Buu so that the big guy ca start a family, becoming Hercule’s bodyguard and fulfilling certain quests to earn Zeni, but then there’s also all the online stuff. From No-Level Matches, World Tournament and more, there is always something going on as far as Xenoverse 2 is considered and while lag is expected of most online games, you can get the occasional one that is lag free. Just don’t rage quite all that often as you can be penalised for such a thing and while depending on the circumstances your penalisation can be retracted, it’s better for everyone, especially yourself if you just play fair.
Thusly, with so much going on and tie-ins to not just the TV shows and previous games, as there’s movie tie-ins as well, Xenoverse may be a costly title, but it’s a quality title and is so jam packed that it can make some jam doughnuts look barren. Plus there’s the whole fact that you know, it’s Dragon Ball. It’s not just a decent brawler-like game, it’s a fantastic brawler-like game that could very well dominate your life if you let it.
While Xenoverse 2 is not a direct equal to the versions playable on other platforms, it is still the Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 that players have known and loved since 2016, just more Switchified. However, by no means is it a must buy if you already have it for another console, but if you don’t, it is one of the Switch’s finest fighting games, thanks to a huge amount of available customisations, a whole lot of content that can be played on and offline and a whole lot of fast paced, mind-blowing action that is just too good to miss!
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*Review Key Provided by Bandai Namco