I love Dragonball Z. Growing up, it was my second anime that I ever watched back on Cartoon Networks Toonami block. The first was Sailor Moon, by the way (and Mercury is best girl). I was entranced by the action, the insanity, the martial arts, and all that jazz. I never watched GT, and honestly I have not seen DBZ Supers either at the moment, but I have always loved the magical world of the Z Fighters.
A couple of years ago, the first Dragonball Xenoverse game was released, and I bought and played the hell outta it. It was decent, but not great, and after I finished it with my character I put it down and never picked it up again.
Then Xenoverse 2 was released, and it improved on the first in basically every way, while adding new features and options as well. Today I wanted to break down the good and bad of this fantastic game, and show you all the power of the Dragon.
This game does a fantastic job of bringing the world, characters, and art of Akira Toriyama to life in 3D. The designs feel like they are straight out of the show, and the colorful nature of the world is represented here wonderfully. Further, character designs seem like they are ripped straight from the show or manga. The stages you can battle in each have their own theme and it’s easy to tell them apart. When you are on a Namek stage, for example, the colors and style make it very clear where you are. Everything just works together.
Animation wise, the attacks and moves you are capable of doing all look and feel like, again, they are ripped straight from the anime. When you unleash a Galick Gun, or Destructo Disc, or Kamehameha blast it all looks perfect. Overall the visual presentation of this game makes it feel like you are really in the show. Although, admittedly, the lip sync is off in pretty much every cutscene, and in cutscenes characters can seem stiff at times. It’s a small gripe, but it is there.
Let’s start with the bad here. The background music that plays in the primary hub of Conton City is decent, but repetitive. You have something like 14 available tracks you can play, however you have to manually switch between them. There is no shuffle, and trust me, after a while the BGM of the city where you spend a great deal of time will start to drive you mad. I really wish they had added a shuffle, because it’s a pain to have to enter menus just to give yourself something new to listen to. The stage music also can grate after a while, but you can again select from different tracks in the menus.
The voice acting however is near perfect. I swear it sounds like they got the English VA cast to come back and voice their characters again. Every single one sounds show accurate, which is amazing. Sometimes, however, what a character says in a cutscene does NOT match the written dialog exactly. It’s still the same tone and overall feel, but the words are different. You can also use Japanese voices if you wish as well. Finally, your character will have a selectable voice during character creation and you WILL hear it. You have voice clips for nearly every special move, and it’s awesome to hear. Nothing says loving like hearing your character scream KAMEHAMEHA! before letting loose a big ol blue energy beam.
The sound effects for attacks and strikes and specials are all perfect as well, with a nice meaty sound to em.
STORY AND WORLD
First off you do not need to play Xenoverse 1 to understand Xenoverse 2. The only connection between the two is that if you played Xenoverse 1 you can import your character, which will change who Trunks is partnered with in the second game. Beyond that, the events you participate in are, by and large, nearly identical.
In Xenoverse 2 you are a member of the Time Patrol, a fighter tasked with keeping the various Timelines in the universe correct. Villains exist who seek to manipulate or change events, such as Goku and Piccolo’s fight with Raditz, for nerfarious and mysterious ends. Your job is to enter those changed events and correct em so the original outcome takes place. Along the way you will experience DBZ History all the way through the Majin Buu saga of the show, helping to make sure that the major events that took place stay correct.
It’s a pretty basic story, all things considered, but it lets fans of the show experience pivotal moments of the show in person as it were, making you feel like you had a hand in shaping DBZ history. Sadly, the story does not explain WHY these events are important, so unless you are familiar with the show or manga, you will no idea why Goku had to die when he fought Raditz, or why Goku went Super Saiyan for the first time. It just won’t have any impact on you without the knowledge from the show, and the game does not provide that background at all.
At its core, this game is an Action RPG Brawler. You will enter stages with objectives to complete, and you will play through those stages using a barebones 3D fighting system. You have light and heavy strikes, a block, jump/flight, grab, and ki blast as your basic moves. You can also use up to 4 changeable Special Attacks, 2 Ultimate attacks, an Evasion move, and a Transformation.
As you complete stages you will gain Score, which is basically experience, and level up. Every level up gives you 3 Attribute points which you can place in Health, Stamina, Ki, Basic Attacks, Strike Supers, and Ki Supers. The first three are your bars during a fight. Health is your HP and if it hits zero you go down. Stamina controls how many Vanishes you can do, your block ability, and how long you can dash. Ki is for any special or ultimate moves you have equipped such as a Kamehameha or Galick Gun. At the end of a stage you will also earn Zeni (the games money), TP medals (a secondary currency), and on occasion items and new skills.
In fact, the primary way to earn new special and ultimate attacks is through the drop system, and at times the RNG can feel pretty rough. I have spent hours trying to get certain attacks to drop from side quests at times. You can however also learn special and ultimate attacks via the Master system, where you apprentice to famous DBZ characters like Yamcha, Nappa, Whis, and others to learn their signature moves. Finally, you can learn Transformation moves, both general ones and race specific ones, through a variety of means. Things like Golden Form for the Frieza race, or Super Saiyan for the Saiyan race exists, as well as things like Kaioken and Unleashed Potential which everyone can use.
There is also a full equipment system, where you can wear a head, torso, arms, and legs costume items which can affect your stats. There are also accessories which just change how you look, and QQ Bangs, which are craftable items that will replace your equipment stats with the QQ Bangs stats. Be aware that QQ Bangs are affected by RNG and the combinations you can make don’t always make sense. Most people use a QQ Bang however so they can wear whatever items they want to make their character fabulous.
When you start the game you will choose one of 5 races (Earthling, Majin, Frieza, Namekian, or Saiyan), your sex (Friez and Namekian dont have this as far as I can tell they are agender), and then your starting fighting style which will dictate your starter moves.
As you play through the story missions you will unlock new masters, new items in the shops that exists in the hub of Conton City, eventually the ability to fly in Conton City (get through the Frieza Saga for this), and new Masters will show up that you can under. You will also unlock new Parallel quests, which are this games side quest system and the primary way outside of Masters to earn new equipment and special attacks. These are usually cool What If scenarios, like “What if Frieza had your help and beat the Z Fighters?” and things of that nature. You will spend a lot of time doing these so be ready.
During Story Missions you will have a set goal and set AI controlled team mates for the most part. However, during Parallel quests you can actually take any combination of 3 Unlocked characters you wish! Want to play AS Goku? This is how you do it. Want a team of 3 Raditz to face off against Frieza? You totally can, and its hilarious. You can also take your master with you to raise their friendship meter, which will eventually help you unlock their Dual Ultimate attack, where you and them combine your attacks to create some really awesome effects. The video I will link below form my stream has some examples of me getting these to work. Protip: take 2 copies of your master if you can with you, and your friendship meter will double charge. Also, if your master likes you enough sometimes they will randomly appear during missions to assist you in your fights.
There are also a few side activities in the game called Time Rifts, a system called the Hero Coliseum where you have little figure battles, and a full PVP system where you can play against other players using your Created Characters or the Roster you have unlocked. Additionally, you can do Parallel Quests in Multiplayer as well, and there are also Raid events where 5 players go up against a super boss. You can also do Raid events with yourself and 4 AI Team Mates, but it can be a bit rough do to so. Raids also drop exclusive equipment from them.
For a good example of how the game plays and looks I present one of my streams of the game, where I work through some master missions, fight with the RNG Drop Rate to get some attacks I was missing, and even do some of the story mode.
As much as I love this game, there is one major issue with it. If you are NOT a fan of the anime or manga, this game is pointless for you. No, really. It will never explain who the characters are, it will never explain why the events you are correcting are important, it will explain NOTHING. Why is Goku so important? You will not learn. Who is Broly and why is everyone afraid of him? You will not be told.
This is a game for fans of the series. This game lets you live out the fantasy that many of us growing up had: of being a Z fighter, of training with Krillan and Yamcha and Goku. Of having sparring matches with Vegeta and Buu. If you are a fan of the show, or manga, and you want to live out that dream then you need to pick this game up asap, and all its DLC (which covers DBZ Supers and some of the movies). If you are not a fan of the show? Then you can safety skip this game honestly because you will not get much out of it.
You can pick this game up on Steam right HERE.