I spent the last weekend sulking about not receiving a Gwent Beta Code when everyone else at Out of Lives did. As you do. Fortunately, salvation for me came in the form of a brand-new game: Dragonball XenoVerse 2.
I’m a big fan of the Dragonball franchise; it is by far my favourite anime. However, the games have historically struggled to gain traction outside fans of the series itself. A fate shared by many licenced games over the years. Dragonball’s trademark fights involve a lot of movement, flying, teleporting, Ki (Energy) Blasts and take place at a quick pace. As you can imagine this is a particularly tricky combination of elements to implement in-game. To balance all these elements in a fair gameplay loop while maintaining the authentic feel of the anime is a tough ask and easy to get wrong.
DBXV2 manages to pull it off and marks a major improvement on not just the 1st XenoVerse title but all the Dragonball games ever released. It manages to combine a 3-Dimensional Fighting Game with some light MMO elements; an unusual combination but one that works surprisingly well. Dimps, the developer, hasn’t fallen into the trap of making it online only however, as the game is fully playable offline as well. Which is a decision worthy of a Gold Medal for putting the customer first.
The game is not without its limitations, however: it takes far too long when attempting to log into the servers when you first start up the game. I don’t know if that can be moved into the background or something while I load my save and get into the game. Perhaps not but it needs work. The only real gameplay issue I’ve found is that the fighting arenas/gameplay levels are a little small, I spent a lot of time in my battles rubbing up against the boundaries. Anyone familiar with the amount of movement involved in a Dragonball Z fight will know that this detracts somewhat from the experience and immersion.
The biggest limitation is in the English Voice Over for the game. While there is no doubting the quality of the Voice Actors or any of the production values in the game – even with its deliberate cheesiness – there simply isn’t enough of it. In one particular mission, you must defeat 20 clones of a single character and each time one is KO’d the same piece of dialogue is triggered. This results in it being repeated almost constantly for the 3-5 minutes I spent defeating them. Trust me when I say that it gets a little annoying because it does. Dimps are a Japanese studio and I’m sure the VO work is better in their native language. (At least I hope it is) I feel like this is an area where a lot of improvement could be made in the game experience but not at great expense to the studio in time or resources.
I say that because the litany of improvements they have made for DBXV2 over DBXV1 are extensive. Lots of little, but important, tweaks across the board make for such a vastly improved experience. Hit detection is vastly improved, they’ve added in the knock back and chase that was lacking previously and they have fixed the Transformations. Becoming a Super Saiyan no longer drains Ki like it did in the original, which was my main complaint, now it simply slows Ki generation down a bit. Which is definitely preferable to the previous version.
I would highly recommend Dragonball XenoVerse 2. While it takes some real skill, and a lot of practice, to hit the greatest heights of what can be accomplished in this game it is really easy to pick up a good grasp of what to do. Unlike some hardcore fighting games, it isn’t heavily based on learning combos to perform special moves or anything like that. Iconic attacks like the Kamehameha are only 2 button presses away. Basic combos consist of various strings of normal and strong attacks, again 2 buttons, while more advanced and lengthier combos are much easier to string together than you would anticipate. Once you get the hang of how the game works you’ll be knocking opponents about the arena/level in no time.
The story is light, a bit cheesy and, thanks to time travel, covers a lot of iconic moments from the series. Whether you want to reacquaint yourself to the show or discover it for the first time, it is the perfect feel good game. It gives you the power and the opportunity to be a hero and to kick some serious butt. I think you should all give it a try.
Thanks for reading.
Please like and share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Let me know what you think of it here in the comments or @adamthomas1994 on Twitter.