It's that time of year again folks... when yet another glorified button-masher of a DBZ game is spewed out from the bowels of Let's-See-How-Long-We-Can-Keep-This-Going-Ville. Is it any wonder then that my passion for these types of games has all but disappeared?
The devs managed to inject some well needed lifeblood into the series by releasing the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse
last year, but its playability was limited, so much so that I didn't even touch it after I'd finished the review
. So, whilst I enjoyed DBX for what it was, there was still that certain something missing which might have made me want to go back and keep playing, and I do believe that certain something was just simply having fun.
Staring at the cover of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
, trying to decide whether I wanted to sink my time into it, I found myself torn between either being drawn into the Xenoverse
world once again or drowning in my own pessimism. Aw hell, I've reviewed so many games like this before, what's another one? I popped the disc in and braced myself for the lukewarm mist of disappointment to descend...
Only to be punched in the face by sheer awesomeness.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
takes place around two years after the first title, with your protagonist being a new recruit in the now-expanded Time Patrol. Towa is up to her tricks again, buggering up the timelines and leaving you have to fight your way through history to set things right. Xenoverse 2
follows in the steps of its predecessor with an impressive character creator. I can't emphasise enough how great it is to be able to play a DBZ
game with your character seamlessly melded into the story of the anime, a thing that almost every DBZ
fan has only dreamed of for a long time.
The usual races are on offer, each with their own unique options and stats, along with a decent amount of customisation for your appearance and voice as well as your fighting style, which can be modified to be biased towards either melee, ranged or a balanced mix of the two attack styles. At this point you can choose to import your save data from the first Xenoverse
game, and doing so grants you access to special 'add-ons' (this being the only clue they give you as to what these actual add-ons are). As always, new characters have been added to the ever-increasing roster, which now includes characters from the new TV series, Dragon Ball Super
After a brief initiation into the Time Patrol Academy, you are introduced to Conton City, what was known as Toki Toki City in the first game. The cel-shaded graphics have been tweaked to perfection - Conton City is beautifully rendered and looks awesome with a giant dragon in the background glaring down at you.
If you decide to transfer your character from the first game, they are regarded as the hero in this city and there's a giant holographic statue of them in homage to their deeds. You also gain any equipment that your hero was wearing, as well as certain abilities in their arsenal (though the stronger among them haven't been transferred to ensure your character isn't too overpowered so early on in the game).
Rather annoyingly, you're not allowed to fly around this City until you get a flying license, which is earned as you progress through the main story missions. So you have to resort to using transport or you can utilise the teleport robot NPCs that are scattered around. Not a major plus sign in my eyes as it's frustrating as hell running so slowly around a map when you're perfectly capable of flying to where you need to be. This felt like an unnecessary addition to the game, frankly.
You can choose to play the game in either online or offline mode. If you choose offline but still have an internet connection, other player characters will show up in your city so you can check out their stats. You can also pay them to join you in quests if you decide you'd like some back-up. Online mode sees everyone sharing the same space - here you can team up with other players and take part in various missions. Social interaction is limited to set phrases but you have plenty of emotes in your arsenal to use for your character to pose up a storm, which is one of the best parts in my opinion (I'm looking at you, Ginyu Force poses).