Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 (PC) Review

Super Saiyan 2.

Back when I reviewed Xenoverse 1, it had been a long time since I’d played a Dragon Ball game. Even though I generally enjoyed my time with Xenoverse 1, when they announced Xenoverse 2, I felt that I had gotten my fill of Dragon Ball for now, and decided that I didn’t really want to cover it.

However, as luck would have it, I ended up covering the sequel anyway based on availability. So, I went in thinking that I was in for more of the same and came away pleasantly surprised, as this sequel is bigger and better in every way.

The visuals are gorgeous and look faithful to the original anime, down to the character expressions.

The visuals are gorgeous and look faithful to the original anime, down to the character expressions.

As was the case in the original, the main crux of Xenoverse 2 revolves around a Create-A-Character that the player chooses from a number of species like Humans, Saiyans, Namekians, Buus and Frieza types along with their gender that bestow a unique strength. Even though the selections for customizations are improved across the board from the original, it felt a bit lacking still, especially having seen what CACs are like in MMOs like World of Warcraft and FFXIV.

After creating an avatar, the player is tasked with the duties of a member in the Time Patrol, who oversee the flow of time and make sure no one messes with history as it is written.

Once more, Future Trunks is the poster child of the Time Patrol and the player’s senior, who guides them through various time periods to correct any big inconsistencies that pop up. Which is funny because having Future Trunks be in charge of not letting anyone make changes to history is akin to putting Cookie Monster in charge of safe housing a store of cookies.

The main villains Towa & Mira return once more, with some new helpers that fans should recognize from DBZ Movies like “The Tree of Might” or “Lord Slug”.

As I stated in my review of the original, the premise of going through those iconic moments that I’ve seen interpreted time and time again to see brand new “what if” scenarios is strangely compelling and quite enjoyable.

For example, what if during the fight between Goku and Frieza in Namek, Freiza’s brother Cooler showed up? Or what if Vegeta didn’t kill Nappa and they both became great apes during the fight on earth against the Saiyans?

These wild scenarios and more are played out during the course of the game’s story mode that lasts about 7 hours, and I was thoroughly entertained during the whole ordeal.

Revisiting iconic moments in the history of DBZ and seeing how they could have played out differently is quite compelling.

Revisiting iconic moments in the history of DBZ and seeing how they could have played out differently is quite compelling.

As for the improvements over the original, the hub world is now one giant area with small portals that lead to a few side areas. Gone are those constant and lengthy load times, as the player is able to learn the ability to fly through the area freely fairly early in the game.

The combat has seen a big overhaul, as many of the overpowered super armored bosses have been toned down, and the fights in general feel more on even grounds.

Even though the Z-Vanish where the player can disappear in the middle of a combo behind the enemy is quite strong, there are now many more counters to it, and a smarter player with quick reaction time can bait Z-Vanish quite consistently, making the game feel much more honest.

The combos have become a bit more flexible in how they chain into each other, leading for greater variety instead of just mindlessly pressing one button or brain-dead infinites.

Outside of the story mode, there are many side missions to tackle either offline or online with other players that reward experience and items, including new supers and equipment.

There are also many mentors the player can study under to learn their signature moves, and I found myself compelled to try and collect every super attack I could get my hands on.

After I had a good collection of moves, I was off to training mode, where I tried out different move combinations to see what I could combo in and out of, and when I found my go-to loadout, I was off to online versus to see how I would fare against other players.

Even though there isn’t as big of a player base on the PC as there are on the PS4/XB1, I was able to find matches with a moderate wait time, and the netcode itself seemed fine mostly, with some stuttering here and there during rare cases.

Lastly, one of the biggest additions to Xenoverse 2 are the expert missions where the player and five other players take on a raid boss version of an enemy with brand new moves that can wipe out the whole team if they’re not handled properly.

While I found some of the design ideas quite intriguing, the novelty of these encounters wore off relatively quickly after I finished about 10 of the missions.

The Expert Missions are a new addition where a large group of players team up to fight a super boss.

The Expert Missions are a new addition where a large group of players team up to fight a super boss.

As for the game’s shortcomings, the AI remains as dumb as a bag of bricks with a dunce cap on it, and my ally AI partners were often more of a hindrance than a help, breaking up my meticulous combo chains and doing almost nothing in terms of damage in the long run. The enemy AI didn’t fare much better in most cases, except for in the most challenging missions where they actually learned how to block sometimes.

From a technical standpoint, the game ran beautifully on my system, running at a solid 60FPS on the highest settings without issue, but I ran into a total of five crashes during my 16 hour play through, which I found to be frequent enough to make it a notable issue. As I investigated the problem, it seems I’m not the only one having crashes playing Xenoverse 2 on PC as well, and even with the launch day patches, the issue remains at large.

Overall, Xenoverse 2 feels more in line with what I wanted the original game to be, with its flexible combat engine, wealth of compelling content and an online component that actually worked properly from day 1. Even with the issues with the frequent crashes and the dumb AI, this is still a wet dream for DBZ fans and comes highly recommended.

Fun Tidbit – No, I have not played Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Stop asking!

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Fan service overload
  • Improved combat engine and hub area
  • Great visuals that are faithful to the anime
  • Frequent crashes
  • AI is still as smart as buying a timeshare inside a volcano
Written by
Jae has been a gamer ever since he got a Nintendo when he was just a child. He has a passion for games and enjoys writing. While he worries about the direction gaming as a medium might be headed, he's too busy playing games to do anything about it.