by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Today, I’m taking a look at one of my favorite games in the Dragonball franchise. Is that a controversial opinion? I don’t know, but knowing my luck, probably. But while normally I’m firmly against “Time Travel MacGuffin Nonsense” as I’ve come to call it, I enjoyed thoroughly this take on it, as I’m sure I said in my original review of Dragonball Xenoverse 2, right on this website. So, Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is the latest game to get ported over to the Switch, allowing users to take Xenoverse 2 anywhere they go. How does it hold up though? Sure, from a technological standpoint, it’s not as sound, because that’s just the way things go. But it looks brighter, prettier to me. The colors just seem to pop more than they did on my PC. But what’s the story for someone who has not played the first game? Towa and Mira are the two major villains, and they’re trying to corrupt the Dragonball universe’s timeline.
And that’s just what Dragonball needs, more insane chaos. So, the Time Patrollers job is to set the timeline right by going back and stopping these villains, the only way they know how: With violence. So players create a Majin, Sayajin, Human, Freiza Clan, or Namekian and go into battle! There are absolutely tons of missions and content to go through, and the good thing about this version is that you can unlock and play all the story missions from the first game, so if you missed out/enjoyed them, you can go back and play them. It’s also a great way to level up characters. There are tons of skills to use, equipment to wear and customizable stuff, and this version also features a local co-op mode, that’s supposed to be a lot of fun (I have not had an opportunity to try that for myself). I’ve tried the gameplay in several different ways, with the console in portable mode, set up as a controller, and using the joycons separately. Using the joycons by themselves felt kind of clunky, but that might be because I kept fat-fingering instead of dodging. I have to say, I enjoyed it though, and playing in all other modes was smooth and fluid.
The biggest thing for me is the ability to play it in portable mode. That’s the way it has to feel the best, and it sincerely does. The gameplay is just as good as it was with a PS4 controller. The buttons all make sense, but like most Dragonball games, it’s going to feel repetitive and tedious after a while. It’s not a game that I can sit down and play for hours because I’m going to use the same combos and button motions over and over. Unless you really like min-maxing and experimenting, you’ll probably play a few missions here and there, only to come back to it later. But one of the things that I still love is the absolute crazy amount of special moves you can slap together, and being able to hunt down the Dragon Balls to make wishes. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say “can”, and more “will”. Because if you really want to succeed in the game, you’re going to farm Dragon Balls for a very (very) long time. But I do love being able to play it in portable mode, and take the fight anywhere I feel like. That’s one of the biggest points for me, having a portable Dragonball game.
I was able to clearly see everything on the portable/tablet mode, the response time for the buttons was solid. Though personally, I’m not a fan of motion controls, so I tend to avoid those at all costs. They were novel and interesting in Tenkaichi 3 on the Wii, but it got old fast. So, the gameplay is solid, the graphics look good despite being on the Switch. There has to be a downside somewhere. There almost always seems to be one. And here it is: DLC. I’m genuinely disappointed that you have to buy the DLC again. You’d think it would be bundled in, but alas. Sure, you start with the ability to use Jaco and Goku Black but you have to purchase the DLC all over again if you want access to it. And I own the Season Pass on PC, so I had to pass on buying it again. You can also buy T-Medals, which was not something you could do on PC. So, the currency that you need to unlock more powerful items/gear in the T-Medal shop … you can spend real money on? This is the biggest mark against the game in my estimation. I’d be less upset perhaps if you could just have all the DLC right out of the gate. It’s delicately balanced by having more content, but I don’t like being able to buy T-Medals. I’d rather earn them if it’s all the same.
It’s Over 8000: 3/5
Fans of Dragon Ball who did not play Xenoverse on other consoles/PC will get a lot out of this. People who didn’t already buy DLC will also probably enjoy it. But having to re-purchase it again, is a negative in my eyes, and something potential buyers ought to be aware of. Xenoverse and Doom both came with all of their earlier content built right in (along with all the old bugs). But that aside, the game is still solid, still a fun Dragon Ball romp and is definitely what I needed to tide me over while I wait on the best fighting game of 2018 (It will be, mark my words): Dragon Ball FighterZ. Xenoverse 2 is still pretty, still fun, but still gets a little repetitive after a few hours of play. But that is something I have been willing to overlook throughout all my years of Dragon Ball games (because they basically all suffer from this). The only real issue I saw was some very minor, rare framerate issues in portable mode, but never in docked mode. There is a bit of a downgrade in the portable mode in graphics, but not enough to bother me. It’s still vibrant and pretty. But I feel like it is something that people should also be aware of. I’m fortunate to not have experienced it yet, but I am still working on missions. Will fans of the series who already own want to buy it again? Probably not, but this is still a fantastic way to introduce someone to the Xenoverse series for Dragonball fans who might have missed out. While it’s not perfect, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun for lovers of the Dragonball franchise.