By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
I’ve been really excited for Dragonball Xenoverse 2 for a very long time now, but it came with some apprehension. My main fear was “would it be too short? What happens post-game? Will I be bored?” And so far I have to say the answer is “Nope! I’m not!” Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is a sequel to the original Dragonball Xenoverse, with the “hero” from that story being represented in Conton City as the legendary time-traveling hero that went with Trunks and the Time Patrol. Towa and Mira are causing trouble again, and it’s up to you, a new Elite in the Time Patrol, to save the day! They’re also picking up folks like Lord Slug and Turles, who might not feel like a major threat when you compare them to Majin Buu, Cooler, or even the weakest of henchmen in Dragonball Super. But they have the fruit, and they’re ready to cause trouble and kick ass in alternate timelines!
I do feel like the main story is a bit shorter than in the first game. That might be just my imagination though because I’m way more powerful than I was in the first game. I found myself in the level 40s in a matter of days, but I did spend a lot of time not doing main storyline stuff, because I was, and still am, so very fascinated with it. What “not main storyline stuff?” you might be asking! And fortunately, I have the answer! Conton City, compared to TokiToki is absolutely gigantic! Enough so that they give you a travel item, flight, and even regional teleporters to quickly jump around zones! There’s the main Time Patrol hub where you do the main story, the shops, the Parallel Quests [Offline and Online] for the main stuff. But there are also floating areas across the city that unlock other stuff to do. You have:
- Majin Buu’s House: He is hungry! As you play, you’ll find drops on the ground that have food items in them. Feed Buu til the meter fills up and he’ll make more Buus [up to 6, more if you’re a Majin]. You can send these Buus out to look for items for you! That’s terrific. It’s not number one on my to-do list, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s not as active as the other hubs.
- Satan’s Mansion: This one has two things! Mr. Satan, Hercule Satan, Savior of the Universe is in need of a bodyguard. And he thinks you might just do the trick, if you can pass a test or two to prove yourself worthy. Most of his missions seem to be “get x combo”, “deal x damage”, et cetera. But it’s a solid way to earn Zenny for just playing the game. But off to the side of his courtyard is . . . The Great Sayamen? Sayaman 1 [Gohan], Sayaman 2 [Videl] and Joca are there, and they’re looking for a Sayaman 3! If you accept, you can get their costume, and join them on missions occasionally where you stop evildoers, save people, and so much more. And do cool poses!
- Capsule Corp: You can train with Vegeta here! And if you’re a Sayajin, this is how you go SSJ. Once you’re level 40 and have completed 1 or 2 of his training missions, you’ll get a shot at SSJ, and that fight is a bitch. Side note: This training is different from the Mentor missions! There’s one other important thing here: Bulma has made a machine that makes QQ Bangs. QQ Bangs are an equippable item that overrides the stats of whatever you’re wearing. You put two pieces of gear into the machine and it’ll provide stats. It overrides what you’re wearing so you can build a stat item that meets your needs, then wear whatever cosmetics you want. I love it, but I’m still experimenting with it. Also Trunks and Goten are chasing each other around the backyard and that shit’s adorable. IMPORTANT NOTE: Unlocking SSJ2/3 is based on your Stamina. 4 bars is SSJ2 and 5 bars is SSJ3.
- Guru’s Home: The Elder Guru is alive here, with Nail and a few other Namekians. Occasionally, evil forces will attack and try to steal his Dragonballs, and it will be up to you to acquire them. This is not how you get Dragonballs for wishes. You beat up bad guys on Namek and collect Dragonballs scattered across the map. You can hold two at a time. This is the most annoying series of missions to me, since I don’t want to rush to his aid every damn five minutes. . .there’s also a farmer there who occasionally wants items, and if you have what he needs, it’ll help the crops grow/get cool rewards.
- Freiza’s Spaceship: This is my absolute favorite part of the game! You can join the Freiza Army! You have to pass a test of course, but if you do, you can be amongst the elite that serve Lord Freiza! You side with various people in the ship, starting with Dodoria or Zarbon [beating the other], overrunning them, and then joining Captain Ginyu! I won’t spoil it, but it goes deeper and becomes incredibly interesting. I’m hoping these will be expanded in content updates, but there is an absolute horde of side missions.
Until Xenoverse 3 at least.
The game has expanded so far from the original, but they kept a lot of the old stuff, just to keep you vested and frankly, you can only make so many alternate missions. The way they handle the Mentors seems to be pretty different too. You have a rank, like Novice, Intermediate, Expert, Kai, God, et cetera, and when you fill that bar by completing missions set out by current trainers, you can undergo a test. Winning that battle will unlock more trainers for you, and certain trainer missions are locked behind a difficulty gate. It’ll say when you go to the persons’ mission list what difficulty level they are/were gated behind. The cast of people you can work under is pretty cool too. Sure, you start with like. . . Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, but you can unlock Kid Gohan, Vegeta, Ginyu, Freiza, Beerus…
It works a bit differently now too. When you enter the battle, you’re given a new power, and it’s always bound to the same button [Triangle on the PS4 controller]. You have to use the ability on them, but you won’t always have to “kill them” with it, like in the last game. And if you do, they won’t die til you hit them with it anyway. This is how you unlock the “major” moves for characters. So if you want the Destructo Disc, Death Beam, and those types of moves, this is how you do it! You still have to bring them to missions with you to build relations with them. However. . . best thing? You can train with them without being their student! I’m currently trying to unlock Vegeta’s final mission, but while I wait, I can still do the other trainer missions and build my rank up beyond God to find what’s next…
Upping your personal rank is what happens at Orange Star High School, from Satan City. The Elder Kai is there as well and has all the training/challenge missions, which are another thing you can undergo but certainly don’t have to. There are so many things happening in this city. You can receive challenges from other Dragonball Characters, other Time Patrollers, and through them you can receive Dragon Balls! There are stages where Time Patrollers appear as well and that’s another way to get the rest of the Dragonballs. I won’t tell you where to get them all; that’s what the Internet is for. But you can make interesting wishes. You can reset your stats, get rare accessories, new characters [two of the Black Star Dragons from GT, maybe someone else!], new moves, gain a level, TP Medals and et cetera. But what are TP medals? When you drag a character from Xenoverse 1, you can import a few pieces of gear, some moves, not many, and you will also receive some TP medals. If you didn’t have a character on that console/PC, there will be generic characters from the various races you can pick, so don’t worry there. TP Medals are gained through various means, and can be used in lieu of Zenny in shops. There’s also a TP Medal only store on the weekends that lets you buy some pretty powerful stuff! Shame I’m absolute ass at hitting anything with the Vanishing Death Ball. . .
Speaking of combat, the action in combat is a lot more fluid, a lot faster paced than it was in Xenoverse 1. I feel like Stamina is far more important now though. It is burned through when you do a lot of your tricky teleport/fast-travel shenanigans, things like that will eat your stamina faster than you’d like. So you should definitely put points into it. Combat buttons are the same as in the previous game, so you won’t have any issues getting right back into the fighting. Aiming a “ball” ultimate still sucks, but that’s just the way things are.
Every race has a cool transformation now too! Sayajin can go SSJ 1/2/3, Majin can turn into Evil Buu style, Namekians can become Giant Namekians a’la Slug/Demon King Piccolo, and I believe Humans can summon flying Nimbus/Power Pole. I haven’t really experimented with a human, but they have the stylish Dragon Ball flair, and I can’t find fault with that.
And they had to get something. I love the pace and the speed of battle, and even when fighting several weaker enemies at once, it does not feel like I have no chance, unless it’s simply a bigger, more expert challenge. On that note, there’s also Kame House! Yes, you can hang at Kame House. That’s where you invite friends to do online matches and battles, separate from the “Online Matches” where you group with other people. There are also “Expert Missions” where you group with up to six players to challenge ludicrous battles like Giant Apes and so much more.
We Gotta Powah
I overall love Xenoverse 2. I really really do. I’m disappointed in the music, as I was hoping for more of the Japanese music, and maybe it’s an option I simply have not found yet. The North American guitar sounds did not appeal to me. But the voice acting is spot on, combat flows beautifully, and there’s so much to do across the game. Not to mention playing online with friends, trying different builds, offering so many skills and ways to play the game. There’s no one way to get things done. I still think the main story felt short, but that could, again, be due to me slapping the absolute crap out of anything with a pulse. I enjoyed being able to leave the story behind though and do other stuff, as well as the huge plus of not being bound to certain gear just to meet stat requirements. That was easily one of my favorite parts of the game right there. I did find a few glitches though, one major one being when I left a shop or cut-scene there was a high chance that I would not be able to pan the camera around until I hit Start, and left that menu.
- Expertly crafted Dragonball game, true to the franchise and foundation of the series.
- Combat is fast-paced and non-stop. Being able to see the next gate actually be active is a bonus.
- Transformations! More of them! More everything: Masters, moves, choices.
- A fair amount of the Parallel Quests feel recycled.
- Running out of stamina is a nightmarish experience.
- Music was a huge down-note.
- If you run around doing everything offered, you tend to power level faster than the game’s difficulty curve keeps up.