Dragon Ball Xenoverse: 7/10
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2: 8/10
When someone starts talking about Dragon Ball videogames, it’s only natural for the Budokai Tenkaichi series to first pop up into our thoughts. These action-packed PS2 games were an absolute success at the time and Bandai Namco hasn’t been able to come up with a title quite as good as any of the Tenkaichi’s since the release of its third and last installment in 2005. Raging Blast was decent and it does offer hours of fun, but it somehow felt like it was too shallow. We’d still recommend you to try it, especially if you still find yourself playing Tenkaichi.
But Xenoverse and Xenoverse 2 are definitely two worthy members of the DB hall of fame, nonetheless. As we approach the release of FighterZ, let’ take a closer look into the alternative universe portrayed in Bandai Namco’s latest free-roam fighter.
Both Xenoverse games introduce users to a unique ability that has never been part of the Dragon Ball franchise before: character customization. For the first time in over 30 years of DB life, fans are finally able to create their own custom characters from many different races found across the Dragon Ball universe. And yes, this means you can create a Saiyan capable of becoming a legendary Super Saiyan.
If you’re really into Dragon Ball, you might wonder why we’ve ignored the customization options already offered in Dragon Ball Online… And the reason is that the game was never released globally. It was only available in Japan and had a relatively short lifetime for a MMORPG.
In any case, Xenoverse dives into the character creation world with plenty of options available to choose from, and Xenoverse 2 has an even wider range of choices that fans from the franchise will certainly enjoy messing around with.
Both games also have a clear focus on online play. Players are able to find countless cooperative missions that can be accessed from the online hub. Xenoverse 2 does offer a bigger area that holds up to 300 players and has no loading screens, unlike the first game’s Toki Toki City. There are some missions in X2 that might turn to be a little bit tedious and grindy, but the overall experience is pretty fun and fighting alongside countless other created characters is certainly one heck of a chaotic yet enjoyable adventure.
The story itself is very similar and both introduce new villains to the series, which make players travel through time saving Dragon Ball’s history from latent menaces to the time space continuum. Players have to fight in the most iconic scenarios of the Dragon Ball series (excluding GT, of course) as they look to bring back the balance which has been threatened by evil foes.
The fighting mechanics have changed a lot since the early days of Gamecube fighter Dragon Ball Budokai 1, and classic 2D schemes are once again relegated to a secondary role in order to favor a fluid and dynamic fighting style that very much resembles Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Although both games were developed for PS4 and Xbox One, the original Budokai Tenkaichi series still manage to give an even more accurate Dragon Ball vibe than its newer counterparts.
Playing Xenoverse is really fun, nonetheless. The base fighting system introduced in the first installment of the series was heavily improved in Xenoverse 2, and the camera movements feel more fluid than ever. The difference is very noticeable, mainly when performing long combo chains. This crucial change is one of the main reasons why we think the second installment is worth every penny, even after playing the first Xenoverse for months.
There’s also one aspect of the game that isn’t really related to gameplay but it’s very appealing for Dragon Ball fans. Xenoverse 2 offers an even wider character roster that sees the inclusion of many new fighters from the Dragon Ball Super anime, including the relentless Goku Black, one of the most popular characters of the series. Not only that, but other characters from the movies are also added in the second installment of the series, which gives fans the ability to play with all-time favorites like Gogeta and Janemba.
Xenoverse 2 does manage to address a lot of community complaints that the first installment had, related both to gameplay and story missions. It is definitely an improved version with more features in store, and every DB fan will surely have a blast trying out the game. And even those who aren’t familiar with the Dragon Ball story, the game has plenty to offer and although understanding the main story could be a little bit confusing without any previous knowledge of the DB franchise, the game still does a good job explaining the way time travel works and how the story unfolds.
If you are more of a traditional fighter type of player, have no fear. Dragon Ball FighterZ is coming out soon, and the game looks like a re-mastered version of the old classics. If you found yourself playing MUGEN Dragon Ball games as a kid, FighterZ will take you in a nostalgia ride as it offers an incredible feel thanks to the introduction of 2D combat mechanics once again, after an absence of over a decade in the release of PS2 classic Dragon Ball Budokai 3.
FighterZ offers a whole new system that very much resembles traditional fighters like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat but doesn’t let go of the essence required to be a proper Dragon Ball game, creating an action packed, fast-paced fighter that will certainly revolutionize the DB gaming franchise as a whole.
What we think about the games
If you are a true Dragon Ball fan, be sure to get your hands on both Xenoverse and Xenoverse 2. The games are both really fun and offer different twists to the main storyline that will sure keep you hooked to your TV screen for hours upon hours; if you want to get yourself immersed into the online world of Dragon Ball and jump into the second installment right away, that’s also a very valid option. Both games have plenty to offer but Xenoverse 2 is an absolute improvement and a great game overall.
Be sure to get your hands on FighterZ, though. The beta is already out and you can preorder the full game already. From what we’ve played, it looks really, really good. It’ll sure honor the Dragon Ball franchise and bring back the fun fighting mechanics of the good old days!