As the follow-up to last-generation 3D fighting game Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 had a lot to live up to. Now available on the Nintendo Switch, does the game continue Nintendo and Dragon Ball’s legacy, or is it a bit hit-and-miss? Thankfully, the former. Turns out that Xenoverse 2 is a heck of a lot of fun.
Starting out by creating your own character – with more customisation than anybody would ever have imagined to come from a game of this type – players are immediately drawn into the Dragon Ball universe. For newcomers, it’s an easy place to quickly become a part of and, for those who have been with the franchise for some time, there are some brilliant Easter Eggs to discover and canon that’s rewritten thanks to the time-travelling and history-changing storyline.
Originally available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it would be easy to understand if the game looked a little shoddy on Switch, but honestly, the interlude films and graphics look beautiful here. The anime style and colours are really allowed to shine, with 720p in handheld mode and 900p when docked. There’s not a moment when the player isn’t fully immersed within this world.
What the Switch brings to the game that we haven’t seen before is the ability to really perform the actions you see on screen, with the console’s Joy-Con controllers. It’s a novel idea, but something that gets old quite quickly. We imagine most gamers who pick up Xenoverse 2 will spend the majority of their time in handheld mode, using the console’s buttons rather than flailing their arms around, trying to pick up devastating combos against their opponents.
At its heart, Xenoverse 2 is a fighting game, but that doesn’t mean you spend the entirety of your time with the game against an opponent. There are opportunities to explore the gorgeous world around you, enjoying the backdrops of the battles that see you smashing enemies into boulders with button mashing techniques.
Doing well in fights means you’ll level up and your customisable character continues to enjoy new abilities as they gain experience. This is where true strategy comes in, as the player will even be able to change clothing; each piece of which will add or remove points from certain statistics. Defining your character is an important part of Xenoverse 2, and it’s up to each individual gamer to decide what kind of fighter they are.
As you progress throughout the game, iconic moments of the Dragon Ball series will need your attention if they’re to remain a part of history. Evil forces are at work in bringing their own aims and ambitions to the forefront, no matter what that means for the rest of us, and it’s up to us as players to ensure that they don’t get what they want. History is made for a reason; it’s up to the person behind the console to ensure canon remains canon.
Beautiful in its design, strong in its execution and with only minor flaws, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is a must-buy for those who enjoy the franchise, and certainly something we would encourage those new to the series to pick up and give a go. It’s a lot of fun.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is available now for Nintendo Switch.