Dragon Ball Xenoverse launched about a year ago, and was generally well received for players looking for a pseudo-MMO feel to their Dragon Ball related fighting games. Dimps has delivered similar experiences since the Sparking series first started many years ago, slowly but surely refining several elements along the way. It all culminated in Xenoverse. For the first time, players were able to play as their own created characters based on various races featured in the Manga and TV series. It was a fun game to play, especially with others. But there were some shortcomings that players encountered. But this new entry of the game seeks to address these issues. But that’s pretty much all that this entry does.
The game’s plot is unfortunately a big rehash of the last few games, where your created character is another Time Patrol recruit tasked with fixing alterations made to the Dragon Ball timeline. And of course the culprit is once again Mira and Towa, but this time they are enlisting the help of some movie villains! You might be as disappointed as I was when I heard about these villains, as opposed to new original characters. It’s not like they are bad, but they aren’t really used to make a more effective or interesting plot. They are just kind of there for the sake of fan service.
Also rehashed is the gameplay. You still can be taught new techniques to customize your move set by becoming an apprentice and taking on challenges, and you still can still do offline and Online side quests with Parallel Quests. You still need to get licenses to get better quests and further advance your character outside the campaign. But there are some minor improvements to the formula. For one, combat feels a bit more balanced, refined, and smoother, especially when it’s running at 60 frames in the Steam version. The pacing of having to do story missions or side missions is also streamlined to give the player more direction. You can even have multiple profile for different character right from the get-go. Before, you had to complete the campaign before getting that benefit.
However, despite these small quality of life improvements, the game has some things that weren’t fixed, aside from the rehashed storyline. One would be that vehicles used to get around faster in the hub world are terribly hard to control. To get around this, you’ll need to get a license to fly around the city freely. Why do I need to do this? Walking around because the alternative is garbage is not fun. Also not fun are the missions that involve fighting giant characters like the Oozaru. It basically is hard to hit them, or deal with them in general. And the fight pretty much is drawn out by having the players once again trying to remove a barrier before actually being able to damage the giant themselves. And if you are fighting the Oozaru forms of Saiyans, you can grab their tail. But this once again is unbelievably hard to do. There’s also missed opportunity to give Freeza’s Race an actual name. Seriously, that’s unacceptable and lazy. There are also no new classes like Cyborg or Androids to give the game a bit more dimensions. Saiyans also as of yet have no ability to become Super Saiyan Blue, as seen in Dragon Ball Super.
What this installment will mean for players will depend entirely on whether or not you are a veteran of the previous entry. If you are new to the game, go ahead and get it. It’s still a fun game is generally a solid title for fans of the series. But if you played the previous game, it’s hard to ask gamers to drop $60 USD on a title that’s essentially a GOTY release, but with a new, but boring story based on the last game’s premise. A decent sale might convince some returning players though, but maybe Dimps should take an extra year for development before launching the inevitable third game.