Review – Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (Switch)

One of the few certainties with every new console generation is the mass of ports and re-releases in its first year.  The Switch is no exception, just received its own version of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, released last year for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.

If you don’t know how the Xenoverse games work, here’s a quick summary: create an original Dragon Ball character, become a time patroller, partake in all of your favorite moments from the anime/manga, level up and learn new abilities. It’s a fighting/RPG hybrid, one with a combat system that takes a bit of time to get used to, but quickly becomes second nature once you get to know the game a bit better. The Nintendo Switch version of Xenoverse 2 retains all the elements from the original 2014 title and its sequel, while adding some new bits and pieces.

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Seems like a very fair fight.

Technically speaking, Xenoverse 2 is a bit better than its predecessor. Its visuals are just a bit better, with less slowdowns and framerate hiccups. They are still present, mainly in the hub city of Conton, but most frequently when on docked mode. When undocked, the game runs great, with a few visual glitches every now and then, as you can see in some of the pictures in this review. For a “new-gen” console, Xenoverse 2‘s visuals are pretty decent but not jaw-dropping. For a portable, on the other hand, it’s great to see the game running almost as well as its console counterparts.

The gameplay has seen some slight improvements as well. Even though the camera is still unreliable,  the combat is a bit smoother this time around. The control responsiveness has been improved, some new moves have been introduced, and the introduction of optional motion controls that actually work was also a nice bonus feature for the Switch version. A tremendous improvement form the motion-based gameplay in the Kinect version of Dragon Ball.

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That probably hurts.

In terms of general new elements, Xenoverse 2 doesn’t have that much new content, and that might be a downer for those who have already played the first one. The hub city has been vastly expanded, the amount of playable characters has been increased to ridiculous levels (including GT and Super characters), a few new missions have been introduced, some new sidequests, and so on. People have already said this last year, when the game has been initially released, and it’s partially true: at points, this game feels more like Xenoverse 1.5 than a full-fledged sequel.

So why am I actually recommending the game, if a lot of it is just recycled content from the first Xenoverse? The answer is pretty simple: portability. Xenoverse 2 isn’t too impressive when playing on a TV, but it becomes a much more enjoyable experience when you consider that it’s basically an enormous Dragon Ball RPG you can play on-the-go, anywhere, anytime. This is one of the meatiest Switch games released so far, and having a game like this on-the-go shows one of the main advantages of the system as a whole.

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You ain’t fooling no one, Yamcha.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is indeed more of the same. But given the advantage of the Switch’s portability, this is easily the best Dragon Ball game yet, most likely until Dragon Ball FighterZ comes out next year. Easily the most fun I’ve ever had with a game in this franchise. Creating your own character and partaking in all your favorite stories on-the-go is amazing and addictive, even if there are a few technical hiccups every now and then. A must for Switch owners, an even bigger must for Dragon Ball fans.

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Reviewed on Switch.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is also available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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