Dimps and Namco Bandai have recently released a surprising amount of information regarding Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2. Alongside its announcement just before E3, it was also shown off at Anime Expo which gave fans plenty of new information and gameplay details. From what I’ve seen so far and what players have told the community, XenoVerse 2 looks set to be one of the best Dragon Ball games since Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
One of the immediately noticeable details about XenoVerse 2 is the new and improved presentation. Whilst the previous game was impressive in its own right, the added details in the sequel make it all the more spectacular. Pebbles and debris rise around the player character when charging their ki, a great effect taken directly from the anime series that outright shows how powerful your character is. It’s also dependent on location as if you are above water then it will ripple powerfully and water will splash all around the character. If you ki is fully charged then the debris will rise around your character automatically, implying that they are at their full power. The particle system in the game is also greatly improved as each beam attack in the game such as the famous Kamehameha or the Galick Gun both looking much more powerful than before, bursting with energy the more they are charged up. Hopefully the added detail will continue with some requested features such as the ability to change the colour of your ki or for hair style to change properly dependent on how far into the Super Saiyan transformations you go. It also helps that the whole game is now in 1080p, 60 frames per second which really allows fans to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
Besides an improved presentation, XenoVerse 2 also has several new gameplay additions and tweaks that make it stand out from its predecessors. The addition of a new ‘Stamina Break’ move is reminiscent of Burst Limit as it allows the player to completely eliminate the opponent’s stamina in one attack but at a high risk of being hurt themself due to the long charge up time. This adds another layer to the battle system and means that competitive players have another trick up their sleeve. Also added is a “Reverse Dash” mechanic that eliminates the worry of opponents being able to run away from a fight as you can now just lock on to them and immediately rush in at the cost of some stamina. Several other gameplay tweaks such as the introduction of character specific health and the introduction of several other new maps such as Hell and Archipelago make this Dragon Ball much closer to Budokai Tenkaichi 3, which certainly isn’t a bad thing considering the popularity of that series. One of the much requested features to be removed from XenoVerse was the clothing system. Each item had its own stats and meant that players had to stick to certain clothes in order to get the best damage output. This has supposedly been fixed in the new entry and it appears that clothing is now purely cosmetic. The hub world that was present in the original Xenoverse (Toki-Toki City) was really frustrating to get around and quickly became a chore to maneuver. This time however we have the inclusion of Conton City, complete with hoverboards and the ability to fly. These additions, as well as multiple locales inside the city, mean that it will be much more fun to explore than in the previous entry. All of these features just go to show that Dimps is set on listening to the fans for this entry.
A key feature of Dragon Ball Z has always been transformations. Some of the most epic moments in the manga and anime come from the reveals of new forms and added power. Goku’s several transformations into the more advanced forms of Super Saiyan are all intensely epic and memorable. This is clearly a focus of XenoVerse 2. One of the new additions into the game is the inclusion of transformations for each of the playable races. The Frieza race can transform into their golden form and Majin’s finally have the ability to go into their pure form, much like Kid Buu in Dragon Ball Z. This goes a long way to solving one of the bigger problems with XenoVerse– class bias. The original game clearly had a favouring towards Saiyans as they were the only race with a unique transformation. This time however, every single race will be able to go into their final form and really mix up the gameplay with genuine differences between the classes. Transformations also appear to have a genuine power up effect unlike the previous game where it just allowed for an unfair amount of spamming. Let’s hope for Super Saiyan God and Super Buu forms!
Most Dragon Ball games have placed a lot of emphasis on the playable characters and huge roster, often advertising it as a key feature of the game. Whilst the original XenoVerse certainly had a big roster, less emphasis was placed on it due to the created character being the central new feature. That resulted in a lot of important and fan favourite characters being missed out for no good reason. For a start, no movie characters were included despite some of the most popular heroes being present in them. Some plot centric characters like Majin Vegeta were also missed out due to the involvement of Mira and Towa essentially making that plot thread pointless. This time however, movie characters are confirmed to be in. Two of the most popular characters, Future Gohan and Gogeta are confirmed to be playable and actually appear to play a role in the story. An emphasis was purposefully placed on Future Gohan, showing that he may drive the story much like Future Trunks did in the first. XenoVerse 2 essentially allows for Dimps to place all of the best Dragon Ball characters in one. Black Goku and Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Super have also been confirmed, paving the way for more characters from the new series to appear as DLC.
The key thing to remember about XenoVerse 2 is the story possibilities. The main story aspect of the game so far is the fact that key events are going to be mixed about in weird and wonderful ways. Whilst this was somewhat present in the first game, it mostly involved characters becoming stronger and needing the help of the Future Warrior to stop them. In this game, the changes are much more involved. Enemies appear together when they shouldn’t, timelines are shifted around and characters appear to be branded with a symbol reminiscent of Towa and Mira, implying their likely return. We have the chance to fix these timelines and correct them, but it is also possible that we will be able to change them even further. With all of the different choices present in XenoVerse 2, it wouldn’t surprise me if we could choose to be evil in certain scenarios.
Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2 looks set to be the best Dragon Ball game in years and a huge advancement from its predecessor. Fans of the first game can look forward to countless improvements whilst those who didn’t appreciate it the first time have plenty to look forward to now. XenoVerse 2 is easily one of my most anticipated games of the year and I can’t wait to rock Super Saiyan 3 and experience an immersive Dragon Ball experience. We’ve waited long enough- this is what the fans deserve.