Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 (PC) Review

By Chris Leebody 22.11.2016

Review for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 on PC

Dragon Ball is arguably the most popular anime and manga series in the world. This is what made it so astounding that, until the original Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, there had never been a main entry released on PC. With the success of the first title, it is no surprise its sequel arrives on Steam, continuing the alternative take on the classic story; introducing demon villains Towa and Mira who have meddled with the timeline. The protagonist is a 'time patroller' following in the footsteps of the hero patroller of the original, to rectifying any aberrations to classic DBZ battles. Cubed3 previously reviewed the PS4 version as generally very good, but with some deficiencies, particularly in regards to loading times. Let's see if the PC version improves things and is more "power level over 9000," rather than "farmer with shotgun."

What is immediately noticeable in the PC version is that on any moderately adequate system, things run a lot faster. Having compared the PS4 version and PC, it is night and day. What previously took around 15-20 seconds to get into the main hub world now takes at most three to four. Why this is so important is due to the sheer amount of loading screens that exist.

On the face of it, the hub world of Conton City does look like a colourful open space devoid of any separation. However, this illusion is broken very quickly with loading screens to enter battles or to switch zones, which becomes a particularly prevalent feature after the first few hours when zones such as Frieza's spaceship or Guru's house introduce missions, but are areas hindered by loading transitions.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 on PC

It sounds like this is a massive issue, but it must be stressed that, thankfully, the power of the PC overcomes much of the frustration. It would just be a great improvement for any future titles to strive to remove any such loading screens in basic areas in order to make the gameplay experience as seamless as possible.

Obviously as a fighting game another big consideration is the control scheme. It seems like the developers have accepted most people will elect to use a gamepad. This is borne out in the rather cumbersome keyboard layout, which makes using the many combos a struggle. Essentially, users of the PC need to be aware when buying that a gamepad is a must-have accessory.

Considering there has been a real improvement in the variety and chaining of combos from the original title, being able to unleash them to their full potential is a key aspect of making the combat as fun as it is. That is important because combat in Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 is at its heart about fun. This is never going to be a fighting game for the serious connoisseur, but for Dragon Ball fans this is undoubtedly the best representation of the anime in a video game.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 on PC

The representation through the visuals is equally stunning. The PC version doesn't make any noticeable improvement on the frame rate, which is excellently smooth; however, cranking up all the graphical settings brings both the world and each of the 70+ characters to life. The amount of detail in the almost-anime quality to the design is a real treat for the fans. The battle maps are huge and recreate all the cool touches any self-respecting DBZ fan adores, such as Frieza's ship on Namek or Raditz's crashed pod.

One disappointing aspect of the experience comes with the rather forgettable soundtrack, which consists of a lot of shredding metal tracks. It does a good job in making battles feel action packed and epic, but it is a shame that there are no standout music tracks following in the footsteps of a franchise traditionally known for its first-class game soundtracks. For fans who don't enjoy the English dubbed voices, there is also the option to have the dialogue spoken in Japanese, which is an excellent touch.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 on PC

A big component after completing the very significant single-player story content is, of course, the ability to battle other human players with the user created 'time patroller.' Logging into the multiplayer server also populates the hub world with real players going about their daily business, and when it works it gives a real sense of life and fun with other users pulling poses and emotes.

The disappointing thing on PC that is possibly less apparent on other systems is the quickly diminishing community. It would be fair to say the majority of fans have flocked to the home consoles, so it is usually rare to find a populated world with the 300 players it supports. Equally, the server quality is debatable, with frequent issues of lag.

This lag continues when it comes to actually setting up competitive battles and team battles. On the occasions there are actually players to fill the room, the experience usually turns choppy and broken very quickly after. It is a shame, of course, but thankfully with the amount of content on offer as a single-player experience, it is not game breaking.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 is a pleasing improvement over the original. There are some welcome character additions, such as Turles and Zarbon, which flesh out some previously missing content, but it is a story, despite being set two years after the first game, that remains largely the same. However, the additions of some alternative battle conditions, such as having to search and protect the Dragon Balls, prevents every fight devolving into the same pattern. The PC version alleviates some issues with regards to the loading times, but then introduces others in the form of the sparse online community. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 is a good fighter, but could do with some further training to become the elite warrior it should be.




Bandai Namco





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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