Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 slammed its way onto consoles in late 2016 (PS4 Review), where it garnered a mixed reception. Now that this massive, both in scope and explorable areas, game has landed on the Switch, the question is if it will hold up on Nintendo’s big handheld/little console.
For those unfamiliar with the series, or this game, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 tells a story of Mira and Towa who are giving enemies throughout history strength using the Tree of Might. This is causing imbalances to the timeline as bad guys who lose their fights are suddenly overpowered, needing to be stopped by Trunks and the others in Canton City.
You create your character from any of the races, and gender where applicable, with enough options to make your unique Dragon Ball styled character. You will then be dropped into Canton City where you are tasked with getting stronger and helping the Supreme Kai’s along with Trunks to go through time to help ensure these fights go the way they were supposed to. All of this while you make your way towards Mira, Towa and the mysterious masked Saiyan.
The writing and dialogue throughout the game is super corny. This is important to note as it may turn some people off, but it hits a certain nostalgic note for me, where it’s as corny as the TV series ever were. Thanks to its silly premise, it allows us to go through time with our unique character and take part in the battles we spent many years watching in the series.
Canton City is also littered with a region for each race where you get specific missions from characters belonging to that race, as well as other Dragon Ball characters scattered through the city. These characters all train you and teach you their iconic attacks, hammering home that fan service the game is dripping in.
The biggest fear I had going into the game, was the drop-in power from a PS4 to the Switch’s power. Fortunately, the gameplay is still fun and I never hit any snags. It’s still not perfect, gameplay can get repetitive, but this is less of an issue on the Switch as you can jam out in handheld mode while something else is on the TV.
The only other issue is the potential loss of graphical quality. I noticed a slight downgrade when the game was docked but a significant one in handheld mode. This is notable with the jaggies along the lines of the cell shaded character designs. Despite this, the graphical downgrade was only notable when I was looking for it and it was easy to stop noticing it as the game is still gorgeous, especially when you think about the fact that you’re playing it on a handheld.
Online works well, as it did in the original versions of the game, where you can get into fights or take on missions with others online. The lack of a native Switch voice client sucks here, but it’s still better than nothing and provides some more content if you feel the many hours weren’t enough.
There are some Switch specific features including using motion controls to steer your way around Canton City and even using the joycons to enact actions to perform attacks. This is a neat feature, and a bit of fun to pay with, but it doesn’t elevate past being a gimmick, which can be ignored if it doesn’t tickle you.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is a great addition to the Switch for anyone who hasn’t played it before, or someone who wants to play it all again on the go. For anyone happy with their first playthrough and no interest of returning then there won’t be enough here to justify the purchase.
Released: September 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Fighting, Action