On Friday (22 September) Nintendo Switch owners were graced with the first Dragon Ball experience to land on the console from one of the biggest developers of fighting games, Bandai Namco. Maintaining their highly praised ability to piece together a captivating, fighting experience, Bandai Namco has come through with the goods on 'Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2' for Nintendo Switch.
'Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2' is the sequel to the commended last-gen 3D fighter 'Dragon Ball Xenoverse' that immersed the player into the Dragon Ball universe as they created, trained and took part in iconic battles on a timeline that parallels the series canon.
Being a Dragon Ball fan or having played the preceding game may come as a benefit when being dropped into this world. For anyone wanting to dip their toes into this series for the first time, the first hour of gameplay, tutorials and cutscenes will have you well on your way to mastering the powerful Kamehameha Wave.
But to have a real understanding of the complex storyline of the Dragon Ball world, one may have to go back and read the manga or watch the TV series.
At the core, 'Xenoverse 2' is a fighting game. Whether it is 1v1, 2v2 or even 1v6, you are thrown into different scenarios from arenas to wide-open spaces and left to battle it out with opponents as you piece together combos and special abilities.
What 'Xenoverse 2' offers that other fighting games don’t is the ability to customise your character as you level-up and grow like a real RPG. As someone who typically gets tired of the repetition of a generic fighting game, this really provides an in-depth experience as you equip new clothing with different stats and allocate skill points that boost your attributes that radically vary your fighting experience.
A vast majority of the game is spent tirelessly running (until you can fly) around the main hub, Toki Toki City. The hub allows for a lot of freedom based on what you feel like doing and suits the portability of this console; allowing you to play a bit here and a bit there.
On your own accord you can choose to progress through the main storyline, take on various side quests from NPCs, play online, buy new equipment and consumables, and learn new skills and abilities from key heroes and villains as you seek out a permanent trainer. If you are new to fighting games, you’ll more than likely be training various moves over and over again, because button mashing will only get you so far in this deep-combat system.
Full of vibrant colours, the anime style art pops, looks sharp and resembles the Dragon Ball world that fans have grown to love. For some, 'Xenoverse 2' for Nintendo Switch may seem like a downgrade visually if they’ve played this on either an Xbox One or PS4. However, this shouldn’t be unexpected with such a large game being converted onto the hybrid console.
In saying that though, it’s only those with a keen eye and previous console experience who will notice the drop from 60 to 30 frames per second. If such sacrifices are required to bring a home console game over to a portable, handheld device, a slight visual downgrade should be the last concern.
Along with the conversion to the Switch, Bandai Namco has included motion controls to the fast-paced action. With a Joy-con in each hand, you have the ability to act out these 'ultimate' abilities in real time.
How practical is it though? Well, it does engage the player in the Dragon Ball world in an imaginative way. It will test your hand-eye coordination and timing to a whole, new level and if you are able to hone in these motions, I see it becoming a viable way to unleash your unique abilities for a bit of fun. If you are a serious fighter playing online battles, you’ll more than likely give this a miss as it really gums up the flow of each combo if it isn’t thoroughly practised.
Overall, 'Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2' is so much more than an in-depth, complex fighting experience. There are hours worth of main storyline content, beautiful cut scenes, a heap of customisation to characters and on top of all of that, being a fighting game, the re-play ability is infinite as you take on challengers in the online realm.