Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch Review

September 29, 2017

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was previously reviewed by Joseph here , this review is for the recently released Nintendo Switch port.

Slowly but surely, the Nintendo Switch is receiving more and more ports, as publishers have seen the sales and success of the console and have been quick to get some of their big franchises across. While most Dragon Ball fans are likely frothing at the mouth over the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ, Switch owners have been treated to a release of 2016’s Dragon Ball game, with Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch. The time-travelling Action-RPG has been brought over in its entirety, with a few Switch-exclusive features that may not entice previous owners to buy the game again, but certainly do make it more at home on its new console.

The central premise of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is the same as its predecessor – you create a unique hero character from a number of Dragon Ball races, and set off as part of the ‘Time Patrol’, an extra-dimensional task force responsible with keeping the timeline intact from any changes. Unfortunately an evil alliance threatens to disrupt time’s balance once again, turning former victories by Goku and his friends into defeats, and you’re the only one who can set things right. Like the first game, you’re essentially treated to a journey through memorable Dragon Ball Z moments, although the narrative plays fast and loose with them as history is altered, and you fight alongside classic heroes facing even more impossible odds than they did before. I also love the fact that the bad guys in this game are made up of angry, Z-list villains that everyone has forgotten about, like Lord Slug and Turles (a man who looks identical to Goku for really no explicit reason) – there’s something a little genius about that concept that I’m glad Xenoverse 2 did something with.

On the Nintendo Switch, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 plays exactly the same as last year’s version did, and there’s a heap of content here in the form of main-line story quests, offline ‘parallel quests’ for grinding, famous ‘Master’ characters for you to train under, and a lot more. In fact, you can even (as a limited time freebee) download the story content of the entire first Xenoverse game as a 2 GB DLC, which adds even more to the value of this game.

However, the Nintendo Switch version does receive a few exclusive features. Best of all is a new local multiplayer mode, where you can play with a friend by just sharing your Joy-Cons when you’re out and about. If you manage to find five other people with Nintendo Switches and copies of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, you can even enter local wireless matches with them too. There’s also new motion controls added, which amusingly presented as a real control alternative during the game’s tutorial. They’re not – but they are kind of fun for a once-off laugh, or for children. You can pull off special moves using somewhat-accurate movements that represent them, but it’s obviously less intuitive than just hitting a button. You can also control vehicles using the Joy-Cons motion control, but it handles so poorly it’s not even worth trying once.

We’re at a point now that just about every Dragon Ball game that’s come out over the past decade or so has nailed the look of the anime, which has peaked with next year’s Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Xenoverse 2 is no exception. On the Nintendo Switch you do lose a bit of visual fidelity, with some resolution problems I noticed in handheld mode and the game now runs at a steady 30fps, rather than the 60fps on other consoles, but by and large it looks almost as good as it did on PS4 and Xbox One. It actually can get quite spectacular when you have a battle going with multiple hero characters in the fray, chaotic to watch but certainly exciting.

If you’re playing at home, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 more or less stacks up against the other consoles, although it performs better and is likely cheaper by now on those platforms. However, as a handheld game, it offers a pretty meaty experience on the move, making it perfect for long trips. The only thing that’s tough to access in handheld mode is one of the other big features of the experience – the online connectivity that allows you to play quests with other players and fight against them. Finding a decent enough WiFi connection on the move that the game will accept can be a little bit of a challenge, meaning you just have to content yourself with offline play and computer-controlled assists most of the time.

If you only have access to a Nintendo Switch, then you should be pleased to hear that you’re not missing out on anything with this release, and in fact there are certain advantages with having the game in a portable format. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 still has all the same issues Joseph found in his original review, such as problems with filler and few differences to its predecessor, and it is technically less proficient than last year’s version. That said, it does have some incredibly fun battles, a faithful recreation of the Dragon Ball universe, and a huge amount of side content. If you’re Kaio-Krazy about Dragon Ball and have a few train trips coming up, Xenoverse 2 might just be perfect.


-A ton of content to sink your teeth into, now in a portable format
-Ability to quickly play locally with the Joy-Cons
-Faithful presentation and fun story


-Motion controls are fun once, but not worth using
-Slight visual downgrade

Overall Score: