A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is an anime brawler based on the anime series. Players punch, kick, and use special magic attacks to defeat adversaries, with a little blood shown but no gore. There's some mildly suggestive imagery, like a woman with torn clothes revealing partial buttocks, and in an unrelated scene, the word "ass" can be heard.
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What's it about?
DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE 2 takes place a few years after the events of the original Dragon Ball Xenoverse and is based on the Dragon Ball anime series. Players slip into the boots of a Time Patroller whose mission is to once again set the history of the Dragon Ball world on the correct course by fighting various adversaries who stand in the way. Fighters engage in melee combat -- punching, kicking, and some special attacks -- and unlock new moves, combos, abilities, and upgrades along the way. Along with enhanced graphics and many customization options, a new hub city called Conton City is seven times larger than the hub city in the previous game, and the game adds new characters to its already comprehensive roster. Multiplayer modes deliver six-vs.-one cooperative ("co-op") fights, allowing gamers to band together to take down giant boss fighters, as well as Switch-exclusive six-player boss raids and three-vs.-three fights via local ad hoc connection.
Is it any good?
A better overall game than its predecessor, this fun and frantic brawler is packed with loads of content for longtime franchise fans. Mastering the movies and chains/combos takes some time and serves as a dangling carrot for gamers -- just like the various environments and mostly familiar roster of characters. The time-traveling story may be weak, but it's the gripping fighting scenes that will keep players coming back. Controls feel good and are very responsive, but the camera angles can be unruly at times and even obstruct your view in the middle of a battle. Switch users gain the use of motion controls that mimic characters' special moves, though they're likely to stick with standard button use. Still, the Joy-Con controller does come in handy and is surprisingly effective for quick team play on one system.
On top of the 40-odd-hour single-player campaign, the multiplayer mode feels like a scaled-down MMO (massively multiplayer online) game. Here, other anime characters fly around looking for folks to quest with or adversaries to fight to bump up their power (with up to 300 players at a time). Both offline and online players can replay Parallel Quests to unlock even more skills. This is a solid game that's definitely recommended for Dragon Ball anime fans who like fighting games, and it's great for some brawling fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Parents can talk about violence in video games. Are fighting games such as Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 a harmless -- and fantasy-based -- way to blow off steam, or could they desensitize players to violence or make them want to fight in real life?
Talk about time travel. If you could travel back in time, what would you like to do? Are there certain historical events you'd want to see or people you'd like to meet? Why?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: November 3, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Cartoon Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.