In 2016, developer Dimps and publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment released Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, which combined the fighting game mechanics of the Budokai series with some MMORPG elements and was mostly successful in doing so. Years later, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 has found its way to Google’s new Stadia platform, and while it’s still a decent game, the Stadia version is clearly the inferior version.
Of course, much of what we praised about the game in our original Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 review holds true for the Stadia version. The game still has great character creation tools, a large roster of Dragon Ball Z fighters, and an engaging story that tries to do something a little different instead of retelling the anime’s plot in umpteenth time. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 has a ton of content no matter which version players decide to get, but the Stadia version has one major flaw that lets the whole experience down.
In other words, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is a ghost town. The online multiplayer elements of the game are certainly not necessary to enjoy it, but the ability to see other players walk around the world of the hub or jump into an online multiplayer match certainly enhances the experience. We only saw two user-created characters in the hub world, and never got into any online multiplayer matches. Xenoverse 2 is a four-year-old game that has already played many fans elsewhere, so it’s no surprise that finding online matches is nearly impossible, but the apparently low player population means that online content is usually a non-factor for Stadia players.
Other players are nowhere to be found in Xenoverse 2’s co-op matchmaking or versus matchmaking, and sitting in lobbies doesn’t yield any results either. It should be noted that this is a common problem for Stadia, as Destiny 2’s player population is also rapidly declining on the platform. When it comes to older games that have been available on other platforms for years, it seems that Stadia users will simply need to be unable to enter multiplayer matches, which begs the question of why they would bother with the Stadia version anyway.
One advantage of getting the Stadia version of a game like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is being able to play it on the go anywhere. However, Xenoverse 2 has been on the Switch for years, so portability isn’t as big of a selling point as other games available on the platform. Being able to play Xenoverse 2 on almost any piece of hardware that can access Google Chrome is fine, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to convince fans to double dip. And with no cross-save functionality that we could find, those who have already spent significant time with their Xenoverse 2 characters elsewhere may have to start over, which is unappealing anyway.
As for how Xenoverse 2 runs on Stadia, it performs as well as any other game. That means those playing on a wired connection will likely have a flawless experience, but those on wi-fi will have a tougher time. Xenoverse 2 on a wi-fi connection has the occasional lag or stutter that plagues many Stadia games. The audio will also sometimes cut out, so players will have to decide between playing the version of the game that has these types of issues or a version of the game that will run better.
Players getting Xenoverse 2 on Stadia will also have to make do with a version of the game missing its post-launch DLC. All Xenoverse 2 DLC add-on packs are currently missing from the Stadia Store. Players can still play as the pre-order bonus Goku Black, but the recently released Ultra Pack 2 DLC, for example, is missing in action. This is another unfortunate trend with Stadia, as some may recall that the Borderlands 3 Stadia port was an old version of that game as well.
One area where the Xenoverse 2 Stadia version is better is when it comes to load times. Xenoverse 2 on other platforms loaded too long and too often, which sometimes ruined the pacing of the game. Xenoverse 2 on Stadia still has a lot of load times, but they seem to be faster than other versions of the game. It’s not a game-changing incentive, but it’s one of the only advantages the Stadia version has over its counterparts.
There’s another advantage when it comes to getting Xenoverse 2 on Stadia, and that’s the price of the game. If one were to visit the Xbox Live Marketplace today, they would find Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 still selling for full price, $59.99. Those looking to buy the disc version can probably get the game for $19.99 or less, but digital-only players will likely get the best deal on Stadia. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 on Stadia costs $49.99 compared to the $59.99 price of the other versions, which may not be a big deal for everyone, but budget-conscious gamers will also want to consider the price.
There are some pros and some cons when it comes to the Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Stadia port, but putting all that aside, the game still delivers a ton of content for players. It’s also a well-made game, and should keep Dragon Ball Z fans entertained for hours. Those who haven’t played the game before elsewhere and don’t care about online features can get their money’s worth with Xenoverse 2 on Stadia.
However, the lack of cross-save, cross-play, or an online multiplayer population combined with the game being quite old compared to other versions makes Xenoverse 2 on Stadia difficult to recommend, even to someone who has never played of the game before. Those who want to play Xenoverse 2 will have a better experience than any other version of the game, as they are all more full-featured than the Stadia version, especially when considering DLC, such as the Dragon Ball FighterZ crossover content. Dragon Ball Z fans aching for a new video game to play are better off saving their money for something like Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot or perhaps waiting for a potential Xenoverse 3.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is out now for PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, and Xbox One. Today Technology reviewed the Stadia version of the game.