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Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2: Extra Pack 1
Score: 70%
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: Dimps
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2; 2 - 6 (Online)
Genre: Fighting/Action/Online

Introduction:
Youíre going to have to take this piece with a grain of salt. When I first reviewed Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2, I conceded that the game would likely thrill its target audience. The unspoken implication, however, was that I could no longer in good faith count myself among that target audience. But I do have a history with the series and I have a good eye for video game adaptations, and the fact remains: since its release, I never once wanted to return to Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2. Consider that its release was over a year ago now, and you may understand why Iím not particularly thrilled to do so. But apparently the content Bandai Namco has seen fit to release at a premium is content that fans were asking for. I suppose they will be happy with this, but they will likely be the only ones who are still paying attention at all. To a casual fan like myself, this new stuff feels like little more than filler. Compound this with the unavoidable fact that I was perfectly happy having left this game behind forever, and itís no surprise that I hold a pretty dim view of Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2: Extra Pack 1. That being said, you see the score up top; weíre going to do things a little differently with this one.

Service for the Fans:
I feel like a fish out of water. The degree of unfamiliarity Iím feeling towards a lot of the new content in Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2 can be compared to a person having seen only The Phantom Menace and The Last Jedi. I must reiterate: treat this as an informative breakdown rather than a review, as this content was clearly not produced with someone like me in mind. Its value to me is substantially less than it will be to someone who views Akira Toriyamaís long-running action anime franchise as the alpha and omega of Eastern entertainment.

I donít mean to mock your tastes if you count yourself among the latter camp, but considering that this expansion seems to be the direct result of fan requests, it will almost certainly please the hardcore fans. But whatís the meat of it? Well, as it so often is with fighting games, a hefty portion of the new content is dedicated to additional characters.

Having abandoned Dragon Ball Z shortly after the conclusion of the Perfect Cell Saga, the new characters introduced in Extra Pack 1 are meaningless to me. For example, I donít know who Dabra and Tapion are, and Android 13 obviously just reminds me of 16, 17, and 18. And of course, Dragon Ball, in all its variations and spinoffs, runs absolutely hogwild with the distinctly (and bizarre) Eastern storytelling conceits of fusion and absorption: two or more people, through an invariably insane process, becoming a single being that is more than the sum of his/her parts, at least as far as power is concerned. The flavor of the month (pun intended) is Buu (Gohan absorbed).


Foundation and Function:
Character packs are commonplace for fighting games, but anyone who spent more than five minutes with Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2 knows that itís not just a fighting game. Itís almost a platform, hybridizing its three-dimensional, verticality-powered fighting action with some deceptively deep adventure and role-playing elements. Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2: Extra Pack 1 knows this and seeks to deliver a more comprehensive elevation of the core experience.

For better or for worse, the breadth of new content is nothing game-changing; the characters are the shot in the arm, but some quality of life improvements and longevity boosters are welcome. The addition of Zamasu as an instructor feels a bit overstated, but thatís probably due to my unfamiliarity with the character. The new series of parallel quests are decent, but I fear they may only serve to whet playersí appetites for more. The requisite functional and cosmetic add-ons, from skills to costumes, may very well do the same. It really depends on how they plan to support the game moving forward. Again, I wrote this game off immediately after finishing my review, so of course I feel little more than apathy at the prospect.


Value:
Considering the substance, the style, and most importantly the intent of Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2: Extra Pack 1, Iím more comfortable giving an objective rundown of whatís included in it than delivering a pointed critique of it. Considering that any critical evaluation I can provide would be born of both ignorance and indifference, I believe the choice is justified. What I can do, however, is help consumers make an informed decision; it is, after all, my responsibility.

At its current price, Extra Pack 1 appears to distance itself from the recent money-grubbing efforts from the likes of Star Wars Battlefront II and Destiny 2. Whether or not you consider the kind of content on offer substantial enough to justify its asking price depends entirely on what kind of Dragon Ball fan you are. Did you get way into GT and Super, or did you check out when the Majin Buu saga got really stupid? Thereís no getting around it: youíre either all in or all out on this stuff. You know my stance; what is yours? My recommendation has everything to do with the answer you give.


-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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