Reviewing a port always carries a few key questions.

The simplest one I have to ask is, essentially, how much do I care about the game as its own thing? Dragonball Xenoverse 2 has been out for a year on other platforms, as of this review. There are reviews of the actual content and gameplay loop all over the place, from those initial releases.

On the other hand, just reviewing the porting process, the quality of translation from a title on the PS4 and Xbox to putting it on the much-beloved Switch, doesn't give us much to talk about. And that's to say nothing of the possibility that you, dear reader, might just be a Switch fan, someone who came here directly from last-gen consoles and thus didn't pay any attention to reviews for games on the other systems.

So there's a bit of a balancing act. And it's a balancing act that kind of comes with the Switch's territory, as the little guy starts really picking up steam and companies scramble to have content on, my god, a Nintendo system people will actually buy games for. You'd think that nobody remembers the days of Nintendo's primacy as though they were yesterday.

(And then I remember that the SNES was over 20 years ago and get the hell off my goddamned lawn)

Anyways, it's Dragonball Xenoverse 2 we're looking at, which came out just last month for the Nintendo Switch. If you haven't played the Xenoverse games, let me give you a quick rundown; you're a time patroller in the future of the Dragonball universe, tasked with going back to prominent points in history to ensure they go according to plan.

What this mostly means is that your original-character-do-not-steal gets to team up with Goku and beat up Frieza and the like, in the big iconic scenes from the much-beloved anime and manga franchise.

And that's kind of the first hurdle we've got to talk about, too. This is a Dragonball game for Dragonball fans. It's definitely got some quality of its own, but, look, this is not something you buy if you don't give a damn about Kamehamehas and achieving the Super Saiyan state. If all of that sounds like complete jibberish to you, move on now. Still here? Great.

So, gameplay. Xenoverse 2 is a fairly light action game with some fighting game inspiration to it, though between the leveling up and the super basic combos and the general lack of focus on PvP balance, this is not going to be at EVO anytime soon. (But if you want that, just wait for Dragonball FighterZ early next year, a game I have every intention of reviewing when it's got a full release)

The central gameplay loop is fairly basic. You're going to go from an online hub (though there is an offline mode, which is good since you might want to play on the go) into missions, which typically consist of punching, kicking and blasting various foes into submission. You've got your core moves, then special moves that can be equipped, and then finally super moves; it's a pretty classic setup of holding shoulder buttons then hitting face buttons, but it works just fine.

The two big appeals, of course, are going to be making your own Dragonball character like the one right over there, and getting to fight alongside various famous characters from the franchise. And in these, Xenoverse 2 does excellently in all versions. The character creator's only real limitation is in bodytype; You're not going to be making a super slim and lanky dude, or a super buff girl, anytime soon. On the other hand, this fits the general aesthetic of the world, and the game does let you create not only humans, but Saiyans, Namekians, Majins and members of Frieza's species. So...There's admittedly a question of bodytype diversity there, one that gets more noticeable when the franchise itself is putting some slimmer men and more muscular women into the forefront of recent anime.

But on the other hand, the amount of options the game does give you are still quite noticeable and respectable. I find myself leaning into not wanting the perfect to become the enemy of the good. And there is a fair bit of good there, a lot of room to make a character your own.

And that's without touching on the other side of the core appeal, fighting alongside famous franchise characters and feeling like part of the experience. On that front, Xenoverse 2 does an unqualified fantastic job. Basically everyone you'd want to be is voiced, and voiced by their original actors. When combined with cutscenes that borrow key camera placements from the original work, you're left with something that often feels genuinely like your character has stepped right into the show that, for a certain generation, was the introduction into anime as its own distinct entity.

Let's talk about the port itself, while we're here. Xenoverse 2 brings a fair bit to the party as thanks for your wait, with a nice chunk of the early DLC right there in the game. There's still more to come that will have to just straight-up be bought, but it helps justify the fact that the game's a flat $50, instead of the 40 or less that it costs on the other platforms.

And from what I can tell, comparing to the game as it exists on those other platforms, not a lot has been lost. It's not quite as sharp, probably some resolution loss somewhere, but it's not like the game runs at a terrible FPS, or has fog everywhere, or even has any downgrades to the actual graphics that I could notice. This is, at the end of the day, just a really good and solid port.

Which brings us to the opinion, doesn't it. And...Okay, here's the thing. You and I both know you're probably not getting this right now. And that's okay. The Switch is on fire with major releases going into the holiday season, and there are still more to come. A port of a year-old anime game isn't on your priority list. I get that.

But once the dust settles a bit, and you've got some room to breathe...Or maybe when you're writing up that Christmas list, Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is a definite consideration. The gameplay is a bit standard but solidly executed, and the excellent rendition of its world and much beloved characters helps elevate it past some minor flaws. So yeah, I say go for it.