Dragon Ball FighterZ is, by far, the best Dragon Ball Z game I’ve ever played. There have been some stellar interpretations of the franchise before, but FighterZ distills the series’ frantic, over-the-top action into a colorful 2D fighter that is great for newcomers to the genre but also has a lot to offer for veterans. The beta was fairly simple in its presentation, putting players right into fights. The setup is fairly straightforward. Players compose teams of three made out of the various characters from the franchise. Every character announced until this point was available, including heavy hitters like Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza, and less powerful fan favorites such as Krillin, and Android 16.
Each fighter feels unique, utilizing their own blasts and special moves. Like most fighters released these days, Dragon Ball FighterZ relies on four main buttons for combat. You have light, medium, and heavy attacks at your disposal, as well as a special button that unleashes all manner of blasts and beams. Of course, there is all manner of combos to master and various tactics for each character. During my time, I wasn’t able to learn all of the complexities of the combat system, but I was able to try out multiple characters and get a feel for their unique styles and move sets.
Goku is a good all-around fighter, hitting heavily and quickly, capable of unleashing a flurry of Kamehameha beams on his opponents. Characters like Frieza are more technical, focusing on keeping his enemy in the air for as long as possible with juggles, but this isn’t a rare occurrence in Dragon Ball FighterZ. DBZ characters are always soaring through the air, cloaking themselves in a powerful aura and slamming into whatever lies in their way. The game’s characters also like to stay airborne. Many combos lift your opponents off the ground, making way for flashy moves filled with fiery fists and vibrant cartoon explosions.
The depth is clearly there in Dragon Ball FighterZ, but it will take players a bit to uncover all of its secrets and master each of the characters. It’s also easy to learn the basic control scheme and pull off some very visually appealing moves, making it feel like you’re living through an episode of the anime.The story mode wasn’t available in any form, but it will certainly give players who don’t want to explore the game’s online arenas something to do. The title’s combat is incredibly strong, which is to be expected of Arc System Works. It’s much faster paced than other fighting games currently on the market, and the 3 v 3 system makes for some surprising match-ups and twists in matches.
In terms of creating a Dragon Ball fighting game, everything feels as it should. Yes, the scope and scale of previous DBZ games is lost here, but it’s replaced by action that is visually stunning and complex in its own way.If the several hours I spent with the game are any indication, Dragon Ball FighterZ will be a fantastic use of the license and a good fighting game in its own right.Whether you’re a long-time fan of the series or just looking for something new to play once Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite wears out its welcome, this could be the game you’ve been looking for. It’s not set to release until February of 2018, so we’ll certainly see several more characters and features announced before it hits store shelves.
Even six months away from release, Dragon Ball FighterZ is incredibly feature rich. Once more balances are done and a plethora of modes are added it will be a title that is very true to its source material, taking full advantage of everything the anime has to offer. We’re in for something special with Dragon Ball FighterZ. The game looks beautiful, runs smoothly, has a fantastic cast of characters, and a fighting system that places an emphasis on easy to learn but difficult to master combos and moves. It’s not hard to throw out a Kamehameha, but gaining the upper hand on your opponent will take a little more practice.
Arc System Works tends to create fighting games with very difficult to learn systems and combos, but Dragon Ball FighterZ has opened the floodgates, knowing that it will appeal to such a wide array of gamers who will want to jump in and pummel Cell as SSB Vegeta for a few rounds every so often. Dragon Ball FighterZ looks to break scouters on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC sometime in February 2018.