The long awaited 2D fighter from Arc System Works has arrived and it is a beauty. The game is developed in Unreal Engine 4 and looks even more crisp and bright than the original series. Players can choose from a decent amount of characters from the recently expanded anime from Dragon Ball Z to Dragon Ball Super. GT is removed from the universe, it seems, since Akira Toriyama took back over.
The base of the game is that it’s a fighting game meant to be played for all levels of gaming experience. A newbie can get by just mashing buttons all on the controller. Attacking is simple and combos are easy to make. Intermediate players are usually familiar with the down, forward, X we’ve come to know and love since Street Fighter. The same combination works for Super Attacks in DBF. Expect to see FighterZ in upcoming eSports tournaments. The flashy style of gameplay is sure to attract spectators and experienced players everywhere.
The game is played at breakneck speed. It can be hard to keep up and it seems like matches are over before they begin, especially when playing against other players online. The combos are lengthy and abundant, so health levels deplete as fast as a Saiyan’s punches fly. It’s ok when you’re taking on the computer in one of the many modes available. Arcade mode is a crowd favorite with different trees of teams to fight against. The challenge is acquiring an S or A level each fight to continue upwards and finish against the best fighter in each tree.
The Story Mode gives us three story arcs to play through. They’re original arcs with fresh new stories and a couple of new characters. The map you traverse through in each level of the story is somewhat similar to a board game. You have 20 moves to get to the final fight of each level and quite a few fights along the way so choose the best path to maximize exp. points and access new characters. It’s highly recommended skip the training mode in the lobby and move onto the story mode, because you’ll be playing through the exact same training scenarios for most of the first arc. That’ll save you quite a bit of wasted time. Story Mode shouldn’t be a selling point for the game. It’s an added bonus for players who are looking to get more bang for their buck.
Going online and playing against players from all over the world can be daunting. As an intermediate level player in the fighting genre, I looked forward to seeing how I fared against others. I had one good match, a haven’t won a game since. Any player who has mastered the combinations can easily get in nearly perfect games. Pushing the right trigger closes the distance between your fighters in an instant so ki attacks usually occur in close quarters with maximized damage. It’s frustrating for players and has become a topic of conversation among many forums. This isn’t something that necessarily needs to be fixed, since it’s not that different form the actual anime.
Dragon Ball canon is based on the appreciation for the martial arts. Fights does a really great job at making characters play on an even level and use their martial arts attacks more that there charged ki blasts. Level interaction isn’t on the same plane as Mortal Kombat or other fighting games, but the choice of places to fight are bright and detailed in every aspect. The focus on this game is combat, as it should be. The graphics are stunning. We’ve reached the time where technology has caught up to our expectations and the resolution in games based on cartoons have almost exceeded the show themselves.
The music is played at the same insane speed as the gameplay so players are forced through and adrenaline rush every fight. I had to turn it way down, the speed of action and sound was already enough for my brain to process. Drop boxes are extremely easy to obtain and are all cosmetic. The only ones that give you a sense of accomplishment are the lobby character you can unlock. The others are really just ways to congratulate others or otherwise interact in the lobby.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a great game for fans of the genre and the anime alike. Dragon Ball Z was a huge part of my childhood and I’ve always looked forward to the game that will breakout from the rest. This entry has finally accomplished that hard-to-earn task. The 2D style makes gameplay easy for fans who aren’t die-hard gamers or just want to pick up the sticks to play a simple fighting game. The playing field isn’t really level or fair at all though, so players who want to succeed online should expect to put in plenty of practice. Training was always a major part of Dragon Ball’s message, and they incorporated that into the many facets of battle preparation in FighterZ.
Even with the repetitive nature of the Story Mode and other small fallacies, FighterZ is a great game. The combos are a sight to see and the gameplay is fun to watch. ESports fans have a new game to enjoy and fans of the Dragon Ball series have something to be excited about to go along with the new Dragon Ball Super Era. Dragon Ball FighterZ is an 8. Not perfect, but as close as a fighting game can be. It’s meant for all levels of players and can be enjoyed by a huge audience.