Dragon Ball FighterZ Review
Dragon Ball FighterZ is the culmination of a legendary franchise, packing fast-paced combat and graphics faithful to the source material. With a legacy that spans decades across all forms of media, Dragon Ball is one of the largest Japanese media franchises around. With fighting game titans Arc System Works at the helm, Dragon Ball FighterZ has all the requirements to be a hit on paper.
Dragon Ball FighterZ appears to place at some point between the Universe 6 Saga and the Universe Survival Saga in Dragon Ball Super. The game’s story mode revolves around the revival of Android 16, an army of clones, and Android 21, an original character for the game. The game features three story arcs: the Super Warrior Arc, the Super Villain Arc, and the Android 21 Arc. In these different scenarios, players undertake the story from the perspectives of Goku, Frieza, and Android 21 respectively, with the stories playing out differently in each. While the story itself is a bit generic and repetitive, it does a great job in acting as a tutorial for players.
The action focused fighting system shines, and is easy enough for anybody to pick up and play while being deep enough for players to improve if they so choose. Combos are simplified, super moves are completed with just a quarter circle command, and characters share button combinations. Dragon Ball FighterZ is very easy to get into initially, though more techniques such as parries and guard cancels may be somewhat harder to pick up for those unfamiliar with the genre.
With 3-vs-3 combat reminiscent of the Marvel vs. Capcom series, and a decent cast of characters out of the box – 24 total, there’s a wide variety of matchups to be had. A few characters are unlockable based on game progression and 8 more are planned as DLC. The characters are well balanced, which means that a team of Yamcha, Krillin, and Tien are just as formidable as any (go ahead, role your eyes and make a Sensu Bean joke here). Jokes aside, the characters play well and though I am sure there are tiers that will form as time goes on, players can choose their favorites and compete reasonably well.
Along with the story mode, Dragon Ball FighterZ also features an Arcade mode, local play, training, and online multiplayer. The game’s local play options also allow for a tournament of up to 16 players. At the time of the review, the servers were not yet online and was not able to be tested. The game also has a shop which allows players to buy Z Capsules with in-game currency, which contain random cosmetic items.
“Arc System Works did an excellent job in adapting Akira Toriyama’s art style into Dragon Ball FighterZ.”
The other massive pillar of the game are the graphics. Arc System Works’ art is always top notch, but they did a fantastic job adapting Akira Toriyama’s art style into Dragon Ball FighterZ. With characters and attacks looking as they should, the game has even raised comparisons to scenes from the Anime material. In addition to just looking great, the game’s seamless transitions into super moves and destructive finishes are another nice touch. With the graphics looking true to source material they are, Dragon Ball FighterZ should be as awesome to watch as it is to play.
Overall, Dragon Ball FighterZ is primed for mainstream success with its popular franchise, low barrier of entry, ease of play, great aesthetics, and fast-paced combat. Not only is the game simply a tight, pick up and play fighter, but it is one that does the source material of Dragon Ball justice. While more characters would have been nice to have, most of the household names of the series are included. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a solid fighting game with a plethora of game modes, and I cannot wait to see the game evolve after launch.
*** An Xbox One code was provided by the publisher ***
- Easy to pick up
- Looks as good as it plays
- Lots of ways to play
- Could use more characters
- Story mode a bit repetitive