Game: Dragon Ball FighterZ Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows
Rating: T for Teen
Dragon Ball Z is one of if not the most beloved anime shows of all time. Being such, we have received a collection of titles over the years ranging from great to bad. Now we get Dragon Ball FighterZ. Could this be the first fantastic game in the series?
Dragon Ball Social
When you first boot up the game you are placed in an online lobby with up to 64 other players all running around as miniature avatars. This central hub world serves as the game’s main menu from where you can select the mode you wish to play, anything from local play with a friend on the same couch or online play with a stranger from afar, to arcade, practice, and story modes. Partaking in these sections earns you points which you can spend to unlock various avatars for your lobby persona, new profile cards (which other players can view to learn more about you), and even new color schemes for the 24 playable characters.
Other than the online modes, most of your time will be spent in the game’s story. This is set up like a board game. You have a finite amount of moves to navigate a board, fighting adversaries, rescuing allies, and leveling up until you reach the boss of each section. Cutscenes are interspersed between the action, which can be viewed with either the original Japanese or American voice actors. These cinematics scenes are well acted and include some laugh out loud comedy moments. The overarching plot begins with Goku losing control over of his body after another soul is transported inside him, that soul being you, the player. The player must now control Goku and his friends as they fight to discover what has caused the loss of their motor functions.
A Refined Fighter
If you have ever played Street Fighter or Marvel Vs Capcom you will feel right at home here. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a three on three fighting game that has all the marks of being a classic. Combos are easily performed with the tap of a few buttons and almost anyone can find themselves pulling off flashy moves after only a few minutes, yet if you truly want to master the fine techniques you will need to spend a great deal of time practicing, the good thing about this title is that you will want to. You have your standard light and heavy attacks, but because this is a Dragon Ball game you will also use KI attacks (powers which send balls of energy careering from a character’s hands) and the ability to vanish and reappear by simply hitting two buttons at the same time. This easily accessible yet deep gameplay allows players of the same skill level—no matter their skill level—to have some spectacular and competitive bouts.
Just like the Anime
Seeing as this title is based on a pre-existing and much-loved TV series, we expect the game to represent its source material ccurately. Thankfully Dragon Ball FighterZ does not just do the series justice, it is the best-looking Dragon Ball game to date. The visuals are represented in a style we call 2.5D. The backdrops are fully 3D; however, the fighting takes place in a 2D realm. The characters look just like their TV counterparts, right down to their individualistic moves and powers. The game is overflowing with fan favorites too, such as Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Majin Buu, Trunks, Frieza, and many, many more.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is not only a Dragon Ball fan’s dream, it is also a fighting game fan’s dream. The unique roster and easily accessible yet extensive mechanics allows this title to rise up to become a serious contender for the year’s best fighter.