When Dragon Ball FighterZ was first announced the Fighting Game Community (FGC) lost their minds at how great this game looked. From the crisp animations to the chaotic combat. From the guys over at Arc System Works, known for the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series they’re lending their talents on this new Dragon Ball Z fighting game, titled Dragon Ball FighterZ a 3vs3 fighting game none the less. I being a huge Dragon Ball fan I have played every home console and most of the portable games barring the Heroes series of games (which I plan on getting someday when there’s a lull of games that I am excited for) So when they announced that they were having a BETA for FighterZ I had to get in and play this game! PlayStation had sent me a VIP Code and I was fortunate enough to get into Beta (Apparently some people who had VIP codes didn’t get in too) anyway I was just excited that I would get a chance to play this amazing looking game! The day of the BETA I got off work at 11pm and just stayed up until 5am which was 2am PST. The hype was seriously real! Now that the BETA has concluded I wanted to write down my thoughts on the gameplay, net code, characters, and lobby system. I am not going to get super in depth with this written review I just want to give my quick thoughts on a few things in this game.
What is Dragon Ball FighterZ like?
Dragon Ball FighterZ is like taking the look, style, and technicality of Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 and mashing it Dragon Ball Z. When I first played FighterZ I was immediately blown always by how fluid and responsive this game was! It was really easy chaining special moves together like how it was in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, but the arena isn’t bound to a 3D space like in the Xenoverse games. Combos are always insane! I haven’t had this much fun experimenting with what moves or attacks can work in a fighting game since I first played Street Fighter 3: Third Strike on PS2! Even during the live matches where I was either getting beat or beating someone, I was thinking in my head “Okay let’s see if I do this combo, bring the fight to the air, and then do my Level 3 special move!” It was just fun playing the game and seeing what I could do. But, when I couldn’t get something off I most definitely got punished by the opponent. It was all a learning experience!
Like any fighting game your characters will have a meter bar going up to seven bars and with those bars, you can really unleash HFIL on your opponent! From using different level super moves that are I swear ripped straight from the anime and manga, to vanishing attacks that can get you out of a tight spot or from a person who likes to spam ki attacks. How you use the meter is totally up to you, just how that it is handled add another layer to the fights almost because you have so much meter to work with and getting it back can be challenging. Are you going to do a level 3 super, a vanish attack, or are you gonna go all out and find a way to combo and bring in everyone for a super attack?
How about the Characters?
So you know how in fighting games where people will say “Everyone plays differently!” This is beyond true in the FighterZ BETA. It’s the nuances that each character has that truly makes them unique! While I didn’t get a chance to play everyone because I was so deadset on winning matches I just began to experiment with characters I liked. So when I first started I went with Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks. Then when I was losing too much with that team I went with Cell, Goku, and Piccolo. Same situation, I kept losing or barely winning. After countless losses and frustration, I finally found my team in Waifu 18… I mean Cyborg 18(Yeah, I’m being that guy), Goku, and Trunks. Out of all of those characters, I loved 18 the most! She has Cyborg 17 as an assist move which you can use him to set up combos, begin new combos, or end a combo. How I decided to use him, for the most part, was similar to a projectile. I would send him out and the person I was fighting would attack him instead of me. That then gave me the chance to cross them up or pull off a combo and get some good damage leading into an assist. I was set on Goku being the leader of my teams but after learning 18 she is, in my opinion, the best character in the game so far! I am really hoping for Goku Black though! The more I really took the time to learn the game the more I really just fell in love with it and everything it had to offer! As much as I’d love to do a full breakdown on the characters, I don’t want to take up too much of your time and I am not that technical with every character. However, I highly suggest you check out Maximilian Dood’s breakdowns of each character that is out right now if you want to learn more about each character! He does a fantastic job! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsN_1OWrvYc
Lobby and Netcode?
Similar to the Guilty Gear XRD games the lobby system works in a way that you pick region you want to fight in then you can change your avatar from the pre-assigned one (which is Goku) you then go the gentlemen in front of the tournament stage and then you can either pick your team or select one of the pre-chosen teams. It’s a nice little system and decreases wait time from picking characters so it’s nice. It’s not clunky, it’s actually very smooth and easy to navigate! Also, I don’t really care about it as long as it works. But I do appreciate they made the little 3D chibi characters and when they’re fighting in a match you see then throw their little fists. So that’s nice!
The Netcode from my experience was about a 7.5 out of 10. The first run of the test I had pretty good connections, I was at work for the second part, but on the third part I don’t know what happened but every fight I had was a struggle so much that I gave up on playing because it was so stressful, But on the last test my connections were top notch! Those were the best matches I had because I felt like I finally learned my characters and how they can interact with each other and what I can actually do plus the connections were all so great! I can really only see them improving the net-code and I imagine it will be as smooth as the latest Guilty Gear game.
All in all, I had an absolute blast playing Dragon Ball FighterZ this game has crazy potential to be the best fighting game, and I’m not just saying that because I am a Dragon Ball Z fan. It has some serious depth to the combat and characters that will get everyone screaming for excitement. A new BETA has been announced and it will be an Open BETA and I think if you have the systems it will be on you really should get on it! If you like fighting games or Dragon Ball Z or really you just want something new, When Dragon Ball FighterZ comes out in February 2018 you really should pick it up! There’s going to be an original story with some brand new characters like Android 21 (don’t want to be that guy anymore) a game like this where it’s fun, interesting characters, and has a good development team with a great track record behind it we should really support it so that we can get extra content for this game and the developers support it for years to come! It would be awesome if they did what they’re doing for Street Fighter V where they add characters, game modes, costumes, story content, etc.. for Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Anyway, those are my all over the place thoughts on Dragon Ball FighterZ so far. It was a great experience and I am super grateful and happy I got a chance to play the game! I really hope you get a chance to play it in the open BETA!