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YOU NEED TO PLAY DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ

It's Over 9000!

by Felipe Parada

There has been a ton of Dragon Ball games since the manga's initial debut back in the 1980's. Some have been great and some have been terrible. So it was only a matter of time before someone out there gathered all the Dragon Balls and made the ultimate wish of giving us a true Dragon Ball Fighting game - this is that game. I thought I had an idea of what the game was going to offer when I gave myOpen Beta Impression but nothing prepared me for what the final game had to offer. Giving the helm to developer Arc System Works, Dragon Ball FighterZ is one greatest, if not the greatest fighting game ever and that statement is coming from a person who is absolutely terrible at fighting games. Yet that is the key to what makes this game so amazing -  its accessibility.

Arc System Works does amazing job translating the source material into it's 2D cel animation art style, a style that the developer is well known for. The entire game perfectly displays the anime's over the top spirit and nature. Your screen is constantly engulfed in colorful explosions and super attacks that look like they have been pulled straight from the anime. There are times that you will be left dumbfounded with how amazing this game looks while your getting ping-ponged from all over the screen. But it all works and the game is at its very best when you are engaged in these sequences that adhere closely to the anime. Akira Toriyama himself must be very proud at the end result because it is game that is true to the series.

But with all the explosions, ki-blasts and constant yelling, Dragon Ball FighterZ's fighting mechanics are really simple. When I mean simple, I mean extremely simple. Remember that I am a person who is terrible at fighting games yet despite that background, I felt like this was a fighting game that I could actually play. When you start up the tutorial you come to learn quick that there are no complicated special move input commands like you find in other popular fighting games. I hate to use the Street Fighter analogy but if you can throw a fireball in Street Fighter you can perform just about every single move in Dragon Ball FighterZ. I really thought that "it couldn't be THIS simple" but it is and its awesome. There are just four attack buttons: light, medium, heavy, and a special attack button to create a projectile. This system applies to all the characters, so before you know it you'll be stringing together combos in no time. You see? I told you it was simple

Dragon Ball FighterZ Arc System Works / Bandai Namco

​Newcomers will benefit from a shared command list because there is no intimidating and over complicated combos strings to learn. This greatly cuts down the amount of time it takes to learn the game. Once I really got into the knitty gritty on how just one character worked, I found out that the mechanics translated to the rest of the cast. The only difference between the characters is their specific move set which you can still pick up rather quickly. This is what makes the game a well designed fighting game, the fact that anyone (especially me) can pick up the controller and naturally string together combos.

Just because the game is simple doesn't mean that the game lacks any real depth. Every move is relatively easy to pull off, but the timing is really where the game allows for immense strategic play. Properly managing the meter that fuels most of your special abilities is a key to turning the tide of battle. You must understand early the importance of the meter as it feeds into both offensive and defensive moves. There's an odd satisfaction and intrigue not knowing what someone will do next. It also adds to the marvel of battling back and fourth where one mistake can really lead to a punishing counter combo.

Online can be a bit of a hit and miss because the matchmaking still isn't perfect. There are times where you will be matched with someone who has put in more time than you have and it can be a bit of a one sided match. But when you’re matched with another player of the same skill, the fights are fast, intense and outright brutal. Sometimes you are so evenly matched with a fighter that all it comes down to is waiting for someone to make a mistake. 

Dragon Ball FighterZ Arc System Works / Bandai Namco

The story portion of the game serves as a filler season. Not to give to much away but a new enemy appears causing havoc to the world and the Z fighters team up to stop the new enemy. Its a serviceable story filled with cheeky dialogue and the same high paced fights you would experience online. The only difference here is some RPG elements have been thrown in to change up the pacing. You have to level up your characters so that you can take on stronger and stronger enemies in order to progress the story forward. I'm glad that Arc System Works added a new Saga instead of re-telling the Dragon Ball Z Sage from the very beginning, though I still would have played it anyway....LOL

Dragon Ball FighterZ makes me feel like powerful and unstoppable bad-ass who just happens to look like Goku. Within minutes of playing the game, I was pulling off combos that I never thought I would be able to do. I would have to say the the license is what pulled me into this game in the first place and I'm not disappointed what-so-ever.  Most of it has to do with how Arc System Works designed the game to feel like its source material without sacrificing anything in the process. The game is a marvel to behold and we can only wait eagerly to see how Arc System Works will evolve this fighter in months to come. 

RATING:

Being a huge fan of the Dragon Ball Series, you already know what I am going to rate this game. This is a MUST PLAY for ANY Dragon Ball fan looking to jump back into the series. 

 

Let us know what you thought about Dragon Ball FighterZ in the comments below.

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