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Review: Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)

Credit: Bandai Namco

A true nod to anime and fighting game fans!

Written by,
J. Johnson

Dragon Ball FighterZ took a 90’s phenomenon to a new level as it captivates the famed franchise as it well-deserved status. With the help of Arc System Works (BlazBlue and Guilty Gear), Dragon Ball FighterZ brings the anime many have grown up on to spectacular realism. As FighterZ dedicates itself to beginners and experts alike, the features definitely display a ton of excellent fan service from the accessible content to the raving fighting mechanics that many would say, despite being repetitive providing a leveled playing field for all players. All this is much more continue to make Dragon Ball FighterZ an instant fighting game classic.

Games like Street Fighter and Tekken take pride in involving combos that rely heavily on strict timing and at time difficult to master inputs while Dragon Ball FighterZ takes another route to make it easier to learn. This is utilized across the entire roster of characters in the game giving those who may love Frieza a chance to gain some revenge on Goku if the player sees fit. The developer’s intentions were to completely keep the combos inputs uniformed throwing the challenge to all players to simply learn the controls and let the best fighter win. Interesting to note that whether it’s smashing a button of two to keep a flashy combo going it’s beautiful to see a Final Flash come out of nowhere with a simple quarter-circle input. No room for error unless you are confidence gets the best of having you fight nothing but air. So take those tutorials seriously folks.


Credit: Bandai Namco

Paying homage to the franchise’s amazing aspect is the strong visuals especially in relation to the portrayal of its characters. The colorful visual style provides a nostalgic look at each character in their glorious interactions with the likes of Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza. In addition to this stunning style is the fame voices of its original voice actors bringing each character to life. A little great moment in the game is the summoning of Shenron, who can gran you an in-battle wish, however, this can also pose a distraction for players given the difficulty of performing the required actions, thus creating a window against you, if that becomes your focus.

Something that multiple Dragon Ball games have featured is their effective use of original storylines. Xenoverse provided a look timelines being altered and FighterZ has an in-depth story mode featuring the return of the Red Ribbon Army and the involvement of a new character, Android 21 facing off against Goku and the rest of the Z-Fighters. The original story mode includes built-in tutorials, giving beginners a moment to freshen up on both the gameplay mechanics and the characters.


Credit: Bandai Namco

The other content such as Arcade, practice, and challenge modes each help players refine their skills and strategies for multiplayer, it’s offered in ranked, casual, and local matches. In these various online battles pit players against fighters of similar skill level. By competing in the game’s various modes, players can earn Zeni which can be used to purchase new costume colors, player avatars, and stickers.

There’s a lot to rave about Dragon Ball FighterZ but where the game handles the gameplay and content it lacks in the multiplayer mode. The mode falls short when it comes to its matchmaking and presentation. The lobbies serve as the world hub menu on more than a few occasions it’s generally crowded, which makes the game mode and lobby harder to find the right opponent.

Despite this review being solely based on the initial release of the game, we can’t forget the upcoming DLC featuring legendary Saiyans, Broly & Bardock. These two are the first of eight addition fighters planned to extend the roster. Overall, Dragon Ball FighterZ has a diverse cast of characters spanning from the ‘Z’ series to the ‘Super’ story. Each character is depicted in their respective light that we all know and love. Dragon Ball FighterZ’s lengthy campaign alone will keep you glued to the action for awhile, but the gameplay and stunning visuals give you an in-depth look at the Dragon Ball universe like never before.

Rating: 4stars

Check out some gameplay featured by, The Average Player, all footage played on Xbox One:


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