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Video Game Review: DragonBall FighterZ

Steam sales means that I get to pick up titles I’ve sought after at a great price; let’s be honest, we’ve all been extra tempted by Steam sales – And recently, Steam put up a sale for all DragonBall related games and lo and behold, the fighting game DragonBall FighterZ came up in that list. Anyone who’s ever read this website before will know that I do love a good fighting game. When DragonBall FighterZ first came out, I was hugely interested. It was a massive success story that was able to quickly rival the other 3v3 or ‘tag’ style fighting games, especially as it’s been a while since the last big one.

Overview

Developer Arc System Works
Platforms PC (Windows), PS4, XBox One, Nintendo Switch
Worldwide Release
Jan 2018
Genre Fighting
Price
£44.99, Steam Sale £11.24 (75%)

Review

Story

The story is split up between three different arcs; the Super Warrior Arc, the Enemy Warrior Arc and finally the Android 21 Arc.

The arcs feature a primary antagonist, Android 21. She is the latest in the line of Red Ribbon androids, with immense powers, including the candy-making ability of Majin Buu. The story features a soul that has taken over the body of Goku, who has to fight for him. Goku, unable to use his full power at the moment, is able to “link” with the soul inhabiting his body, so they can unleash the Sayian warrior’s power. However, many of the Z-Warriors are in trouble and needing to be saved from these strange waves which are limiting the Z-Warriors powers. Now, with their soul friend, the Z-Warriors let the soul take over their bodies to fight on their behalf.

This all ties into Android 21, who is looking to eat all of the strongest fighters out there, so she can become the ultimate lifeform. By turning everyone into candy, in a similar way to how Majin Buu does, she absorbs their power into her own. The Z-Warriors must fight against this powerful threat, along with the soul that’s linked to them, in order to restore peace to a world filled with evil clones of all of the Z-Warriors.

Gameplay

Unlike a traditional 1v1 fighter, this is a 3v3. This means that combat is taken place with three characters on each team, which can be brought in and out of combat, with a small cooldown between characters “tagging” in and out. This allows for some unique combinations, as well as for some characters to pair up and “assist” better than others. There’s a large cast of characters, ever expanding with the DLCs that are still coming out thick and thin at the moment, giving plenty of opportunity to mess around with different setups and combinations of fighters.

The actual fighting is very simplified: There are repetitive key presses which turn into full combos – For instance pressing Triangle on a PlayStation controller several times will do a heavy attack over and over. This is true of all characters in the game, as they all have relatively similar button presses. This levels the playing field in one way, as you can’t run into a combo that you’ve not practiced for: You’re effectively just getting mixed up by the simple strings. However, this does mean that pressing the buttons can feel fairly standard for every character. All of them have larger attacks, which usually involves a QCF (Quarter Circle Forward) or a QCB (Quarter Circle Back). This means you’d press something like Down, Down-Left, Left (or vice versa). You’d pair this quarter circle with a button like Right Trigger and Right Bumper – And this is true of all characters.

Variation between characters is mostly in their actual toolkit. This means that some characters are better at doing an okizeme (or keeping an opponent grounded), whilst others may be better at Dragon Rushes, which is when you fly at the opponent and attack. This is where the variety in the game comes in: Finding a character you’d like for each purpose, or perhaps sticking to a specific game plan and going with it. You also cannot run multiples of the same character, meaning you have to at least try to get used to a variety of characters

Graphics

The game looks gorgeous and is by far one of the prettiest anime games I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen the graphics before, check this out:

Audio

The audio is great, but it is fairly limited. There’s a limited selection of tunes in the game, which can get repetitive rather quickly. However, that said, each of the individual tracks are wonderfully crafted and fit their intended use nicely. Worth a listen to, but after a while, you just kind of want to turn the music off when you’ve heard it for several hours straight.

Overall

Definitely a solid fighter and one that’s worth having, especially if you’re into the fighting game genre. If you’re not big on fighting games, I’d argue this has a relatively low entry skill ceiling, which is great. However matchmaking can often pair you, a complete novice, with a veteran of the game (Happened to me far too many times). That said, there’s no better way to learn than baptism by fire – And the game is great for giving you in-game tutorials. It’s worth completing them to get a full sense of how to play the game properly.

With a simple enough control scheme, wonderful graphics, good (albeit) repetitive music, DragonBall FighterZ is a great game. If you’re a DragonBall fan, I’d argue this is a must have. If you’re a fighting game fan, I’d argue this is a must have. If you’re new to fighting games overall, then this is a good addition that’ll get you into the genre fairly quickly. If you’ve played DragonBall FighterZ, share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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