Dragon Ball FighterZ - Stripped
Updated: Mar 27
With a long list of fighting games over the years, making a Dragon Ball fighting game is a risky endeavor. Trying to live up to the greatness of past editions like Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is no simple task. With that said Dragon Ball FighterZ lives up to the expectations in almost all ways. The visuals of the game are amazing, the developers are actively working on keeping the competitive integrity of the game alive, and it’s more accessible to casual players than any past editions.
When you talk about fighting games, rarely is one of the best draws it’s visual appeal. FighterZ is different. The animations, the smooth transitions from move to move in combos, the interactions with the background, and the fantastic super moves are all drawn with obvious care and extreme attention to detail. The beautiful cel shading gives the game one of the most true to the anime styles we have seen in any iteration of a Dragon Ball game. It is Dragon Ball. If you like stunning visuals in your games, look no further. This game will not disappoint you.
Accessibility is an important aspect to a fighting game for more casual players. Lucky for you Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the easiest fighting games to get into. With every character having ‘auto-combos’ by mashing either the light or medium attack buttons, players who don’t have the time to spend learning more intricate combos can still enjoy the game without only spamming the same punch over and over. The auto-combos are easily countered by an experienced player. If you’re a hardcore fighter game enthusiast you won’t be using them anyway, after you move on from fighting newbies and casuals you will rarely see them used.
For new players, rejoice as you can get a feel for characters through the auto combos and actually be able to play immediately without spending hours in training learning and remembering the long combos you see in competitions. I love the auto combos, it lets me play with my friends and siblings who aren’t big fans of normal fighting games. While I often see this point used as a detractor of the game, I view it as a welcome addition.
The roster for FighterZ is pretty fleshed out already, we’ve already got 32 characters all of which have unique movesets and animations that come straight out of the anime. There’s still more characters that are going to be released as time goes on. The roster isn’t Tenkaichi 3 but it’s not lacking either.
The competitive scene is still highly active, tournaments are still held for it, and the game is actively being balanced. Nerfs and buffs find themselves coming in as the patches come out. Batting down OP characters, and giving little boosts to the underwhelming ones, Arc Systems has been doing great work with the games balancing.
Playing online is like playing roulette. Some games you’ll get someone of a close skill level that results in a great series of games. But if you’re not that great at the game, like me, more likely you’ll get matched with someone leagues better than you who will crush you mercilessly. If you’re actually good at fighting games, or are willing to put in the work to get good, then I imagine the online experience would be much better for you than I. The lag hasn’t seemed to be much of a problem for me. FPS differences has mostly only been around the 3 fps or lower mark. As long as you have a decent connection I wouldn’t anticipate many problems. The lag-fests will usually disconnect you before long anyway.
If you’re not a fan of the online experience there is always the Arcade mode. The game gives you several scenarios to work through fighting different combinations of the characters. Once you beat the regular scenarios it opens up a hard mode of the same thing. Hard mode can be quite deceiving. The first few fights will be easy, and the difficulty will ramp up immensely at the third one. The characters aren’t just smarter and react to your play better, but their actual damage exceeds anything the player could dish out. It’s still a fun experience, but definitely a tough one to tackle.
The last thing to touch on is price point. I was too cheap to grab it on release. It’s held it’s value pretty well but you can find it going on sale on Steam (if you’re on PC) for a nice 50% off now. I would definitely wait for a sale and grab one of the editions that give you access to the DLC characters as well because racking all those guys up can become pretty costly (But the DLC characters are definitely worth it.)
In the end FighterZ is one of my favorite fighting games yet. It comes close to Soul Calibur 2 and MK9. If you can find the game on sale I highly recommend picking it up. Newbie or experienced fighter, Dragon Ball FighterZ sits among the kings of the genre. Buck Naked Gaming gives FighterZ a strong 9/10!