Dragon Ball FighterZ



the ac­tion is fast and spec­tac­u­lar enough that it’s still en­ter­tain­ing as a button mash

De­vel­oper Arc SyS­tem WorkS • P ublisher BAndAi nAmco en­ter­tAin­ment • P rice $ 59.99 • A vAilAble At SteAm, re­tAil bandainam­coent.com.au

Arc Sys­tem Works aren’t known for do­ing li­censed games, but Dragon Ball def­i­nitely fits in their wheel­house. The de­vel­oper be­hind the beloved Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fight­ing games has a his­tory of cre­at­ing spec­tac­u­lar, beau­ti­ful games with deep fight­ing me­chan­ics and over the top spec­ta­cle. Dragon Ball FighterZ is def­i­nitely beau­ti­ful and over the top, with more crazy bull­shit per sec­ond than pretty much any other fight­ing game on the mar­ket, and whilst the fight­ing en­gine is sim­pli­fied when com­pared to the de­vel­oper’s flag­ship ti­tles it still man­ages to de­liver a sat­is­fy­ing and deep ex­pe­ri­ence good for be­gin­ners and pros alike.

The story of the long run­ning Dragon Ball comics and an­i­mated se­ries is nigh im­pen­e­tra­ble un­less you’re in for the long haul, but knowl­edge of the source ma­te­rial isn’t nec­es­sary to en­joy the many charms of the game. Un­like most fight­ing games, all of the char­ac­ters in Dragon Ball FighterZ have the same in­put com­mands, mak­ing switch­ing from one char­ac­ter to another in the three on three fight­ing, or learn­ing a new char­ac­ter much sim­pler than hav­ing to learn a full new com­mand sys­tem. Quar­ter cir­cle for­ward plus the spe­cial at­tack button per­forms the iconic Kame­hameha for Goku, but the same in­put de­liv­ers a Hom­ing En­ergy Blast from Pic­colo, Con­nois­seur Cut from An­droid 21, Sweep­ing Breath from Ma­jin Buu or “Next time, you’ll die” from Frieza.

The fight­ing en­gine is based around four but­tons and di­rec­tional com­mands – so far so tra­di­tional. The di­rec­tional com­mands are straight­for­ward and ei­ther con­sist of a sin­gle di­rec­tion or a quar­ter cir­cle back­wards or for­wards. More com­pli­cated move­ments like dragon punches, half cir­cles, 360s or charge moves are used. Light, Medium, Heavy and Spe­cial at­tacks can be com­boed to­gether, from sim­ple auto com­bos on the light and medium at­tacks to more in­tri­cate mix-up com­bos. Many at­tacks are auto hom­ing, send­ing the char­ac­ter ca­reen­ing across the screen to pum­mel the op­po­nent. It may sound overly sim­plis­tic, and matches be­tween ca­sual op­po­nents of­ten seem to de­volve into light and heavy button mash­ing con­tests un­til one can pull off a level three su­per move to dish out some very se­ri­ous dam­age and prompt some Earth-shat­ter­ing an­i­ma­tions. Even so, the ac­tion is fast and spec­tac­u­lar enough that it’s still hugely en­ter­tain­ing as a button mash. Get some skilled op­po­nents fac­ing each other, how­ever, and it’s a far more nu­anced game, with moves and counter moves, combo breaks and some truly spec­tac­u­lar ac­tion.

This is by far the best Dragon Ball game to date, but more im­por­tantly, it’s also a fan­tas­tic fight­ing game that is easy to ap­proach but re­wards se­ri­ous play. The story mode makes for an ex­cel­lent in­tro­duc­tion to the me­chan­ics, and on­line play, though a lit­tle clunky thanks to the lobby sys­tem, adds a mas­sive amount of re­playa­bil­ity.

The score’s 4-all. Must be a close match.

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