Review: DragonBall FighterZ

When I saw DragonBall FighterZ at E3 last year, I was hooked. It looked like the DBZ fighter my teenage self always wanted. Fast gameplay with hard hitting attacks set to a beautifully animated backdrop. In hindsight, I should have been more weary about picking up this fighter day and date because it has some technological issues that are only starting to get ironed out.

It should be noted that I picked this up on PC via Steam for $100 on launch. (I’ll let you know when I get sponsors… hahahahahahahahahaha… sponsors.)

The graphics in this game are exactly what we saw at E3, which surprised me. There are many times where these games end up having subpar graphics or toned down, less fluid graphics and motion because special builds get created for trade shows. That is not the case with this game. All the 3D rendering and modeling is top notch. These characters feel like their anime counterparts. It’s fantastic. I didn’t get any frame drops in places that I thought I would see frame drops. 60FPS all day, every day.

I should admit that I am terrible at fighting games. AB-SO-LUT-LY terrible. The controls of DragonBall FighterZ has been simplified so you have auto combos for simple people like myself to get through the game. There are also special combos and a way to chain combos together via juggles and teleports or canceling moves by blocking with intent and accuracy. I do not possess this ability. Trust me — I am terrrrrible at this.

How terrible am I at this? Well, let me put it to you this way: I have won exactly 0 matches in online play. Z. E. R. O. In the lobby system, which you have to be in for any online play. You can create tournaments, 1v1 matches and other kinds of match types all from the lobby. There are also beginner “get to know the game” tutorials that require you to do these match types. So, I tried them all. I couldn’t win any match I tried. No matter how hard I tried, I could not win. Did I come close? Yes. Did I get one win and lose 2-1? Sometimes… but did I win? NOPE. I had a blast playing them though.

About those lobbies — they didn’t work at launch. Well, they did work but only if you could get in them. If you couldn’t get into an online lobby, you could always get into a local lobby, but not be able to participate in any of the online multiplayer features. What good is a lobby system for online play that you can’t get into? Short answer, nothing. Long answer is, “Well, those developers better figure something out quick.” Now that we’re about a month removed from the launch hiccups, I haven’t ran into this issue, however it’s worth mentioning now when a holiday time comes around and a new swath of players emerge.

Luckily, there is a great story campaign that I am able to play through. There are three campaigns that you need to work though to unlock characters and gain Zein for the loot box style lotto system that nets you new avatars and skins for each character. Each story is very DragonBall-esque and consists of battling through game boards with cutscenes and key fights mixed in. I enjoyed each campaign more than I thought I would. They were much better than Street Fighter V, which bummed me out a bit that it was only multiplayer for some time after launch.

Do I recommend DragonBall FighterZ? Yes — prefaced that you either enjoy fighting games with an emphasis on multiplayer or are a fan of the DragonBall franchise.

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