Leave your power level scanners At home, because everyone will be over 9000 with this one. Dragonball Fighters Z is the for many fans of the anime and games of the series has been paitently waiting for. Arc System Works with the help of the unreal engine 4 brings to life expertly the fast pace action the series delivers (filler episodes aside).
Dragonball Fighters Z is at its heart a flashy 2.5 D fighter that borrows from other titles to bring to life what many games in the series seemed to never quite bring they way most fans wanted. If you‘re a fan of other fighters like Marvel vs. Capcom, or Guilty Gear then jumping into DBZF will be like getting back to familiar territory, as many of the features from those games show up here with assists and power meter restores with high octane combos that can be easily strung together flawlessly for even the most novice of fighting gamers. That is where the game truly shines due to its easily accessible combo list where most characters have the same button combinations yet each character performs them differently and can be transitioned into powerful supers that for hardcore fighting gamers will be a delight. The long standing anime series is not short of characters and niether is this games as it boasts 24 characters (including Goku and Vegeta Super Saiyan Blue form with pre order).
Similar to Injustice DLC characters will be added to the roster with the first two confirmed as Bardock (Goku‘s Father) and Legendary Super Saiyan Broly. They were announced via V-Jump a popular Japanese magazine. No release date is given yet but we will most likely see them annouced and in game come March.
Alas no game is perfect and where DBZF falls short is its story mode and it’s overly complicated region log in and online play. Dragonball games have never had stellar story mode options, albeit they were at least enjoyable. Xenoverse 1&2 are pretty much holding down more story driven content, even getting updated content from DragonBall Z Super, by adding in overpowered Jiren and Gokus new form Ultra Instinct, but FighterZ seems to be going its own direction with an underwhelming story mode with three separate story arcs. The story mode doesn’t provide much in game content, once you are finished and doesn’t really give you much reason to finish it outside of finding out about the “brand new charcter“, with the inclusion Android 21. 21 is a weird hybrid of Buu’s form with the same hunger for people and strong fighters, and clones of the fighters.....so...many...clones. The only true highlight of the story arcs are the enjoyable interactions of the characters of teams you put together at the start of the match. They really deliver some laugh out loud moments especially if you are long time fan of the show.
The other less then perfect aspect is the online play. With World Match, Arena Match, Ring Match, and Arcade Mode given to you as play options there are plenty for a new strong fighter to test his/her skills but it becomes difficult to do when you get kicked out of the lobby due to connectivity issues. To start the game, you are forced to pick a room and lobby to play in which there is plenty of options. However, constantly getting kicked out of any room you select can become wildly frustrating for even the most zen fighter. Once you are in the lobby you get a avatar which you can change and win new ones, along with customizable stamps and preset convo pieces to quickly speak with those around you. The ring match feature, which allows you to play against a friend Online, seems to be the biggest point of contention due to the dreaded “no room”error, but once you are in, it has surprisingly a wide array of options to play with your friends. Patches are sure to come to fix this, but the games biggest problem is the quitting of online users while they are getting destroyed by a better player and it not counting as a win for you and a loss for them. It can only be hoped that Arc Systems listens to these concerns and addresses them soon.
With all those grievances out of the way the game is fast pace, fun, and addicting fighter with plenty of potential to become a fighting game favorite for even those who aren’t a fan of the manga or anime series. Despite it's connectivity issues and lack of story, Dragon Ball FighterZ boasts many aspects that both fighting enthusiasts and casual fighters can enjoy. For instance, the combos and special moves are so easy to master, as opposed to other fighters on the market, it makes even the most unseasoned gamer feel like they can hold their own.
Another part of the game that makes it worth playing is how well it does the Dragon Ball franchise justice. Dragon Ball FighterZ includes specialty finishes that make the game feel like it was ripped right out of the series with their Destructive and Dramatic finishes. They're little cinematics that take the game to the next level. Speaking of features that take the game to the next level, Bandai Namco and Arc Systems provided players with a way to rewatch and share their gameplay with their replay function. It's not a perfect system, as it doesn't specifically tell you whether or not you won the match, making it completely disorganized, but the fact that you can rewatch these games like it's game tape makes it a welcome feature. Overall, this reviewer will consider it must buy and the purest fighter of the DBZ games franchise.