Name: Dragon Ball FighterZ
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Released: 26, January, 2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose
I might the the biggest anime fan here at Ulvespill. And even though I haven’t watched too much Dragon Ball Z, I know a bit about it. And more importantly, I’ve been following the game for a while, eager to give it a go. Here’s what I think!
The story is set after Dragon Ball Z’s ending, I must admit I haven’t watched a lot of Dragon Ball Z (five or six episodes), but after what I can read online the game seems to fit into the Dragon Ball universe.
The whole premise of the story is that Android 16 has been resurrected and is on the warpath. Clones are roaming the earth and only you (Goku) can save them!
I really loved how there were three story arcs in the game, both from the “good-guys”, “bad-guys” and “Androids’”-perspective. However (and I’d never believe I’d say this) I find it too be too much story in-between each fight. Misunderstand me correctly, the story is good, but I expected a fighting game – not a story game with a tiny amount of gameplay.
I have to say I am surprised how good Dragon Ball FighterZ looks! Texture wise it looks magnificent. And the style they’ve settled for really suits both being a fighting game and the series’ look overall. It has a sort-of cel-shading feel to it, but it’s more cartoony than i.e. Zelda and the Wind Waker.
I had one major issue though, and that is the framerate in every cutscene. I haven’t checked what the framerate actually was, but I imagine it can be no higher than 15 fps. This, obviously, makes the cutscenes horrible to actually watch, as I got a headache every five minutes, give or take (I’m 99% certain it’s not my PS4 that is the problem, as i.e. Horizon: Zero Dawn was running smoothly when I checked). I imagine they’ll fix this issue soon.
I must admit I have some problems with the gameplay in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Firstly, many of the combos (at least those I’ve discovered so far) are just encouraging button-mashing. And it’s too easy to either be stun-locked or stun-lock the opponent. Time and again I found myself winning if I got the first hit, and losing if I got hit first.
That being said, getting a (stun-locked) perfect, is very satisfying. Unfortunately, that too gets boring after a couple of fights. Another major issue I had was the difficulty spike, as the game goes from being way too easy, becoming way too hard in a matter of two or three fights.
I haven’t tried online mode yet, as the publisher haven’t booted the servers yet, but I would assume the stun-locking issue would still be present. The difficulty however, will hopefully not be an issue, as I hope they are matching players with someone their own skill level.
Update: The game also features a versus mode, with 3v3. I didn’t get the chance to test this out as much as I should, and therefore haven’t focused too much about it. This being said, the versus mode has been in my mind while giving the gameplay a score.
The controls (update: the way you move the character) are very similar to the Tekken series. I do which they would be more sensitive though, as I feel like several of my inputs are completely ignored and since you need to double-tap the arrow keys to close down the opponent, this is an annoying issue.
Update: When it comes to attacking the opponents however, you can choose between light, medium and heavy attacks. I prefer fighting games where the buttons are assigned to each limb, instead of light/medium/heavy. If you prefer the light/medium/heavy system you will probably like the controls better than I did.
I haven’t felt the need to replay the story, but as this is also an online game, there’s no real reason to replay the story. If you really like the game, you will probably have more than enough gameplay with the online mode.
Unfortunately the game is not a good way to be introduced to fighting games. The gameplay gets a bit boring after a while, and the game still has some bugs. I don’t know enough about the Dragon Ball Z universe to say whether or not this is a good place to start, but as it is set after the events in the original Dragon Ball Z anime I would assume you should watch that first. If you have watched (and liked) the series and enjoy fighting games you’d probably want to give this a go.
Looks goodThree(!) stories
A bit boring gameplayMediocre controls
Replay Value: 6/10
Total Score: 6.5/10