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Dragon Ball FighterZ Hands On Preview


I got into Dragon Ball Z at the age of 15 thanks to some bootleg VHS tapes I found at a collector’s show in town. I was hooked right away, and as someone who was already obsessed with fighting games I would often dream of Capcom developing a DBZ game. Instead of that happening, I had to contend with sluggish, unresponsive Dragon Ball fighters that ranged from terrible to decent, but failed to capture the magic of the anime in total. Now we have the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ from Guilty Gear developer Arc System Works, and if my time with the game at E3 is any indication, my dream is finally going to come true.

As way of a disclaimer for this hands-on preview it should be noted that I only got to play one fight, but that one bout was enough to learn a lot about this slick fighting game. As you can see from the screen shots, the game is simply gorgeous, perfectly replicating the look of the anime. As is the case with the recent Guilty Gear XRD, this is a fully polygonal game, but DBFZ looks even more impressive than Arc System Works’ last game. Characters are huge, animate well, and pop with explosive color that is especially noticeable on the stylish super attacks. This game is a sight to behold, and even though I got destroyed in my one match I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face the entire time.

The control scheme for FighterZ is deceptively simple, but I could already see how having a good understanding of the basics can go a long way towards victory. The person I squared off against had played the game before, and was able to systematically dismantle me as I was trying to get a feel for the attacks. There is a light, medium, and heavy attack, as well as a special attack on the controller’s face. Supers have simple inputs; I pulled off some big moves with a simple fireball motion and the RB button on the Xbox One controller. There is also a homing button that, in true Dragon Ball fashion, zips your fighter right to their opponent. This is handy when a launcher throws your foe way up into the air, or you want to continue a combo even though you’ve knocked them across the screen. It’s the first Dragon Ball game I can recall doing this since the Japan only DBZ Legends for PlayStation, and it’s sure to be a vital tool in high level play.

I wish I had had more time to get the fundamentals down in my limited time with the game, but I didn’t even manage to tag in my team mates in this 3v3 battle. I came away from the demo excited to play more, pleased with the responsive controls, brilliant visuals, and Japanese voice actors that took me back to those early days of bootleg VHS tapes. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, such as the size of the roster, types of modes, and how the game will handle online, but in a place where Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat have gone to places that I can no longer follow, Dragon Ball FighterZ might scratch the fighting game itch that I always have. Even if you aren’t a fan of the series, this is one fighting game to watch. 



Super Step Contributing Writer

07/06/2017 at 08:31 PM

I always yawned at DBZ games, cause they got mediocre reviews and I wasn't a fan of the series. I'd always catch the filler episodes at the neighbors', and just did not understand the appeal of all the hype (ironically, I was a much bigger fan of Attitude-era WWE at the time, which I liked primarily for the drama part).

Throwing Arc System Works into the mix, however, makes this a day- one purchase for me if reviews are solid.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

07/07/2017 at 04:54 PM

Yeah, I think this is going to be a wet dream come true for DBZ fans, but a fun fighting game for people who know nothing about the show because it plays so well. Especially after trying out the MVC demo when I got home from E3, I think this is the fighter to get this year. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/07/2017 at 08:44 PM

I played the MvC demo and the fights were too easy and over too quickly, plus you were fighting the same enemies over and over until Ultron beat your ass for narrative reasons. But I thought that might be just cause of how early it was set in the campaign.


07/29/2017 at 12:37 PM

I tried a few DBZ games, but I hated the controls, which were incredibly stiff. This game might be worth checking out.

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