Revealed during the Microsoft Press Conference earlier last week, Dragon Ball Fighterz is the next fighting game iteration of what is possibly the most influential anime of all times.
Dragon Ball Fighterz, the trailer alone gave me shivers. It sounded genuine, looked authentic, and the gameplay in the trailer (below) looked like tons of fun. My first impression after seeing it live at the Galen Center for the first time was: “Wow, finally the Dragon Ball game I was waiting for”. Of course, before giving more of an opinion, I had to play it. Thanks to the amazing team at Namco Bandai, I was able to get a hands-on with what I believed would be the best fighting game on the show floor at E3 2017. How was the game? Well, I will attempt to explain that to the best of my capacity.
Dragon Ball Fighterz, from the moment I picked up the controller, put me in a state of indescribable happiness. First off, Dragon Ball is one of my all-time favorite anime. Secondly, it is a fast-paced fighting game that reminds me of series such as BlazBlue and Marvel vs. Capcom, two games I genuinely enjoy. With these two elements backing up the design behind Dragon Ball Fighterz, I am sure to like it. As a matter of a fact, I did and let me explain why. Dragon Ball Fighterz’s visuals look as close as the actual series, which is a lot more than what I can say about the Tenkaichi, Burst Limit and Budokai titles. Arc System Works, the same team responsible for making BlazBlue and Guilty Gear as good looking, are behind the work done on this new Dragon Ball fighting game that runs at 1080p/60fps.
The team at Arc System Works developed Dragon Ball Fighterz to be a 2.5D layered fighting game. This means that the title in question is based on a two-dimensional layered design, whereas certain animations have depths, thus giving it a 3D allure.
Looks are important in this case, considering that it is based on a fan-favorite anime, but it isn’t everything. Once I got my hands on the demo showcased at E3, I was prompted to pick three characters out of six, The mode: 3 versus 3. Right off the bat, I picked Vegeta (SSJ), Teen Gohan (SSJ) and Goku (SSJ). My other options also included Cell (Final Form), Frieza (Final Form) and Buu (Fat Buu).
Playing along with the move sets, the controls felt a lot like BlazBlue – I was expecting it to be closer to Marvel Vs. Capcom though. Hit boxes made a lot of sense and characters were able to perform some of their classic attacks. Additionally, mechanics include transformations! If you have enough energy, you can turn Goku SSJ into Super Saiyan 3, or Frieza into Gold Mode – those are just a couple of examples, however. Also, dashes, air dashes and other technical mechanics, such as the following, are featured in the game, as you would expect to find in a Dragon Ball game:
- Z Assist: Call you allies to help you in combat. Careful as to when you summon them because if the timing is wrong, they could also take damage from the opposing enemy.
- Z Change: Switch your current Z Fighter with another character.
- Vanish: A swift teleportation move that also acts as a counter to position yourself out of harm’s way and sometimes in good offensive range.
- Charge: Empowers your character in order to perform powerful moves.
It doesn’t take too long of a test run to realize that Dragon Ball Fighterz will have an active competitive scene! Speaking with a developer, we learned that one of the crucial elements to making effective teams are picking characters that, with combos you perform, have great synergy with one another thanks to the Z Assist. Also, the current roster of six fighters isn’t final; we should expect to see more playable fighters from the Dragon Ball universe in the near future.
Dragon Ball Fighterz is scheduled for release early 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. A story mode has yet to be confirmed, but I am more than confident that one will be available once the game launches!
Stay tuned for more information on Dragon Ball Fighterz and more hands-on from E3 2017.