February 07, 2018

Dragon Ball FighterZ - Review

If you grew up with what some people might call the golden years in terms of VS type games such as Street Fighter Alpha, King of Fighters, Marvel vs Capcom and others of the like, then this is definitely a VS fighting game you'll want to get!

Through the years, Dragon Ball games have taken a whole lot of iterations....starting from it's Super Famicom with Dragon Ball Z, all the way to Dragon Ball Xenoverse. Regardless of what version you've played, they haven't been the greatest game around due to the fact that it's never just come out as a fun and casual game that players can just jump on and bash out. The latest version of the Dragon Ball game, "FighterZ", has a bit of a mixture. Storymode, where players can go in, and as per previous games, go on some weird world map to travel to in which you end up fighting the CPU, or go through Arcade mode for the casual game.

One thing that we'd like to personally address is the menu system that they have for the game. Instead of a simplistic font style menu system as seen in games such as Street Fighter, FighterZ has a virtual 'lounge' system where you control a little avatar (changeable) where you run around to different sections to play the various modes, such as  Story mode, Arcade, Online, Practice etc.
Initially, its cute to see the little chibi characters, esp when you're in an open online lounge and seeing other people's avatars, however, this soon gets quite annoying as it'd be easier to just go through a simplistic font based menu system.

NOW, lets talk about story mode first. Without giving away too much storyline and what happens (twist plot), they try and narrate that YOU (as a player) have taken over Goku's body, in which his consciousness takes a back seat...similarly like Kurama in Naruto. The story progresses through and eventually Goku takes over his body again. You eventually learn that there's Android 19 comes back and is helping out a mysterious 'doctor' character who seems on your side. That's as much as we want to mention here to ensure we don't spoil anything, let alone hint anything. That being said...the only thing you end up doing countless times are fight "clones" of all the Dragon Ball characters, in which along the way, you end up rescuing the actual characters such as Vegeta, Krillin etc. Additionally, once rescued, you're able to place them into your 3 man party where you'll be able to switch between characters during the gameplay battles. Now, in terms of Story literally repeat battling these 'clones' all the way until you have to battle the 'big bad'.

Not to mention the different Arcs that FighterZ has to offer....but to pretty much shows the same storyline from the POV of the heroes, ie, Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo etc. The second Arc is playing the story from the villains POV, being Frieza, Cell etc. And last is from the point of view of the Androids, which is where the main plot surrounds.

Arcade mode is a more simplistic way to play the game without story, but it's through a mapping system. Depending on whether you win or lose, you move to the next round via a linear map. There are 3 main courses in this mode, which are Snake Way Course, Extreme Gravity Spaceship Course, and Hyperbolic Time Chamber Course. Once completed, they release a "hard" version of the same courses where enemies are tougher to beat due to a damage buff etc. Additionally, if you didn't preorder FighterZ to get the exclusive Blue Haired Vegeta and Goku, otherwise known as SSGSS version, apparently beating the Arcade mode in HARD version will unlock them.

World Match is a mode where players can jump online to combat players online. These are split to 2 difference type of online gaming. Casual matches and Ranked matches. It's quite obvious what ranked matches takes a score of how many wins vs how many loses that gets put up to a leaderboard. Whereas casuals are exactly that....if you're wanting to play someone for a casual match, it's a matter of matching up.

Lastly, there's a Practice mode, in which it is exactly what it sounds like. You go in, learn the basics of the buttons and simple combos. For people who aren't used to VS fighting games that's relatively fast paced, it probably pays to run through the practice mode. Additionally, when you play through Story Mode, there will guide you through some practice buttons and combos as a reminder. This is probably for people who don't go through practice. Hence, there are 2 types of people in the world...ones who read manuals and instructions, and ones who dive straight in.

One of the best things about this game is the graphics and visuals. The game is absolutely amazing in regards to the cell shading they've used, and the animation style. It actually feels as though you're watching and playing the anime itself, it's ridiculous! Animations are seamless and absolutely smooth, super move cut scenes are absolutely incredible, making you want to keep charging your super bar to use them. We can't see any fault in terms of this visuals...if anything, this was one of the selling points of them game.

In addition, couple this with the fantastic fighting mechanics, and you have a sure winner! FighterZ will bring back a lot of old memories to the time where VS fighting games were at it's peak with Marvel vs Capcom, the Street Fighter series, KOF and more. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a VERY fast paced game in terms of bashing out combos! And yes, the controls are simplistic too that for the person who's not used to fighting games can also button mash through the game, and make it feel satisfying. Just to explain, the basic attack buttons are a light, medium, heavy and a projectile button. Combinations can be as basic as hitting only the light attacks, medium attacks or heavy attacks only....OR a combination of the 3. The only call out in terms of this is, if you're used to the game mechanics of games such as Tekken or Injustice, FighterZ might be a little bit of a struggle due to the pace of combos and attacks. However, once mastered, it does feel very rewarding.

Review copy provided by Bandai Namco

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