June 30, 2018
E3 2018: Hands on with Dragon Ball FighterZ for Switch
Trends come and go in gaming and ever since Switch exploded and became popular, one trend has been asking when a game is coming to Switch. Dragon Ball FighterZ was announced back at E3 2017 for other platforms and the question appeared right away, well a year later, Bandai Namco announced it is coming, but having played it, does it hold up?
The game was on hand at Bandai’s booth and proved to be quite popular, so it was not until the final day in the media only area that I got to play it and it proved to be as fast and chaotic as it was on the other platforms. The only option available to me to play, was standard 3v3 fights, but all the characters were available and I believe all of the stages as well, so playing a few rounds against the computer and one against someone, who thoroughly kicked my butt, I was able to get a solid feel of the game.
For a fighting game, the most important thing, is not how it looks, but how it plays and I can say that the game is as fast and fluid as I recall the other version being. There was not lag from characters, not in any command inputs, fighter rotation or even on the menus, the entire game ran smooth as butter the entire time. Even when pulling off combo’s throwing a Kamehameha at the end, resulted in no noticeable slowdown, at least that I could see with my own eyes. Given how important that it is for fighting games to get that right, I would commend Bandai Namco for making sure it works as well as it does, but that is not all that matters here.
There is no denying that Dragon Ball FighterZ has a wicked art style, basically being a playable episode of the anime, that is what really got peoples attention at first and I am happy to report that the visuals hold up on the Switch. Now Bandai Namco have announced that the game is being ported to Switch by Arc System Works, the creators of the game, so no third-party studio here, the same studio that made the recent BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, also on Switch, so they know the hardware quite well. The only time that I could see a drop-in quality, is in one specific sequence, when defeating one opponent, if it was done with a solid attack, it would send them flying away through a mountain behind them, then the next fighter would jump in and away we would go, however the textures whenever the camera got closed to it were muddy and even lacked proper geometry. This was a single instance though and was the only time I noticed it, so hopefully it was just something from build at the show and not for the final release.
When I was playing against the computer, I was able to achieve a few victories, but I lost just as many as I won, it was an even playing field. If I was able to begin a combo, it would usually result in a nice amount of damage being dealt, but just the same, they could bash me just as easily if they got a good combo going. Playing against a human opponent, well the less said about that the better, I was well and truly destroyed, but I blame my horrible fighting game skills and of course the other guys formidable skills.
Those who have been hanging for FighterZ to come to Switch, don’t appear to have any fears as the game plays and looks great, how it goes online, only time will tell, but for now it looks like it will add another notch to the great fighting game collection that Switch is building.