By Josh Speer / June 19th, 2018
I’m not the biggest anime fan on staff, let alone the biggest Dragon Ball fan. That’s mostly because I haven’t been able to put aside enough time to really invest in any series, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely unfamiliar with Dragon Ball either. It’s been around long enough that even I know a few things, one of which is that I really like the art style. So when I was at the Bandai Namco booth at E3 this year, I wandered over to try my hand at Dragon Ball FighterZ. While it’s true this game was out prior to E3, I hadn’t played it yet, so here are some quick impressions.
Once I stepped up to the demo station, I had the option to pick 3 fighters. I tried to go with ones I knew, but there was enough variety that I also went with some weirdos I was utterly unfamiliar with. One thing that stood out to me early on was how fast and furious the gameplay is, and how it seems even a gamer new to the genre could appreciate it. Much like Jump Force, which I also played for a few moments, Dragon Ball FighterZ is all about flashy attacks, alternating between your team of characters and reacting to your opponent. The key difference? Jump Force was a much earlier build, and while it looked very pretty, the AI in that game was pretty much set to “punching bag” mode. Not so in Dragon Ball FighterZ, which kicked my ass pretty thoroughly.
After playing Dragon Ball FighterZ, I was most pleased to discover it was on Switch. The more high end a game is graphically, the less likely it seems to get a Switch port, but everything ran quite smooth in my limited experience with the game. It also seems to have a wide and expansive roster of characters, so even if you’re like me and only know a handful, you’ll probably be able to find one of your favorites to try out. Admittedly the nuance of the controls were a bit lost on me, but it does seem button mashing is a viable strategy in some bouts. That said, I think I lost because I never really learned the game mechanics. I probably should have spent more time studying the card that showed off the various moves at my disposal…
If nothing else, Arc System Works seems to know how to make a flashy and entertaining fighter, and I’m glad Bandai Namco is trying to bring it to as many consoles as possible. While it’s true that it was a bit hard to differentiate between the several fighting games I played while at E3, this one was a pretty entertaining diversion. I’m sure it’s a much more exciting experience for fans of the series or even just folks who are more hardcore fighting game enthusiasts. To see more of the fighting games I covered at E3, stay tuned for my impressions on the somewhat controversial latest release in the Dead or Alive series.
Arc System WorksBandai NamcoDragon Ball FighterZE3 2018fighterflashyfranticoprainfall