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Dragon Ball FighterZ
  

 
ABOUT
The team behind the revolutionary visuals of Guilty Gear Xrd aims to bring the iconic Dragon Ball series into the front and center of the fighting game genre in 2018. With Arc System Works behind the development of this promising 2.5D fighter, Dragon Ball FighterZ clearly isn't your typical "mainstream anime" fighting game spin-off. Unlike the vast majority of previous Dragon Ball video game releases - which strongly catered to the casual crowd and were missing the most basic of fighting game fundamentals, Dragon Ball FighterZ is being designed as a competitive fighting game, first and foremost.

In a June 2017 interview, producer Tomoko Hiroki stated "
We're trying to aim for the core fighting game fans as well as the casual fans, and for eSports these types of 2D fighting games are very hype right now. And so we thought that this kind of huge movement in terms of eSports, and combining that with a franchise that's loved throughout the world like Dragon Ball would be a perfect match."
 

 Several fighters will have their own unique assist / support characters.

 
DBFZ features true 3-VS-3 battles with character-specific assist attacks (not unlike the Marvel VS Capcom series). And yes, assist attacks can be punished (AKA "Happy Birthdays" are in). So far, special move and super move commands consist mostly of quarter-circle-forward and quarter-circle-back motions, with some other special commands done by inputting "down" or "down down" plus an attack button. The super gauge can be stocked with up to 7 meters which can be used in a variety of ways, including ultra-powerful "level 3" super moves and transformations. Similar to MVC2/MVC3, DBFZ also features "Snapbacks" (forcing you opponent to tag out) which are done by grabbing your opponent and hitting the tag button.
 

Dragon Ball FighterZ could be a game changer in competitive fighting games.

 
Dragon Ball FighterZ has universal "Vanish" and "Sparking Blast" moves which resemble the Guilty Gear series' Roman Cancel system and Dust attacks, respectively. All characters have a "Dragon Rush" technique which has characters launch their opponents and chase them into the air. The basic super dash resembles the homing style dashes of the Arcana Heart series. There's also a "Ki Charge" mechanic for gauge-charging, and a parry mechanic used to deflect Ki blasts and other projectiles. Auto-combos will also be in the game (tap one button for a present combo), which works with both light-attack and medium attack. Forward + medium is a universal overhead attack.

The Shenron System is a gameplay system that has players earn Dragon Balls during a match by meeting certain conditions during the fight. After combos with a specific number of hits are performed (for example: 10 hits for the one-star ball and 30 hits for the three-star ball), the mythological dragon Shenron will appear and grant a player one of four wishes. Apparently, the next player to land a combo will have their wish granted. Exact details on how this system works is still a mystery, but some of the wishes, include: Refilling health bars, reviving teammates, increasing health regeneration, auto-restoration of the energy gauge, "immortality", a free Sparkling Blast activation, or "Ultimate Power". According to sources, this mechanic will be locked in a separate mode... so it may not have any relevance in competitive play.

Hit the right combos... and Shenron will grant you wishes. Seems legit.

 
Aside from being one of the first authentic, competitively-sound Dragon Ball fighting games in recent memory, Dragon Ball FighterZ will include a ton of fan service and throwbacks to the iconic manga/anime that long-time fans of the series can fully appreciate. Arc System Works has used animation references from the manga/anime in designing many characters' normal attacks and special moves! The eye-catching 2.5D graphics engine of Dragon Ball FighterZ will focus on dynamic camera angles and vivid facial expressions to match the memorable and stylized moments from the iconic anime series.

Furthermore, when players perform certain actions before or during a battle, they will initiate a "Dramatic Enactment"  between specific characters. These are special cinematic that will play out before or after a fight when certain characters are involved - basically reenacting memorable moments from the storyline.
 

Similar to the home version of Guilty Gear Xrd, Dragon Ball FighterZ will feature interactive online lobbies where players can control "cute" avatars of different characters and explore different areas / online modes. "Circle Match" mode is an online mode where up to 8 players can join a room to fight against each other (4 fights can occur simultaneously). "World Match" mode allows players to choose between Ranked and Casual matches.
 

Page Updated: June 13th, 2018
Developer(s): Arc System Works
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Designer(s): Junya Motomura       (Director)
Tomoko Hiroki
            (Producer)
Artwork By: Akira Toriyama         (source material)
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC,  Nintendo Switch
Release Date(s): Jan. 26th, 2018        (/)
Feb. 1st, 2018
           ()
TBA 2018                     (Switch)
Characters Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Yamcha, Future Trunks, Tien Shinhan, Frieza, Cell, Android 16, Android 18, Nappa, Captain Ginyu, Majin Buu, Kid Buu, Adult Gohan, Gotenks, Beerus, Hit, Goku Black, Goku (SSB), Vegeta (SSB), Android 21, Broly, Bardock, Fused Zamasu, Vegito (SSB)
Featured Video:
Related Games: Guilty Gear Xrd REV2, Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, Hokuto No Ken, Sunday X Magazine, Street Fighter 5, SF5: Arcade Edition, Under Night In-Birth: EXE Late[st], Injustice 2, Tekken 7, MVC: Infinite, Fighting EX Layer, Blade Strangers, Blazblue: Central Fiction, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle
 

Gameplay Engine   
Story / Theme   
Overall Graphics   
Animation   
Music / Sound Effects   
Innovation   
Art Direction   
Customization    
Options / Extras    
Intro / Presentation    
Replayability / Fun    
"Ouch" Factor    
Characters    

BOTTOM LINE

   

 

 

First Impressions:

Any way you look at it, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a huge achievement by Arc System Works - and in a variety of ways. Clearly, it's a visual masterpiece. The in-game presentation is unlike anything seen before. The game offers an easy starting point for new / novice fighting game players, but also has considerable depth for more experienced fighters.

After playing the beta for an hour or so, I thought the game might be "too simple" for my tastes... BUT... after playing it longer and discovering new depth (leaving me wanting to learn more), the game has definitely drawn me in. The MVC2 vibes are too strong. There are a lot of fun characters and gameplay possibilities going on here.

At long last... a wild Dragon Ball fighting game has appeared on TFG.
Over the past 20-something years, many game developers attempted to make Dragon Ball Z fighting games... with mixed results. Certain 2D titles of the 90's came close, but most previous DBZ "fighting games" (like the Budokai series) lacked the most basic skill-oriented fighting game mechanics. For this reason, Dragon Ball games never established relevancy in the competitive fighting genre.

You can thank Arc System Works for this
. In case you've been wondering all these years... this is what it takes to get a "mainstream anime" fighting game to get featured on TFG. A traditional fighter made by a reputable fighting game developer, a game made with heart and history, and a game that looks as visually innovative as Dragon Ball Fighter Z. I'm not even a big Dragon Ball Z fan... but I'm excited to play this.

I'm not a huge Dragon Ball Z fan when it comes to character designs or lore, but I always had an appreciation for the art style. Akira Toriyama is legendary. However, I can still enjoy the game on many levels - even though I don't "get" all of the special cutscenes or references (but I have done some of my homework). In short, DBFZ can be enjoyed by all fighting game players - not just DBZ fans.
TFG's full review is coming soon!  ~TFG Webmaster
 

   
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Click Here for more character art!!

 

   
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