Yes, I know that DBZ: Kakarot is the new hotness. But I haven’t finished it yet. So instead, I’m going to talk about a good Dragon Ball game (I’ll explain the shade in the Kakarot review). In fact, I’m gonna talk about the best Dragon Ball game.
And if anyone says Budokai 3 I’m gonna break into your house and throw plush Dragon Balls at your head from the corner while singing Cha La Head Cha La!
Dragon Ball Fighterz is a very special game to me. Initially, I only wanted to play it because it was a pretty-looking Dragon Ball game. I didn’t care about the actual game attached to it, seeing as it was a fighting game. As far as I was concerned, the animation and Android (waifu supreme) 21 were enough to justify my sixty dollars.
But then I actually played it. From there, I spiraled off into a never-ending downward plunge into the fighting game genre. One that I’ve never managed to escape. My obsession with the genre started right here!
So, with two seasons of DLC down and one more on the horizon (oops, all Goku!), now seems like the best time to review it! What’s good? What’s bullshit? It’s finally time to take a look at my favorite fighting game: Dragon Ball Fighterz!
Story: Waifu Supreme and Her Clone Army
This plot feels like an arc of Dragon Ball. Not a good arc from DBZ or the original, mind you. More like an arc from Super. Not bad. But ultimately pointless.
There are three stories in this game, each of the same quality. The first is from the perspective of Goku and the other Z Warriors as they fight through an army of clones and returning villains to regain their lost strength and defeat Android 21. The next is from the point of view of Freeza and the other villains as they fight through an army of clones, stomach an alliance with Goku and the others, and regain their strength to fight Android 21. The third, and arguably the only one that really matters, stars the androids, including the new character Android 21 (waifu supreme), as they fight through an army of clones, ally with Goku and the others, and regain their strength to confront Android 21.
That one ends with you fighting Android 21 as Android 21. That may sound cheesy and awesome. But it’s actually pretty underwhelming.
You may have noticed a trend in each of those summaries. That’s because every single one of these stories is basically the same. The only interesting twist is in the Android path when Android 21 splits into a good and a bad version! Even then, that’s a pretty underwhelming development! Aside from that, each of these stories is basically the exact same as the others, only with more/fewer characters!
Also, there’s some shit about a nameless character that gives the characters their power by swapping between their bodies. But it’s pointless and stupid and I don’t want to talk about it.
This story isn’t very good. None of the characters undergo any meaningful developments. Nor does the world change in any big way. Everyone and everything is the same at the end as they were in the beginning. Much like Dragon Ball Super, this story is a ball of fluff that does nothing to progress any sort of plot.
But hey. Android 21 is hot. So… that’s a plus.
This game does have some good fanservice scenes though. Certain characters get special interactions with others which are a lot of fun to watch! Goku and Freeza have a nice back and forth, the Ginyu Force and Gohan can exchange poses, so on and so forth. They’re worthless, sure, but they’re always worth a chuckle!
Narratively speaking, that’s the only thing in this game of value. Luckily, the rest of the game is far better!
Visuals: YEAH BOY LOOK AT THIS SHIT!!
I’ve talked about a lot of pretty games on this blog. But this one? This is the prettiest!
Everything in this game looks amazing! The character models look incredible, faithfully recreating every detail of these iconic characters! The attention to detail in every single one, from how they move to each of their attacks, is absolutely amazing! These are easily the best 3D anime models that I’ve ever seen!
Although Guilty Gear is close. I’d say they’re tied. For obvious reasons.
All of the environments are really nice as well! Each one is beautifully rendered and highly detailed! Just like the characters, they feel as though the animators pulled each area straight out of the show, made them even prettier, and let you fight in them! Plus, each one of them is almost completely destructible! They get more battered with each attack, which is a great little detail!
And then there are the super animations and dramatic finishes! Oh my fucking GOD these are so good! Each one is ripped straight out of the manga/anime, only with more camera movement and insane practical effects! They’re a total joy to watch!
Oh, and the music is fucking incredible! Every single track is an absolute banger! There’s a huge variety of tracks too, from dramatic operatic pieces to smooth jazz! And I adore every single one!
This game looks fucking amazing! Granted, it’s an ArcSys game. Of course it looks this good! But it is a pure bundle of Dragon Ball goodness through-and-through!
Now, time for the best part!
Gameplay: The Deepest Puddle Ever
Dragon Ball Fighterz is a very easy game to pick up and play. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like an especially deep game. But when you dive into the game’s mechanics? You’ll find one of the most in-depth fighting games on the market!
This game is a simple four-button three-man-team fighter. You have a light, medium, heavy, and special attack, all of which have an aerial and quarter-circle forward/back variant (ground and aerial). You can call in your teammates for assists or pass them the baton, rush people down with a grab that knocks them into the air, chase them down with the high-speed Dragon Rush, or hit them with a super attack that consumes a certain amount of your super meter. If all three members of your team are taken out, you lose.
It may seem like a lot on paper, but it’s super easy to pick up and play! Thanks to the game’s inherent simplicity, there is a lot of room for creativity in combos! Have a group of melee fighters? Maybe you could string something together to knock the opponent around! Got a character with lots of command grabs or launchers? Maybe someone else has moves that can complement those! There are a ton of possibilities that make each time in this game, with enough effort and workshopping, completely viable on any level! If you have enough will and take enough time, you could make any team in this game work!
Or you could be a piece of shit and just play as GT Goku. That works too.
There are a lot of good fighting games on the market right now. Street Fighter 5 looks like it might turn it around with the Championship edition! The new Guilty Gear looks incredible! Mortal Kombat 11 is gorgeous and fun to play! Tekken is an endless hype machine! Undernight is about to get an updated version, which should hopefully make one of my favorite fighting games even better! There is no shortage of amazing picks on the market right now!
But none of them compare to Dragon Ball Fighterz in my mind. It is the best fighting game on the market on top of being the best Dragon Ball game ever made! It is a ton of fun to play and a real treat to look at! If you’re into fighting games, you need to play this one!
Or you could play Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite. But I think you’ll have a harder time finding a match in that one.