Overall score 96

The Dragon Ball game you’ve always dreamed of is finally realized in Dragon Ball FighterZ (pronounced Fighters). Developed by Arc System Works; best known for BlazBlue & Guilty Gear, the era based 3v3 fighter brings multiple references from the anime and manga of its source. With an original story & character designed by mangaka Akira Toriyama, FighterZ is an eSports title that’s sure to bring joy to the hearts of both fighting game and Dragon Ball fans alike.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 2018 fighting game, it is developed by Arc System Works and published by Bandai Namco. It is currently available on PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

Attention to detail is one of FighterZ’ greatest assets.

Editor’s Note: An early Playstation 4 review copy of Dragon Ball FighterZ was provided by Bandai Namco.

Since 1986 fans of Dragon Ball have received an entry into just about every game genre possible. However, none outside of the Xenoverse franchise has come so close emulating the main source material such as FighterZ has. Taking reference from not only the anime, but the manga as well (a rarity) the fighting game gets every character correct down to the last detail and even somehow manages to make one hit scenes it’s own. A prime example is Super Saiyan Rose Goku Black’s Ki Scythe & clone technique which was only shown on screen for about 5 or so minutes being re-imagined into a beautiful combined finisher.

Spanning across ‘Z’ and ‘Super’, FighterZ blends multiple sagas together and makes several callbacks across the anime & manga.

THE GOOD: If it wasn’t for the hub in every corner of the screen you could swear that you were watching an episode of the anime while playing FighterZ at first glance. The art direction is a flawless mirror image of the anime with color and design matching the represented characters and stages to a T. While previous games attempted to mimic the anime’s art with cel-shading, FighterZ looks like it was built straight out of Toei Animation. Art isn’t the only thing taken from the series, sound design and dialogue from both the original Japanese & English dub scripts are used as well, the OST from the series is also present as unlockables/downloadable content.

Original character Android 21 designed by Akira Toriyama (left) with Android 16 (right).

Gameplay is your standard tag team fighter affair with your assists, character switching and dual to triple special moves to take out a huge chunk of your opponent’s health. Most who played the aforementioned BlazBlue & Guilty Gear won’t have much of a learning curve, though there are some instances of FighterZ being closer to Marvel vs Capcom. Rookie players may take some time to get the hang of things, especially with no prior experience of those games, but it’s rather quick to pick up in tutorial and practice mode. Story mode features an original story with players becoming a “possessed” Son Goku & co. facing off against android clones of the Z-Fighters in a badly damaged Earth. Players traverse across a board game like map facing multiple enemies until they reach the area boss and move on while gaining experience to level up, as well as bonuses to aide you in battle.

A far more advanced Dragon Ball fighting game than you’re used to.

Arcade mode is your standard gauntlet style mode where you face off against several random teams, however this mode also gains players access to Super Saiyan Blue Goku & Vegeta should you beat the second and third tiers on hard mode, so fear not those who missed the day one edition.  And yes there are loot boxes in FighterZ, but everything is purchased via in-game currency with no purchase from real world money included. For anyone curious the AI provides a fair challenge, I’ve lost countless times in Arcade mode alone.

Hard hitting, fast paced anime action!

THE BAD: The story seems kind of there for the most part. When compared to Xenoverse’s excellent story, FighterZ’ feels pretty lacking.

FighterZ is perhaps the best Dragon Ball video game experience we’ll ever have.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: Dragon Ball FighterZ is the video game fans have been hoping for. If you’ve played the Hyper Dragon Ball game, it’s pretty clear where Bandai got its inspiration, and that’s great. The story is unfortunately not that impressive, however everything outside of that provides a very satisfying showcase.




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