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Dragon Ball FighterZ Preview: Over 9000

/ Jul 7th, 2017 No Comments

Dragon Ball FighterZ Preview

It is easy to be wary when any Dragon Ball game gets announced because history has proven heart break is usually soon to follow. So when Dragon Ball FighterZ was announced during Microsoft’s E3 2017 media briefing, it was confusing. It looked amazing and gorgeous, but we’ve been down this road too many times when it comes to Dragon Ball Z games.

However, with Arc System Works developing the title, it gave hope to fans. With a prestigious track record that includes the Guilty Gear and Blazblue series, Arc System Works may be capable of putting out a good Dragon Ball fighting game.

After seeing the game at E3, you can raise your expectations for Dragon Ball FighterZ. It may be the Dragon Ball Z fighting game we’ve been waiting for.

The 3-on-3 Game We Deserve

Dragon Ball FighterZ pits players against each other in three-on-three matches, allowing for dream pairings of Dragon Ball Z characters. The demo we played only featured the six currently announced characters — Cell, Frieza, Buu, Goku, Gohan and Vegeta — but these fighters offered a decent variety of fighting styles and combinations. The full roster should make matches interesting and dynamic — let’s hope an all Mr. Satan team is possible.

Goku, Gohan and Cell have a lot of similarities, but the minor differences between them prevented matches from seeming like fighting in the mirror. Meanwhile, Frieza, Buu and Vegeta have very unique styles.

Naturally, a three-on-three fighting game is going to draw a lot of comparisons to Marvel vs. Capcom. Dragon Ball FighterZ plays like the Marvel vs. Capcom game you want, but also has the complex accessibility and depth of Arc System Works fighting games.

While playing on the surface level of a normal fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ has tight controls that reward an economy of buttons and well-executed combos. Aerial combos are highly important; the game makes you think about combining both ground and air attacks to create combos.

Beyond the surface, there are little Dragon Ball touches that kick up the combat to another level. During the demo, moments that stood out included when two characters exchanged a flurry of punches during a lock up scenario and when a character teleported to the other side of the screen to perform a counter attack.

Dragon Ball FighterZ Preview

Frieza can transform to his Golden form for more power.

Because Dragon Ball FighterZ is a three-on-three fighter, you will need to perform moves that call on your teammates in order to defeat your opponents. For instance, Z-Assists allow you to call on one or both of your teammates to get an extra hit on your opponent, while Z-Changes allow you to switch out your character to recover HP. An Ultimate Z-Change lets players unleash all of the supers for each character on their team at once.

The addition of these gameplay elements means Dragon Ball FighterZ plays like the best Marvel vs. Capcom game you’ve never played. It is a beautiful blending of the satisfying and hectic fighting game style with grounded technical fighting game mechanics.

Eye Bleedingly Gorgeous

Dragon Ball FighterZ is an utterly gorgeous game. Its design is the closest to the anime that a Dragon Ball Z game has ever appeared.

Dragon Ball FighterZ Preview

Dragon Ball FighterZ is visually stunning.

The smart blend of 3D character models and 2D visuals results in an eye-catching animated visual style. The game’s performance features 60 fps with 24 fps animations. Add in the 1080p resolution with 4K support on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X and you have a recipe for your eyes to bleed.

The game will support both English and Japanese voice overs.

Third Round Hype

Dragon Ball FighterZ is still a long way from its early 2018 release, but what was shown at E3 was highly impressive. It is a game that looks amazing and plays exceptionally well (even though only six characters have been announced) with a super-fast speed to it. The game is everything you’d want from Arc System Works and Dragon Ball Z.

Time will tell whether the final product is as engaging as the E3 demo, but the upcoming closed beta should give us a lot more opportunities to dig into Dragon Ball FighterZ and all that I has to offer.


Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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