Dragonball Fighter Z - Hands-on
Ever since Dragon Ball hit the market in the 80's, fans have wanted a video game that best harnesses the essence of the series. Although games like Budokai and Xenoverse gave us a taste of what it's like to go super saiyan, they always left us wanting more. This week, Bandai Namco finally debuted a true 2D fighting game called Dragon Ball Fighter Z. We were able to to get our hands on a first look of the game at E3, and it exceeded all of our expectations.
Dragon Ball Fighter Z looks stunning. The game switches seamlessly from cutscenes to combat. When the match starts, it is hard to tell if you are playing the game or watching the anime. The game gets every movement, ki blast and transformation spot on. Watching Gohan performing a super kamehameha with Goku's spirit materializing behind his son is as vibrant as it was when first watching the end of the Cell saga; maybe even more so. The stages are also designed extremely well. The two stages available are the world tournament and Planet Namek. Both of these set pieces spring to life with little nuances like how the audience in the world tournament contain unique sprites or how you can leave Namek a molten wasteland with the right super move.
The combat truly stands out the most from this demo. Dragon Ball Fighter Z is a 3v3 2D fighter in its purest form. Arc System Works, the developers of the Guilty Gear series, has put a lot of love into making it feel just right. The weight behind the combat is satisfying; letting you feel the impact of each body blow or blast. The controls are easy to pick up with most special moves mapped to either quarter circles or back/forward charges. Also, combos are quick to pull off as you switch between weak, medium, strong, and ki blasts. Even though it can be easy to pull of combos and supers, there still seems to be a lot more hidden beneath this combat system for those who want to become pros. At the time of the demo, we were able to play as only six characters; Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu. Each one has their own unique play style and move set, and fans of the series will get a kick pulling off Vegeta’s final flash or turning your opponent into a cookie as Majin Buu. I really hope the roster grows past the Z universe and into the original Dragon Ball and Super series.
Overall, Dragon Ball Fighter Z is the game fans have been yearning for, and if things continue to deepen from the demo we experienced at E3, it could become the best Dragon Ball game to date. Look forward to powering up to over 9000 in early 2018.