Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dragon Ball FighterZ - Game Review

Written by Shiggins

Let's fighting love!

I love the Dragon Ball franchise, but fighting games have never been my forte. Button mashing to do the most complicated combos imaginable while a superior foe smashes my face in has never been a source of entertainment for me, either in real life or video games. With the appearance of FighterZ however, it was time to give fighting games another try and pray that I have grown in skill as well as age.

I know it's pronounced "Fighters" but I pronounce it Fighter Z and if you have a problem with that, gather the Dragon Balls and wish for me to shut up!
Developed by Arc System Works, who are best known for fighting franchises such as Blazblue and Guilty Gear, many would argue that this is exactly the Dragon Ball game they have been begging to be made for years. In recent years, Dragon Ball has mostly gone for games like Raging Blast and Xenoverse. Enjoyable in their own areas, but not exactly complex or deep enough to appeal to fighting fans.

The first and most obvious factor to talk about is the visual appeal of the game. The cel-shading is absolutely stunning, and I don't think any other game has ever looked like an anime as much as this one does. The closest I can think of is the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series, but even that is beaten by FighterZ's graphics. The expressions and style during cutscenes, as well as in-game battles, are fluid and a joy to behold.

Oh, Yamcha's dignity. Where art thou?
Next, let's discuss the story. It takes a very unusual approach to including the player, by making them a spirit/soul that has possessed the heroes so they can fight in this unusual situation, where villains have returned from the dead, clones are running about the place, and some strange waves are weakening everyone. And it all seems to be linked to this brand new character designed by Akira Toyirama himself, Android 21. The story might not be the deepest or most complicated, but it is brimming with personality thanks to the unique interactions that they all share and the amount of fun they are clearly having. One perfect example is when Yamcha is unintentionally crushed by Goku's words, showcasing just how much he really needs to get some love and how much the writers are clearly taking advantage of that.

Ouch! Right in the timeline!
The campaign itself is split into three sections, and overall it might feel somewhat too long for a fighting game, but I had fun regardless. Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat are having a blast in these roles they're practically fused into, while Cell's Damien Clarke is absolutely fantastic as he chews the scenery. I miss Chris Ayres voicing Frieza, but Daman Mills does a fine job. Of course, the same can be said of everyone, including Jeannie Tirado as Android 21, who steals the show. She's funny, motivated and has such a diverse personality. This character has been a hit since her first reveal and I'm glad it isn't just because of her sexy glasses/tail.

As tempted as I am, I still cannot replace my DB waifu for her. It is tempting though...
What you're interested in, however, is the combat! And, as a non-fighter myself, I think this fighting game is tons of fun! One of the biggest turn-offs for a simple-casual-noob-disgrace such as myself is how complicated these types of games tend to be. Paradoxically, I disliked Injustice because it felt too simple! FighterZ has managed to find that perfect sweet spot however, where it provides accessibility to me but makes sure I don't get too smug. Some of the fights against the A.I are simple and don't require much more than button-mashing, but fighting online is a great way to remind myself that there is so much more to learn and harness.

The roster is actually quite small in comparison to many other Dragon Ball games, but its clear that the focus was on quality over quantity and this is probably the best route to go with the history of Dragon Ball games we already have. Despite only consisting of 24 playable characters, I never felt like the roster was bare, due to how unique each of them feel. For example, Android 16 is a monster with short range but heavy destructive capabilities. Frieza is fast and capable of multiple long-range attacks, including using his psychic powers to throw rocks or charge forward with 100% power. Ginyu can summon other members of his delightful Ginyu Force to assist him in combos, or just change bodies if he's on the losing end. These are just some of the examples that these characters are capable of, and to list them all would take up the entire review.

Aww. They make such a cute couple.
Right now, there are only a story mode, arcade mode and online mode to play with. Future modes have been confirmed, but at the moment I feel like FighterZ is in need of some more variety in challenges to keep fans coming back for more. What is here is great however, and definitely worth your time, but I suppose you could say my biggest complaint with FighterZ is my desire to have more. More characters and more modes. As for the lobby where you run around as a chibi character to get to each mode... it's cute.

These criticisms are small however, and barely affect the fun I've had with this game. It's great, and I am still playing it right now with a smile on my face and eager to see if I missed any cutscenes in the story modes by not pairing certain people together. If Gotenks and Tien can have a talk in this game, then anyone can! I'm still training, and I'm still fighting. Some of you might not give this review a second glance because it is from a Dragon Ball fan, rather than a fighting game fan, but I know at least one of you will be the same as me when it comes to purchasing what is arguably one of Dragon Ball's best ever video games.

Before we end this review, here is a list of who I wished was playable in this game as well. Give me your thoughts below!

Bergamo, with Lavender and Basil

Caulifla, with Kale

Mr Satan!

Auto Magetta

Master Roshi/Jackie Chun

Super Saiyan Blue Vegito

Final Rating: 9/10

Best Part: The accessible yet equally deep combat.

Worst Part: Offline fans might not have much to do after the story.

Best Performance: Damien Clarke as (a surprisingly sassy) Perfect Cell.

For those who watch the Subbed version, then you should know that this was the last video game that Bulma's voice actress, Hiromi Tsuru, performed in.
Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/

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