E3 First Look – DFTG Goes Hands-On With Dragon Ball FighterZ (VIDEO)

For fans of the iconic Dragon Ball anime franchise, the latest in the fighting genre is going to be the perfect title to pass the time and rank up those combo points. DFTG got up close and personal this year at E3 and Dragon Ball FighterZ was one of the many titles we got to get our hands on before launch. The latest fighter creates a dynamic animation experience while still remaining true to the style veterans of this franchise know and love.

Dragon Ball FighterZ was created while utilising the Unreal Engine and promotes the traditional anime style for fans of the show. Old fan favourites return to kick butt and take names, though more characters are being added and have yet to be announced. The current confirmed roster includes:

  • Vegeta
  • Goku
  • Buu
  • Gohan
  • Frieza
  • Cell

The stages and the music used couples together to create the perfect platform for nostalgic play. Not only that, but Bandai wanted to take the experience even further by pairing up with ARC System Works with their unique subgenre of fighters to create a memorable experience with their growing roster.

The animation style was referred to repeatedly as “extreme animations” that blurred the lines between TV show and game play. The dubbed 2.5D animation style provides the traditional 2D format while using a dynamic environment to emulate a 3D experience. The latest fighter is also confirmed to run at 1080p for smoother immersion.

While playing through the core game, the traditional colours for the UI were incredibly familiar to fans of the Dragon Ball scheme, whether it be the show or in other games past. The progression through stages felt incredible for me as the player with my love of the series. The dialogue, special attacks, alt forms, and more made my inner DB lover squeal.

An interesting dynamic to the overall gameplay that was enjoyable was the introduction of the 3 v 3 mode. The player can choose three Dragon Ball characters that they’d like to pair up for the ultimate versus experience. With three playable personas, it could have easily become chaotic but the interchangeability of the playable characters was incredibly fluid, creating a seamless transition that did not come off chunky or invasive. This made it easier to create the perfect team to play up each character’s strengths while targeting the enemy’s weaknesses.

A few of the basic mechanics while fighting may appear to be simple, but the inclusion and execution could mean an incredible win. Here are some of the ways that the player can master the art of a honed fighting style:

  • Z Assist – Allows the player to summon a character to cover you mid-battle. Utilising combos, the player can then toggle the Z Assist when needed to interlink the execution of a powerful combo and cover. The toggle ability means that a player is not locked into continuously using the Z Assist, they can choose when it is in-play and when it isn’t.
    • Stackable combos (which is not uncommon for the fighter genre)
  • Z Change – The player can swap out their character mid-battle. Want to try out a new fighter and then realised mid-match that they just aren’t your shtick? Swap ’em out, super easy with the Z Change mechanic.
  • Vanish/Teleport – Provides quick means of transportation for sneak attacks that pack a powerful punch.

Aeriel combos were something that was way more fun than it probably should have been. Stacking each specific attack and combining them with aeriel reach gives the player the ultimate means to achieving that perfect KO. Pair that ability with the option for character form transformations mid-battle, it’s a simplistic yet still detailed fighting experience.

Overall, Dragon Ball FighterZ seemed like a worthy fighting game added to the genre and really has a full anime feel to it. The popular anime has been revered as an iconic staple for decades and seeing it evolve into the future of the franchise while still maintaining what it means to be Dragon Ball is a great opportunity for fans to show their appreciation for these recognizable characters. The combos, boots to air ability, and the swap-able mechanics are all great tools used in-game to keep gameplay from becoming stale.

Dragon Ball Fighte Z has yet to receive a release date and platform designation, but Bandai did mention that a closed beta will be coming soon and with it, release details. What do you think about the latest Dragon Ball fighter? Do you think it’s played out or always something to look forward to? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below, and don’t forget to check out DFTG on Twitter for gaming and entertainment news live 24/7!

Liana Ruppert578 Posts

With an arguably unhealthy obsession with Mass Effect, Liana has been an avid collector of gaming and comic memorabilia for well over two decades. With a passion for writing, gaming, and comics - she is currently working as Editor-in-Chief for the revival of Prima Games, with previous managing editor experience with several gaming publications including ComicBook.com, The Hollywood Reporter, TwinGalaxies, and other outlets. She is also the Co-Owner and Managing Editor for DFTG. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, as well as several Facebook communities online.

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