Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox One Review

As someone who knows little about the Dragon Ball Z universe, one has become grateful over the quality of fighting games Bandai Namco have managed to churn out regarding the anime. Dragon Ball Xenoverse was the first fighting game I experienced surrounding the anime/ manga of Dragon Ball Z, and the only reason I wanted to play it (other than it being a fighting game) was the ‘MMO’ aspect of the game, collecting loot and buffing your character – it was an endless, yet fun grind and a brilliant way to keep gamers active. Fast forward a few years and we now have Dragon Ball FighterZ on our hands, with impressive visuals and tag-team gameplay, does this do justice to the DBZ name?

Developed by Arc System Works and published by Bandai Namco, Dragon Ball FighterZ immediately shows off it’s vibrant 2-D graphics with an un-skippable introduction to the game, showcasing all the fighters the game has to offer. Fans of the anime will feel right at home with how impressive the art style is. Arc System Works are known for producing top-quality fighters with this particular art style such as Guilty Gear and the fighting spin-offs of Persona.

The story takes of Dragon Ball FighterZ takes place over three story arcs, each filled with numerous chapters that focuses on a particular character from the series. The player assumes the role of some kind of mysterious ‘soul’ after all the Dragon Ball Z characters get knocked out. You, the soul, are then instantly linked with Goku, who soon discovers there are doppelgangers of all the characters, otherwise known as ‘clones’.

Processing through the story offers a unique way to do battles as each chapter of each arc brings a new map for you to travel along. However, you are only given a limited amount of moves whereby you can traverse along the map screen to land on your chosen battle. Once all moves have been depleted, the game will end. There are various events associated with each battle such as training sessions, boss battles and rescue missions.

Boss battles are exactly how they sound: they’re the bosses that end the current chapter. You may choose to go straight for the boss on the map at any point, but taking alternate routes will level up your characters and net you skills and equippable’s that will help you defeat the boss, as they’re generally much higher in level than you. Training sessions allow you to fight a particular clone or character whilst the game slowly introduces you to the simple mechanics and other skills that might come in handy. As for rescue missions, winning these battles will unlock new characters to your roster, paving way for more variations in your team.

What’s interesting about this story is that whilst you gradually are introduced to each character and then having the ability to swap out your team, during certain sequences and cut-scenes throughout the story, the characters will interact with one another, who would not normally be associated with, which I’m presuming is more effective for die hard fans of DBZ. Whilst this is neat and offers up different dialogue options, this mattered very little to me.

Anyone that has played any of the Marvel Vs Capcom titles will be familiar to the concept of this fighting game. You can pick any three characters from your available roster and put them into any position. Once in battle, you can swap out characters on-the-fly, provided you’ve let your charge replenish. You can also perform combos by calling in one of your team members to assist you with attacks.

Much like the Mortal Kombat or Injustice titles, the more you attack or get dealt damage, the more you build up the bar at the bottom which will allow you to perform a ki-based ability. Whilst each character has their own special ability, what makes this title stand out to other fighters is the simplified move list. Each character shares the same move list which in turn, makes it easier to remember the button presses without the stress of remembering for multiple characters.

Dragon Ball FighterZ brings a brilliant fighter with tag-team mechanics to the table. Both fans and non-fans will find this title showcasing beautiful visuals and offering simple control mechanics, but most of all, it has that “can’t put it down” factor that a lot of fighting games tend to lack. With a promising online progression system and the ability to customise your lobby character, this will keep you busy for a long time, if not longer for DBZ fans.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is available from most retailers and can be downloaded from the Xbox Store, priced at £49.99.

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