We have already lost count of the number of games inspired by Dragon Ball. It continues to be one of the most famous animation series in the world, and the most recent seasons have finally awakened the flame in many fans. In recent years, these fans have had Dragon Ball Xenoverse 1 and 2 good proposals to get involved in the universe of the saga, but this Dragon Ball FighterZ is something very different. Here the priority was the combat system, the gameplay, and also the graphics. From the first moment that Dragon Ball FighterZ seemed to have the potential to be something special, and the multiple beta tests of the last months helped to reinforce this idea. Now that we have played the final version, we can confirm that FighterZ has, in fact, a spectacular graphics and a fun gameplay, but in terms of content, fell short of expectations.
The game meets the minimum, presenting a story mode, online gameplay, and an arcade mode, all integrated into a center that wants to join the players. It is enough to distract the players, but if they are used to Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, they will miss the great amount of content that is present in this game, starting with the characters. The most important names are all here - Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Cell, Gohan ... - and there are also some more recent fighters like Beerus, Hit, and Goku Black. There is even a completely original fighter in the form of Android 21.
It's a reasonable list, but it's far from the most complete we've seen in a saga game. Many of the secondary characters are absent, and the various forms of some of the fighters have also been left out. They can not play with the 'normal' Goku, for example, or with the various transformations of Cell and Frieza. There are some transformations in the game, like Goku SSJ3, but they happen as part of a special move and disappear as soon as the movement ends. This short character range and the inability to turn the characters into combat will definitely disappoint some players.
Then we have the story mode, which was our biggest disappointment with the game. It is a completely original narrative, which recounts how mysterious waves of energy took power from almost every fighter. Only those who have within them an "unknown soul" (the player) can have their power back. The story is told through sequences of combats, using game graphics, but what they will see is mainly the talk. The script is quite weak and childish, but this is within the usual patterns of the saga. The stranger is the fact that the animations during the sequences are so fluid, almost in slow motion. The narrative also focuses on the presence of clones all over the world, clones inspired by the various characters in the game. These are clones that end up serving as main enemies of the story mode, implying that they will fight repeatedly against the same opponents.
The story mode is divided into three arcs, which tell the same story, but from different perspectives. When they finish the first bow, they will still have many questions, which will be answered in the following bows.
Each chapter includes a play area, in the form of a board, where several pieces are positioned. There is the goal of the story, some secondary fighting where you can win items, and battles that allow you to unlock other characters. The number of steps the player can take on this board is limited but will always have enough steps to accomplish most of the goals without problems. Sometimes extra fighting comes up after they've sailed the map, which gives you advantages if you win them, but they're too easy. Unless something has escaped us, there is no way to change the difficulty of the story mode, and as it stands, I managed to win the overwhelming majority of the fighting without losing health. There are some fights that serve as tutorials, but even those that are not tutorials, and even combats against characters many levels above ours, have been exaggeratedly easy.
This removes any tension or enthusiasm from the game since it does not require any effort on our part. Maybe here something is missing, an obscure option I cannot find, or maybe Arc System Works is preparing changes through the release update (which I did not have access to), but what I've played is too easy. On top of that consider the story uninteresting, and the repetitive fighting against the same characters, and it should be easy to see why I was so disappointed with the story mode of Dragon Ball FighterZ.
We ended up liking Arcade mode the most. Here the difficulty is more balanced and is improving as they progress through the fighting. There are three variants of the Arcade mode - with three, five, and seven combats - and each variant has a second Difficult format for anyone looking for a more appealing challenge.
The biggest challenge, however, will be online against other players. The version I played still had the online mode turned off, but from what we saw in the beta versions, it seems to be working fine. In addition to the combats, they can interact with other players through the central area. Here you can choose a character to represent you, and there are a number of personalization items that can be unlocked. New characters, colors, titles, symbols ... all this can be unlocked with the purchase of capsules. Imagine Loot Boxes in the form of capsules, which can be bought with coins that win the game. It seems to us that it will also be possible to buy real money capsules, but we still cannot confirm that. Be that as it may, the whole contents of the capsules is cosmetic.
The best element of Dragon Ball FighterZ is really the graphics. It's spectacular how the 3D models in the game can recreate the animated look of the series so well. It resembles an episode of great quality, with highly detailed characters and excellent visual effects. The sound effects are also within what we can expect from a Dragon Ball game, and fans will surely enjoy the option to play with English or Japanese voices.
Dragon Ball FighterZ works as a 2D fighting game and employs an extremely fluid and fast gameplay style. It's all very fast and spectacular, with relatively accessible gameplay. The combinations are easy to execute, and the game strikes a good balance between staying true to the series, and translating this into blows that work with the fast pace of gameplay. After passing through the tutorials, they should have a good idea of how the whole game works.
The combat system is based on three to three battles, although only one fighter is active on each side. They can switch between fighters at any time, and they can also ask for their help. This is a very important factor of the gameplay, and to be successful in the most challenging battles, you will have to learn how to use the help and the exchange of characters. When a character is out, he can regenerate some of his health, which also offers a certain tactical character to the game. The biggest problem with this system turns out to be the confusion created on the screen. With such fast gameplay, and effects that fill large portions of the screen, it's sometimes hard to see what's going on.
The characters have their differences, but in terms of controls, they are all the same. It is something common to this type of games inspired by Animé, but that finishes to take some depth and variety to the gameplay. Still, the most important thing to keep in mind is that Dragon Ball FighterZ combat is accessible and fun, with some room for maneuver to evolve.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a true fighting game, closer in gameplay to something like Injustice 2 and Street Fighter V, than Dragon Ball Xenoverse or Dragon Ball Battle of Z. In the fields of graphics and gameplay, Dragon Ball Fighter Z is the best game of the saga that we have already played, but I think that in terms of content there is still a lot to improve. Last year we had great fighting games like Injustice 2, Tekken 7, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Comparing with these, Fighter Z turns out to be at the level of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (in our opinion, the worst of the three mentioned above), but if they are fans of Dragon Ball, it is an easy recommendation - as long as they are aware of the problems content I refer to.