The Z Fighters are here!!
The STS guys have finally gotten their hands on a game that we as a group have been waiting for on pins and needles. That game is Dragon Ball FighterZ and we have been having a blast with the game from the moment we got to play it. At least 3 of the STS Guys (not Larry) grew up when Dragon Ball Z was still airing on TV (In the US at least) and have been fans of the anime since we were teenagers. Imagine our excitement when it was announced that Arc Systems Works (makers of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue) was trying their hand at a Dragon Ball fighting game. There have been tons of Dragon Ball games, many of them really good, and we were really excited for a new entry to come to the next gen systems. We have been longing to be able to destroy each other with the most epic of Kamehameha and Big Bang Attacks. The pieces were all lined up for an epic game that should have been one of the best experiences for fans of the series, but did that happen? We will discuss what we liked about the game and what we found lacking.
First of all, the game is absolutely gorgeous. It looks and feels like you are actually playing the anime versus playing a game. They absolutely nail each of the character models and behaviors, making each character feel unique and fully fleshed out. The 3 on 3 match system makes matches exciting, as you are able flip between characters on the fly and use your team to help you in each encounter. Each character also has stats that determine their overall traits, so things like speed and strength do have an impact on which characters will have a benefit against some of the others in the roster. Speaking of the roster, the game has a good roster of characters to start, and there is the promise of more characters as DLC in the future. The combo system is also very different from many of the other games in that all the characters have the same or similar button presses to pull off combos and attacks. This system makes it so that a novice player can pick up the game and easily get use any of the characters and enjoy the game. Professionals or more competitive players can also take advantage of the system and still pull off some amazing feats. It just feels amazing when you can use each of your team to absolutely demolish your opponent.
The issues for the last few weeks have been a severe downer for this game, making online play almost impossible for many of the players. We tried as a group to play online with each other, but spent more time trying to get Ring Matches to work for our group than actually playing the game. These issues have been very prevalent for a major part of the time since the game was launched and really took away from the games experience. Another aspect that is negative is the lobby system, making the player login to an online server even to play campaign or single player game modes. There is no option for players to meet each other with any ease, as you have to coordinate with them as to the server to use to meet up to play each other (if it works….). The campaign itself is strange and feels that it was almost a last minute addition, adding a few cut-scenes into what is essentially a ladder match or the arena mode with more player choice in the fights. This mode was not terribly bad, but just felt out of place for a game with so much thought in the other modes.
Sorry Dragon Ball FighterZ, but the negatives and issues we experienced in the game really brought down our overall experience. The strange single player campaign and the online only (with the multitude of issues) really brought down our opinion of the game. Had those issues been fixed at the start and some features been added, we would have easily given this a score of 4/5. Maybe later the issues will be fixed and some of the missing components will be added to polish this game up to its potential, but that day is not today.