Dragon Ball FighterZ is a single or multiplayer fighting video game from the veteran developers at Arc System Works, it is available for Windows, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Players compete in brutal yet spectacular 3v3-tag combat rounds, punctuated by cut scenes that explain more about the manga-inspired plot. Even complete newcomers can quickly learn the controls and play is enriched with a range of different modes.
Intricate Anime Graphics from a Pedigree Developer
The Dragon Ball franchise began as a comic created by Akira Toriyama, but debuted onscreen in the mid-1980’s, with an animated series and video games. The story draws on a Chinese novel entitled "Journey to the West", written in the 1400’s. It focuses on the quest of a boy called Goku as he strives to learn more about martial arts and find seven legendary orbs known as Dragon Balls, which grant the holder one wish. It’s an incredibly popular series which has spawned multiple books, films, TV series and video games. Amongst the games, combat titles like Dragon Ball FighterZ have proven to be the best sellers.
Different Versions of the Title
There are four versions of the same Dragon Ball FighterZ title; the first will suit people who just want to play the game, the second delivers a little extra content, the third is only available as a download, and the fourth is aimed at diehard fans of the franchise.
Standard Edition – The Standard Edition comes as either a physical copy or a digital download. It gives gamers the chance to create and nurture a dream team of fighters, building their skillset with every match until they can handle the fastest tag-style battles and combination moves. The online features include a six-player Party Match where you can join forces with other players from across the world, ranked matches, so you can keep an eye on the competition, and an interactive lobby, where you can find a match or battle to play online. The game also has a story mode which introduces an original character called Android 21, who was developed by the author of the series, Akira Toriyama.
FighterZ Edition – If you’d like to set out with more fighters to choose from, you can go for this version of the game. You’ll get full access to everything the standard title has to offer, along with the FighterZ Pass. This includes eight new fighters, each with a stamp, lobby avatars and new colours for changing their outfits around. The pass is also available separately for players who already have the standard game.
Ultimate Edition – Only available as a digital download, the Ultimate Edition has some extra content to enhance the experience of playing Dragon Ball FighterZ. Along with everything that’s included with the Standard Edition, here you’ll also get the FighterZ Pass, plus a commentator voice pack and eleven anime tracks. The songs can be used as background music while you play the game and most of them will be familiar to anyone who has followed the franchise. These include Mystical Adventure!, the theme from the original TV series, and A New Hero is Born, which was the backing track to Dragon BallZ, the later TV series.
Collectorz Edition – This is the most expensive version of the title and is housed in a CollectorZ Edition Box. Inside you’ll find a physical copy of the full standard game, but not the FighterZ Pass. Additionally, buyers will get their hands on a steelbook, three different artboards, and an 18cm tall Goku diorama featuring ‘manga dimension’ colours.
Bonus Content and Season Passes for Dragon Ball FighterZ
Players who have bought the full game can personalise their avatar and enjoy bonus features by purchasing DLCs or a season pass.
Dragon Ball FighterZ FighterZ Pass – For people who did not get this content bundled with their full game, it can be downloaded to gain eight new characters.
SSGSS Goku and SSGSS Vegeta Unlock – You can play with the Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan versions of these fighters immediately when you purchase this content. As enhanced versions, SSGSS Goku and SSGSS Vegeta have a collection of dramatic attacks and commanding techniques for use in battle.
Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Lobby Avatars – Designed to help players customise their appearance in the online lobby, these SSGSS Goku and SSGSS Vegeta avatars will ensure you look the part.
Commentator Voice Pack – If you don’t want to splash out on the Ultimate Edition, you can buy parts of the content separately. With this pack you can listen to the instantly recognisable voices of Videl, Chi Chi and Android 18, chatting about the action on the Replay Channel.
Anime Music Pack – Another section of content from the Ultimate Edition which is available separately, this pack has eleven songs from the various anime series of Dragon Ball.
Bardock – As the father of Goku, Bardock is a formidable fighter who brings fresh abilities and skills to the arena. You’ll get him as a playable character, along with his avatar for using in the online lobby, his stamp, and five new colours for his clothing.
Broly – Another Super Saiyan, Broly is incredibly strong and unforgiving in combat. Moves like deadly rush and Meteor Ultimate Attack make him extremely difficult to beat. He comes as a playable character, along with his Z stamp, five bonus outfit colours, and a lobby avatar.
What Makes the Dragon Ball FighterZ Gameplay Unique?
Often characterised as ‘easy to learn, but difficult to master’ the gameplay of Dragon Ball FighterZ builds on a formula that has worked for the franchise since the 1980’s. As you’d expect from the title, this is a fighting game through and through, using a roster of faces from the Dragon Ball universe to add diversity. If you’ve ever played Marvel Ultimate Alliance you’ll be in familiar territory, as you set to work picking out super-powered individuals to build a team. Once that’s done, you play as one fighter at a time, changing between them as the match continues.
Although you can only control one character, it is possible to bring on an Assist move from another fighter. This enables players to build up combinations of attack using the whole team. To be victorious in a match, you’ll need to defeat all three of your rival’s fighters. The game's mechanics make use of the same rules as most 2D fighters, blending small, medium and heavyweight strikes, kicked off by fast button presses. Once you’ve got the hang of it, attacks can be mashed up to produce more effective, consecutive hits. On a console, players can turn the joystick a quarter, then use the buttons to bring out a fighter’s special moves. Dragon Ball FighterZ has a liberal assortment of these, but not so many that it becomes a chore to learn them all.
The game’s plot revolves around newcomer, Android 21, a hybrid that’s part Majin Buu – a key Dragon Ball antagonist – and part Android. She has a natural instinct to feed, leading her to consume some of the world's mightiest warriors, and to make things worse, a mass of red-eyed battle-ready clones, have mysteriously appeared.
Story mode is probably the best place to start if you need to cultivate your attacks and gain experience of handling several fighters from the roster. This mode can also help you develop a better understanding of the game’s controls in less challenging surroundings. Here, you can experience the action as an android, a hero, or a bad guy. As the Dragon Ball fighters have become weakened by a strange force, the player has to link with their mind and command them in combat. You are given twenty turns in which to reach the next chapter, including the defeat of the level boss. Story mode can be more time consuming than Arcade Mode, but ploughing through the levels will boost your stats, allow you to discover extra fighters and give you access to tutorials.
Fans of Dragon Ball will recognise a host of familiar figures as they pop up in the story arc, but the actual narrative is new for the game. Many online commentators have pointed out the GI-type armour worn by Goku and Vegeta places the action after the God of Destruction Champa Saga, which was released as a manga and anime series between 2015 and 2016.
The game's graphics are rendered in dazzling colour and the fighters move between sequences fluidly. The overall look is reassuringly faithful to that of the original series and other combat games, where a 2D background acts as a frame for the 3D fighters. This specific visual style has led to reviewers coining the term 2.5D to describe Dragon Ball FighterZ. If you’re playing on Windows, move your game to its lowest graphics settings for a cool retro surprise added in by the developers. At this level, the sharpness disappears and the entire screen takes on a pixelated appearance, just like a vintage Game Boy Advance.
Dragon Ball FighterZ: Ultimate Fighting Game
Getting Around the Minimum Requirements
Dragon Ball FighterZ is not a hugely demanding game in terms of memory or graphics, here are the minimum requirements to run it on each compatible platform:
Operating System: 64-bit processor on Windows 7,8 or 9
Processor: Intel Core i5-3470, 3.20GHz or AMD FX-4350, 4.2GHz
Sound Card: On-board chipset or soundcard compatible with Direct X
Graphics: 1GB Radeon HD 6870 or 1GB GeForce GTX 650 Ti
DirectX: Version 11
Connectivity: Broadband Internet
Hard drive or external storage with 4.15GB of space
Hard drive or external storage with 4.96GB of space
Online Reviews of Dragon Ball FighterZ
This title has become an undoubted success. In the week after its release date on 26th January 2018, two million copies were sold worldwide and a crop of YouTube pro-players continue to generate even more interest in the game. In general, online reviewers have been positive in their comments. On Metacritic, which brings together numerous reviews to reach an overall score, the PS4 version has achieved 87 out of 100. PC Gamer meanwhile, awarded Dragon Ball FighterZ 83 out of 100, calling it ‘the best game this licence has ever produced’, while over at Den of Geek, it scored 4.5 out of 5 and was praised as a ‘perfect new entry in the fighting game genre’.
What the Game Does Well and What Could Be Improved
Dragon Ball FighterZ is inventive and complex enough to have mass appeal, even to players with no previous knowledge of the franchise. Committed fans will also be delighted, as there are copious references to past games and the epic battles remain intact. It’s certainly a solid instalment in the fighting game genre, but what makes it great and is there anything which could be better?
Super-fast combat sections are always engaging.
The most dramatic finishing moves are framed, making fights appear even more heroic.
A good balance between accessibility and depth is achieved.
Stunning animations which are on a par with the original anime versions.
Story mode keeps the action bubbling along and brings forward plenty of fan-favourites.
Japanese and English voice-overs add an extra dimension to the game.
Some aspects of story mode seem confused and dull.
Load times for online challenges can be too long.
Loot boxes are underwhelming.
Some fighters are not distinct enough from others.
During regular seasonal sales shops may cut the prices of recently released titles like Dragon Ball FighterZ, but only by a small amount. Larger reductions could be offered by major games retailers like Argos, GAME or Smyths Toysjust before Christmas, or at the end of November as part of the Black Friday event.
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Posted 18th Jul 2021Posted 18th Jul 2021
Dragon Ball FighterZ (Xbox One) £10.95 delivered at The Game Collection£10.95£14.9927% off Free P&P FreeThe Game Collection Deals
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