Dragon Ball FighterZ (Xbox One) Review

By Neil Flynn 20.02.2018

Review for Dragon Ball FighterZ on Xbox One

After many entries into the Dragon Ball series, Dragon Ball FighterZ has been met with much anticipation and excitement… and for good reason. The pedigree of the developer, Arc System Works, which previously developed various Guilty Gear and BlazBlue games over the years, has now turned its hand to create a Dragon Ball Z fighting title for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC for Bandai Namco. Cubed3 knuckles down and gets ready for battle…

Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 3-on-3 2D fighting game with a thrillingly fast and yet simple combat style. The beginner-friendly control system allows even the most novice player to enter the fray. The buttons are overly simplistic with light, medium, hard attacks, and a special attack button. This incredibly simple control system is a breath of fresh air when compared to other 2D fighters and does away with finicky commands to allow for a fluid and glorious slug-fest where performing moves often does not take much more than a half circle, followed by one of the other buttons. This simple and easy to learn control system transfers to all 24 different fighters, so there are not many instances of having to learn new combos for new characters, which encourages switching rather than 'maining' with a familiar set.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball FighterZ on Xbox One

Visually striking special attacks and destructive finishes can be performed with incredible ease, which again does away with dauntingly long button combos that previously could often turn away newcomers. Those who are still ambivalent to Dragon Ball FighterZ are most likely 2D fighting veterans who revel in learning complicated combos, to which there can be some cause for concern. The overly simplified control system can be open to abuse of spammy moves that can plague fights, but for the most part, this can still give experienced players the edge with timely counterattacks and defensive parries, which are often harder to execute in the heat of the moment.

Arc System Works is not a newcomer to the Dragon Ball series, having previously worked on handheld iterations for the GBA, DS, and 3DS, although none of these entries set the world on fire. What is noticeable from previous history, though, is their intricate knowledge of the iconic anime series, which have allowed for subtle nods to the anime in FighterZ. FighterZ can be construed as a love letter for many fans, which should serve up some nostalgic value with throwbacks and references to yesteryear but even those who are oblivious to the series should still enjoy the craft that has gone into the lore.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball FighterZ on Xbox One

The masterful cel-shaded art style perfectly captures the look and feel of the anime, which helps immerse the player, especially when it comes to the genuinely beautifully crafted cut-scenes, which can be watched with English or Japanese voice acting.

The story features a brand new original plot introducing a new character, Android 21, as a new protagonist. There are three main arcs but they all play out somewhat similarly instead focusing on a different set of characters. The story mode is navigated on a central map screen, which allows the player to forge their own path choosing who to fight and who is formed in their own team. Without diving into the convoluted plot, the story mode has your team of fighters battling clone after clone of the series' most well-known characters.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball FighterZ on Xbox One

Tiresome fights against the same enemies doesn't offer much variety, but there are instances of rescuing new characters, which unlocks more characters to choose from, yet even this becomes somewhat repetitive over the course of 10-12 hours. The story mode does, however, allow for some funny cut-scenes to be viewed and pre-fight scenes can be unlocked depending on who the player has paired up for the upcoming battle.

Arcade mode serves up a meatier challenge. Players seeking a challenge should find some reverence in this mode as progression is based on the rank of the previous battle. This branches the player down three different courses of difficulty, which can sometimes be frustratingly challenging at best, although a somewhat wanted challenge considering how easy the story mode is. Finding online matches is somewhat of a chore, as despite multiple attempts to find a match online during review, not one could be found.

Screenshot for Dragon Ball FighterZ on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Dedicated fans and newcomers alike, Dragon Ball FighterZ is able to win people over with its charming and authentic art style. The faithful representation of the anime, coupled with the chaotic satisfaction of stringing together long combos with ease, should entice any fighting game fan. Dragon Ball FighterZ is probably one of the most accessible 2D fighters in a long time and should not be missed.

Developer

Arc System Works

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Fighting

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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