Dragon Ball FighterZ Impressions: 5 Takeaways From The Closed Beta

  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • Fighting
The new 2D fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ is coming soon
The new 2D fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ is coming soon Bandai Namco

Since its reveal at E3 2017 , Dragon Ball FighterZ has captivated fans of anime and fighting games with its unique 2D visuals and kinetic gameplay.

I was fortunate enough to get hours of game time into the closed beta for PlayStation 4 before it closed down, and I came away more excited for this game’s release than I was when it was first announced.

Here are my five takeaways from the Dragon Ball FighterZ closed beta.

5. Visuals Are Amazing

This is something many people have brought up about the game already, but I have to mention the visuals of Dragon Ball FighterZ. They are just too good to ignore. It looks like I’m watching the anime; the way the characters move is so fluid it mirrors the movements of their anime counterparts.

Each special move facilitates its own camera angles and close ups and it really makes it feel like you’re watching Dragon Ball Z. It was awesome to see Cell charging up his Kamehameha as the camera zooms in and rotates around him before setting on his face. It’s well-directed and produced, and it's a style that can only work with a franchise like Dragon Ball.

Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ Bandai Namco

Couple that with the original Japanese voice actors lending their talents to the characters they’ve played for years and fans will love to play or simply watch while they wait for their turn on the couch.

4. Fighting is Familiar But Stays Unique

The fighting in Dragon Ball FighterZ keeps the flashy impacts from the anime, but doesn’t make the attacks seem too fast like they do on the show. Players can see each impact so they can time combos, or avoid them, like they would in any other fighting game.

Playing Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite a lot recently made me notice similarities between the two titles. The way the three-man teams can assist or switch in and out, and how the super gauges build up when you’re hitting or being hit, is oddly familiar. It helped me get acclimated to the controls since there was no tutorial for the beta before I was thrust into fighting.

Even with the similarities, Dragon Ball FighterZ still felt unique in how you can chain combos in the air or on the ground while combining strikes and ki shots. And the insane amount of specials you can perform is something that blows MvC out of the water.

3. Lobby Holds Some Possible Secrets

When I first logged-in to Dragon Ball FighterZ I was thrown into a lobby where my avatar could walk around and interact with some of the NPCs. There wasn’t a lot to do, of course, but you can tell that there will be quite a few things to do when the game moves forward in production and gets closer to its release date.

But what I did notice, besides entering a matchmaking lobby, was a message board for news and possible events in the future.

There were also plenty of closed off areas that lead to Kame House (Training/Missions mode?) and the World Martial Arts Tournament (Local tournaments?) so there will be more than just this local/online multiplayer.

The lobby in Dragon Ball FighterZ closed beta may hold some secrets.
The lobby in Dragon Ball FighterZ closed beta may hold some secrets. Bandai Namco

2. Roster Is More Diverse Than It Seems

The roster of a fighting game is really important and Dragon Ball FighterZ made sure to get the most iconic characters in for this closed beta. All of the Saiyans and the big villains were available and others like Krillin and Piccolo rounded out the roster, and each felt unique in how they moved and what they could do.

Fighters like Android 18 and Gohan felt like they relied a lot on aerial attacks and specials, not to mention 18 has her brother to help her out. Android 16, on the other hand, was a bit lumbering but when he got you close he would punish you.

Even the Saiyans (there were four available during the closed beta) all felt different in various ways. I look forward to exploring the differences more in-depth, not to mention seeing what other fighters will join the title in the coming months.

Trunks joins Dragon Ball FighterZ
Trunks joins Dragon Ball FighterZ Bandai Namco

1. MASSIVE Move Pool

Again, I was thrust into online battles without a tutorial (or a quick rundown of how to do anything really) but that was part of the fun of this Dragon Ball FighterZ closed beta.

Each character has a massive move pool with various ground and air combos but it gets really insane when you factor in the specials and ki blasts. Those inputs change based on how much gauge was built up over the course of a match and it’s fun to discover each fighter’s different specials at different levels.

This way of fighting actually mirrors the anime in a way. The more power you store up in battle, the more powerful your attacks become. As Dragon Ball fans know, the most outrageous and overpowered moves come towards the end of fights when a character’s back is against the wall, or in this case when your meter is high after getting pummeled for a few minutes.

I’m excited to get more time with this game to really learn what makes each character tick and what moves they can perform. The closed beta was a good showcase for what the next level of fighting games looks like. Anime and fighting game fans need to take notice of this game, it’s going to be huge.

Dragon Ball FighterZ will release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in early 2018.

Dragon Ball FighterZ
Setting The Bar For Fighting Games In 2018
Dragon Ball FighterZ lives up to the hype that manifested from its initial reveal. Its gorgeous art style and movements compliment some really crisp and fluid gameplay that anyone can pick up and enjoy.
  • Original Voice Cast
  • Gorgeous Visuals
  • Fluid, accessible fighting
  • Story Mode feels ripped from anime
  • Story mode too easy early on
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