At last. After looking forward so much to this game after its announcement, playing the crap out of the beta, destroying many players with my Goku Adult Gohan Cell team and waiting for the release of this game, this game is finally mine. And it is..... sublime.
One odd thing I had to say before I begin my fan gushing: I find it odd that you have to be in an offline/online lobby to play everything from story mode, arcade mode and VS mode. What, is a traditional menu too much? Also the fact that there's a loot box system in this game, but there's no microtransaction! So you can only get the money to open the lootboxes by actually playing the game, and the rewards you get are all just cosmetic + titles for online play. HORRAY! Finally back to the good old days of getting money by playing the damn game! Oh I'm so happy to see this!!
Ah yes, and the fact that OMG this game's graphics is absolutely perfect. Using Guilty Gear Xrd to its fullest potential mixed with Dragon Ball's artstyle makes this game the absolute best game ever that captures the anime's artstyle like nothing else before it. It makes me so happy.
The game's story takes place after Resurrection F, and there's android copies of Goku + his friends + villains suddenly appearing in the world and wrecking shit up, who are most definitely created by the Red Ribbon army because Dr Gero does that shit. Kind of like Future Trunk's future but much less horrible. And in the center of it is another one of Dr Gero's androids, this one being the latest iteration named Android 21, even though Cell should be Android 21 but whatever. What exactly happened that caused the android clones to emerge? Who is Android 21? Well the answer lies with the game's story mode.
The story mode actually have 3 story arcs, each a different variation of what happened if a particular character is the main character. 1st arc centers around Goku, 2nd arc centers around Frieza, and the third arc centers around Android 17 & 18, or Lapis & Lazuli. That's their actual names believe it or not. And they're all guided by "us", an earthling soul that can take control of different characters because of a "linking" process that's explained in the game. Why are we linking our soul to them? Well, there's a "wave machine" that neutralized all the fighters in this game, diminishing their powers considerably. So we're basically guiding them from Lvl 1 to lvl the way they were before they got hit by the wave. Nice fourth wall breaking there.
How's the story mode actually played? THANKFULLY, FINALLY the story mode of this game is not another copy of Injustice/ Mortal Kombat's story mode. Hallelujah for that! Since this game is made by Arc System Works, who actually KNOWS how to do a story mode that actually have a good story + character developments from their Blazblue games, it's very content filled, which will take around 12 hours to finish, and it's played like a fighting rpg game where you fight and level your characters up while gaining stats buffs that you can equip for fights. And you move to different grids to fight whoever you want to fight in any order you want. It's like Budokai 2 basically, without the items or mr Popo.
Initially you got limited fighters at your disposal, but you'll get more fighters to use as you progress through the game. Though for some reason, Future Trunks is not in the story mode at all, but his android clone is everywhere. And Frieza even asked Gotenks about him.
So what, the Red Ribbon put Future Trunks clones out of spite for what he did? Probably.
Oh, speaking of that cutscene, that's one of the best part about the story mode. There's SO MANY different variations of neat character dialogues that you can see if you pick particular characters in your team before battle. And since you can pair up heroes and villains together, the resulting banter can lead to "oh that's a nice little character moment" to "Cell just rekt yo ass bitch". People actually called the game "Dragonball RoasterZ", and for good reasons because of the amount of bitter enemies making fun out of each other's failures. And Cell just being a master troll + pride destroyer. I mean just look at what he said to Frieza
Though Cell does have a moment where he talks about his time in Hell. Which judging from Frieza's Hell in Resurrection F, must be pretty hilarious. For us to see.
This game's story mode is so good, that it systematically obliterates the fighting game story modes that came last year, except Injustice 2 but I prefer this game's story mode to that. Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite & Tekken 7 especially got savagely destroyed for not having as much content as half of Dragonball FighterZ's story mode. Maybe this will be a wake up call to the sequels to those games to FINALLY do story mode right this time and not just copy Mortal Kombat/ Injustice!
And Android 21 in this game is a really good character. The deeper you go into story mode, the more you know about her and who she was before being turned into an android, and by the end of the game, I actually teared up for her. I want to see Dragon Ball Super make a reference to her or even bring her into the show. Well done game!
Oho my, all this talk about the story mode, and I haven't even say anything about how the fighting in this game is played. So how is it? Simply put:
It's the unofficial Marvel Vs Capcom game that is tremendously better than Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite. The controls is very much like Marvel Vs Capcom 3 with a light, medium and heavy attack button, a throw button that if you wish can let you throw out a current opponent with another one of their team, character assist buttons, and since this is Dragon Ball, you also have a button that lets you fly straight to your enemy. Each characters has their special moves which you do by inputting the quarter circle motion to your controller, and if you press both the medium and heavy attack button together, you'll do an instant teleport that attacks enemies from behind, though it takes out 1 super bar. Each characters have a level 1 super which takes 1 super bar and can be linked with a character switch button that lets you and your other 2 characters do super moves together, and level 3 supers that takes 3 bars, and only specific characters actually are able to put 2 super bars into their level 3 supers to ramp up the damage. Everyone have their own style, and all of them are fun to play, even Yamcha!
Anytime in a match, you're able to press both right shoulder buttons to unleash a "sparking blast" which lets you regenerate health and do double damage. Though it's best if you use it when you're down to the last fighter to get the longest boost. And you can summon Shenron during a match by doing combos, and doing a combo when you have all 7 dragon balls and 7 super meters maxed out. If you managed to summon him, you can ask boosts from him like "restore full health", "increase health regeneration", "have another sparking blast" or "revive fallen teammate". Funny thing is you're never going to summon Shenron since before that even happen, you either have won or lost the match because of how chaotic and fast paced everything is.
Comboing is very simple. You have the auto combo which you do by just pressing the same attack buttons over and over, but if you want you can mix and match different buttons together to create a much more damaging combo. And by a bit of practice, you'll easily create your own combos which you can use in the game. Here's just some examples:
Luckily the controls in this game is so smooth and easy to pull off, that doing these combos are actually very common things you can do. Though here's a tip from me: don't do a level 3 super if you're doing more than 15 hit combos. The damage you get out of it will be little & you're better off doing level 1 super attacks with you and your other team members which will do more damage. Unless of course you're finishing off your opponent's last fighter's tiny life bar in style.
There's of course an arcade ladder mode which you can do where depending on how good you're playing it, the difficulty will be raised & in the end you'll either fight hard opponents or easy opponents for your last fight. But the most fun you'll have in this game is playing local vs mode or online against other players. Which thankfully, in my country anyway, has an excellent online connection which is equal to Tekken 7's fantastic netcode. And OHOHOHOOHO BOY, the amount of close calls I get against players are so many. So so so many times I was down to my last fighter, and then make an immediate comeback with only 1/10 of my health remaining. There's so much, that I actually saved a replay of the fights and rewatch them. And there's a commentator commenting on the fight that happened if you actually watch a fight! That's a nice touch right there. I can see the potential at EVO for many many many epic close calls for this game. I can't wait to see the crazy stuff that's going to happen!
Oh! And I can't forget to mention that if you play in a particular stage and finish a fight with a particular character, you'll get classic reenactment moments from the anime. Like this:
If there's anything negative I can say about this game, it's that the story mode's fights can get repetitive since you're fighting a lot of clones to level up your characters. It's like Budokai 2, but thankfully a lot better because of the various character interactions to collect and see. If they're not in the game, the battles will definitely be a lot more boring. Also the overpriced as hell Season Pass. $35 for 8 new upcoming characters?? People actually have datamined the game for possible upcoming fighters, and here they are:
Zamasu (With Fused?)
Android 17 (Ranger)
WTF? Base Goku and Vegeta? Android 17 who's already fighting with Android 18 already as a team? And no female characters? What kind of bullshit is this??? Why not have Arale, young Chi Chi, young Videl, Mai, or one of the Angels or Kais? WHY IS BASE GOKU AND VEGETA HERE?? IT MAKES! NO! SENSE!!! GRAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
I sincerely hope that those 3 aren't true. OH PLEASE BE NOT TRUE DAMN IT! Is what I said back then. Now......
..........These should just be free dlc. Now I'm not as pissed that Android 17 will come since he won the damn tournament of power. Still, where the female fighters at??
Other than...... that bullshit....... Dragonball FighterZ is fucking phenomenal. This is already the best fighting game of 2018 and one of the best games of 2018. This is of course a great game for Dragon Ball fans, or a great game if you just want to play a damn good fighting game with your buddies. I give this game my rating of "so awesome you will play the everlasting shit out of the story mode + multiplayer + get all the content of this game over and over and over again", with a badass seal of approval!
2018 starts with a bang with this and Monster Hunter World. Let's hope for the best for other games in the future!