Dragon Ball FighterZ is Fun Even When Youre Getting Owned
No, Solid Snake Isn’t Coming to ‘Tekken’Watch These Fighting Games at EVO 2019 Stay on target During the same weekend game journalists were putting the finishing touches on their Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite reviews and opinion pieces, Bandai Namco decided to release a beta for Dragon Ball FighterZ. Was this intentional? It’s unclear, but I’d like to believe it was. If that’s the case, then kudos to you, Bandai Namco. Your troll game is strong.When not occupied with my Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite piece, I got some decent quality time with Dragon Ball FighterZ. Unlike the ten (or so) minutes I spent playing Dragon Ball FighterZ at this year’s E3, I spent many hours with Arc System Works’ upcoming fighter this weekend. Like I said in my hands-on preview, this is the Dragon Ball Z game fans have waited decades for. After playing through the beta, I am now one hundred percent convinced my initial assertion was correct. This game will blow people away.The beta was about as bare bones as you could imagine. After you selected your region and a lobby within said region, you were transported to a small hub world with other players. Here, you selected your roster of fighters, their colors, and the background stage and music. After that, players could either spectate matches, view replays of others’ bouts, or fight against each other.Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the most wildly over-the-top fighting games I’ve ever experienced. Arc System Works — the same folks behind the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue franchises — has done a tremendous job of capturing the frenetic action of the animated series. Confusion is possible for players not familiar with fighting games or Dragon Ball Z. If you’re familiar with both, then you’ll have no trouble making sense of the on-screen chaos.During the E3 demo, I had no clue what I was doing. I basically button mashed my way through fights and prayed for the best. This time, fellow gamers watching my livestream gave me pointers on how to fight. Thanks to them, I learned how to perform basic combos and super moves. I didn’t have a complete grasp of the game’s mechanics, but I did improve over time with the little knowledge I did have.This demo had a larger roster of characters than the one from E3. There was the originally revealed Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Frieza, Perfect Cell, and Buu. Joining them in this beta were Android 18, Trunks, Android 16, Piccolo, and Krillin. Despite so many characters to choose from, most selected Saiyans. I would scold them for that, but my team largely consisted of Saiyans too. I did try out every character eventually, though. While most played identically, each had enough unique special and super moves to make them distinct.Despite my clumsiness, I still had a blast playing. While there are some canned combos, I was largely able to create my own on the fly. I got a deep sense of satisfaction from chaining standard combos into super attacks. I appreciated how seamlessly combos flowed into one another. Some opponents were so adept at chaining combos that I couldn’t escape their multi-hit air combos. Even when things became somewhat unfair, I knew that, given enough time and practice, I could pull off spectacular combos myself.Betas exist for developers to stress test their titles with actual players. They aren’t inherently feature rich. With that said, I found it perplexing that there wasn’t a tutorial or training mode. Though it shares the DNA of previous Arc System Works titles, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a brand-new game. Since that’s the case, a tutorial breaking down basic functions or a training mode to test combos was necessary. With no tutorial or training modes, players were left to divine the game’s mechanics on their own.For the most part, I had no issues playing online. The netcode isn’t on the level of Street Fighter IV, and there were certainly times where the connection was less than ideal. Despite some random connection hiccups, things never got to the point where the game became unplayable. The only time I saw heavy dips in quality (and frame rates) was during the final hour of the final beta on Sunday. I’ll assume everyone was jumping into the game to get one final crack at it. Overall, I think DBF has decent netcode. I’ll chalk up any hitches I encountered to this being a beta. However, I do hope things improve with the final game.Bandai Namco promises to release another beta sometime in January. I want to see an even more stable online experience, more characters to choose from, and of course, some type of training/tutorial mode. This beta was relatively small, so I hope the upcoming one includes more users. I also hope to improve my skills since some of these online dudes were ridiculously good. I want to unleash my own insane combos on unsuspecting players!My excitement for Dragon Ball FighterZ has only increased thanks to this beta, so I look forward to the next one. In the meantime, I’ll entertain myself with Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. It’s a great time for fighting game fans, isn’t it?Dragon Ball FighterZ is set to release in February 2018 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.