Dragon Ball FighterZ is a match made in heaven. It’s that rare licensed game that comes from the marriage of a developer and franchise who are perfect for each other. What Rocksteady did for Batman, what Rare did for James Bond and what BioWare did for Star Wars, Japanese studio Arc System Works has done for Dragon Ball. The result is an exciting, exuberant and surprisingly rewarding brawler that’s one of the best fighting games I’ve played, and it’s not just for genre enthusiasts either.
The first thing that strikes you is just how gorgeous the game looks. This is a 3D game played from a 2D perspective, but the characters, effects and stages are so wonderfully realised that you’d be forgiven for mistaking the video game for the anime upon which it’s based. That doesn’t even go far enough: Dragon Ball FighterZ at times looks better than the anime.
Arc System Works, which is famous within the fighting game community for the hardcore Guilty Gear and BlazBlue franchises, has done fantastic work making each character in the game look, move, sound and feel like their anime counterparts. Dragon Ball fights are famously over-the-top, and thus, so is Dragon Ball FighterZ. Projectiles such as the Kamehameha Wave fill the screen with energy blasts. If they connect, they trigger explosions that send unfortunate victims flying. Super attacks are inventive, sparkling high damage combos that go off like mini nukes. Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the most energetic fighting games I’ve ever played – and that energy is infectious. You sometimes wonder whether the pixels are about to burst with excitement.
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