E3 Preview: Dragon Ball FighterZ – Kamehame-hardcore 2D Fighter Action

Arc System Works delivers both style and substance with Dragon Ball FighterZ

Dragon Ball FighterZ PS4

Publisher Bandai Namco and Guilty Gear and BlazBlue developers Arc System Works floored fighting game fans this week when they revealed Dragon Ball FighterZ. The game is a fast-paced 3v3 brawler based on the beloved manga and anime series is currently in development for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. We at Hey Poor Player were lucky enough to get our hands on an early build of the game at E3 during our presser at Bandai Namco’s booth. After getting the chance to go a few rounds with some of our favorite Dragon Ball characters, we think it’s safe to say we’re looking at what could be a top-tier slugfest when it releases early next year.


Faithful fisticuffs


In its current state, Dragon Ball FighterZ only features six playable characters; Goku, Gohan, Cell, Majin Buu, Frieza, and Vegeta. However, you can be sure Bandai Namco will be revealing plenty more fan-favorite characters from the series’ nearly three-decade history in the coming months. Each of these characters offers their own distinctive playstyle and arsenal of special attacks lifted straight from the anime and manga that inspired it. That said, expect plenty of mighty kamehamehas filling the screen along with the series’ signature high-flying aerial combos that send your foes into the stratosphere.

Mechanically, Dragon Ball FighterZ feels like a fusion of The King of Fighters and Guilty Gear, with a healthy dash of Marvel vs. Capcom thrown in for good measure. The game pairs SNK’s flagship fighters’ 3-on-3 team battles with the over-the-top action of Arc System Works’ beloved anime brawlers like Guilty Gear Xrd and Persona 4 Arena. Combos are an explosive spectacle, and pretty easy to execute. The game also makes use of Dragon Ball staples like warps, which allow you to appear behind your opponent to deliver a surprise attack.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

While only six characters have been revealed so far, we expect plenty of fan-favorite fighters to make an appearance.

There’s a real sense of satisfaction that comes from rushing up to Buu as Gohan, smashing him with a volley of punishing punches and kicks, then taking the fight to the skies with a barrage of airborne attacks before dropping an elbow and sending the pudgy pink pugilist crashing into the ground below.


Easy to pick up, difficult to master


You can button-mash your way to success in Dragon Ball FighterZ. But make no mistake, that doesn’t mean it’s a shallow fighter. Dumb luck will only take you so far in the arena. This is why you’ll need to master Z-techniques, which broaden your offensive and defensive options.

There are three Z-techniques to master in Dragon Ball FighterZ; Z-Assists allow you to call in a team member to deal extra damage during a combo. Additionally, Z-Assists can be used defensively to cancel enemy attacks and help you recover; Z-changing allows you to swap out characters mid-fight, much like Capcom’s versus fighters; Lastly, if you’re really looking to pile on the punishment, Z-Ultimate Change attacks allow you to summon the powers of all three teammates to deliver a devastating attack that can absolutely decimate the opposition.

While the game was just announced, Bandai Namco told us during our press presentation that the game has been development for quite some time already, and it shows. The action is fast, furious, and incredibly polished. Fights flow at a smooth 60FPS at 1080p, and backgrounds and character models pop off the screen, making this Arc’s best-looking fighter since Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2. Each match really looks like an interactive episode of the anime. Explosive moments, like sending an opponent crashing through a skyscraper or destroying a planet with a finishing attack, look nothing short of stunning.


Prepare for a fight

Dragon Ball FighterZ is currently slated to release early next year. However, those hoping to get their mitts on the title for an early taste of the action won’t have to wait too long. Bandai Namco has already confirmed that a Closed Beta is on its way.

For more details on Dragon Ball FighterZ, be sure to stay tuned to Hey Poor Player.

So, are you looking forward to the game? As always, we love to hear what you think. Be sure to sound off in the comments and let us know!


Frank has been the caffeine-fueled evil overlord of HeyPoorPlayer since 2008. He speaks loudly and carries a big stick to keep the staff of the HPP madhouse in check. A collector of all things that blip and beep, he has an extensive collection of retro consoles and arcade machines crammed into his house. Currently playing: Chorus (XSX), Battlefield 2042 (XSX), Xeno Crisis (Neo Geo)

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