Playing Dragon Ball FighterZ is almost as good as living the anime. 

It may seem as though Dragon Ball has been around forever, and as such so have video game accompaniments. The Dragon Ball Xenoverse games were great additions to the universe, but what many felt the franchise needed was a simple, straight-up fighting game for the latest console generation.

Thankfully, Arc System Works have delivered. Dragon Ball FighterZ takes you back to the old school fighting system reminiscent of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Ah, it’s good to be back.

Straight off the bat, Dragon Ball FighterZ’ art style is so close to the anime you feel like you’re part of the TV show. The animation and the character designs are spot on, and the Japanese-voiced characters will make you feel right at home (if you’re more accustomed to a subbed version). If you like Dragon Ball Z or Dragon Ball Super, you’re going to love this game.

As soon as you boot up the game, you get a hard-hitting cinematic intro that shows off what you’re about to get yourself into in-game. You’ll get a quick taste of everyone you’ll be able to battle as (and against) over the course of the game, and it’s a lot of people. You’ve got Goku, Gohan, Frieza, Cell, Krillin, even Whis and Beerus.

Once you’ve enjoyed the cinematic (pity you can’t replay it, to be honest), you choose your region, and are thrown straight into the FighterZ lobby – a social hub from which you can start your missions. The best part about this is that you can change your little lobby avatar to a Dragon Ball character – this is one I got out of my very first Z Capsule:

dragon ball fighterz

Look at me – I’m adorable

Z Capsules, I should mention, are basically ‘loot boxes’ that contain things like avatar skins and emotes. You can buy them with Zeni (which you earn through completing battles and quests), or Premium Z Coins (which you can earn from getting doubles of items in your Capsules). Stuff you’ll find in Z Capsules have different rarities, so keep trying to up your game with Cooler stuff.

Your quests – as they appear in the top right corner – will show you what you need to do, and when you select one it will warp you to the start location. You can jump into a Practise Mode that’ll let you test your skills against AI – including taking on impressive combos – and you can honestly spend hours in there. There are 13 stages to choose from (not to mention backing music) and you can select the alternate colours for your fighters, too. In the pause menu you can adjust things like auto recovery times and input delays, so you’ll definitely spend a while playing around with the intricacies. Of course, you also have full control over button mapping. DBF is a 3v3 fighting game – so you’ll need to choose three fighters to take on your opponent with.

The real appeal of Dragon Ball FighterZ, though, is its story mode. Comprised of three different ‘arcs’, you find yourself inhabiting the body of some of the Dragon Ball characters and fighting in their stead (I hope you’ve been practising your Kamehamehas). This is your real time to shine as a Super Saiyan of your own making. The way the story works is that you need to navigate a ‘map’ full of different types of battles and training – and even gathering more recruits to your team apart from your starter, Goku – and you only get a certain amount of ‘turns’. Final bosses at the ‘end’ of the maps will progress the story. You earn exp and Zeni by participating in battles, as you fight clones of the core story characters. As you cruise along the story and pick up more playable characters, you can add them to your team, which you can save and edit at any point. Let’s not forget, either, that DBF introduces an entirely new character – Android 21 – into the mix; we’ll let you find out more about her for yourselves.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is a Dragon Ball game in a fighting format DB fans have been waiting for for a long time. If you’re at all a fan of the anime, or you love yourself a good side-scrolling fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a must-have. Shenron is waiting.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Reviewed on Xbox One X

Check out our Dragon Ball FighterZ interview

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