Best fighting games of the generation, Part 4: Dragon Ball FighterZ

A reader continues his run down of the best fighting games of recent years, moving on to what many consider the best anime fighter ever.

I knew very little about Dragon Ball going into this game and wouldn’t call it the ideal introduction to the franchise. For, from what I can gather, all problems in the Dragon Ball universe can be solved by throwing a bigger fireball at it.

Is the villainous Android 21 getting you down by constantly turning your friends and loved ones into confectionery and eating them? Did the first ten thousand fireballs have little to no effect? Well, what you need is an even bigger fireball! Throw that at her and she’s sure to be vaporised!

In fact, I wonder how many other tough scenarios can be solved that way in other media? Are the Nazis causing trouble? Throw a really big fireball at them! Is there a scary woman climbing out of your television to kill you? What you need is a really big fireball! Rich industrialist wants to force international cooperation by murdering the citizens of New York City with a fake alien attack? Big fireball. Works every time.


I hope you like cut scenes, because that is the only reason to play the hideously over-long story mode. Things start well. The tutorial is excellent – you’ll be ready for anything after going through it. And, on the surface, it would seem that the story has a nice, smart structure.

You start as Goku, naturally, and then have to rescue your comrades in arms from shadow clones… or something. So, then you get to play as Krillin! The little, bald dude! And he plays very similarly to Goku… Hmm, okay, but now I’m Majin Buu! The fat, pink dude! He also feels very similar to Goku in terms of play styles. As does Vegeta. As does everybody. It’s just all Goku, baby! Be it Short Goku, Fat Goku, Angry Goku, Evil Goku, Girl Goku, Bad Girl Goku, French Maid Goku, Pope Goku, or Naughty Nurse Goku. Some of those may be made up. The point is that it’s Goku all the way down.

So, even if you are a super-fan of the series at large, you’ll still have to trudge through battles against the computer that feel tedious and repetitive very quickly. Far quicker than any other fighting game. And that’s because no matter who you play as or who you fight against, it’s all the same. To any kind of single-player effort, this is just deadly.

Seriously, besides the tutorial, playing against the computer is no fun at all.


Amazing. In my opinion the prettiest game in the genre. Certainly better looking than older iterations of the show and able to compete with the best looking cartoons ever – be it Princess Mononoke or Avatar: The Legend Of Aang. Trust me, it looks that good. And the sound is pure, arcade heaven. Dragon Ball fanatics will also be impressed by the authentic, Japanese cast which I’m sure will provide many a nerdgasm.


The best there is. There’s no way I can dispute that. I would be a fool to even try. And if that is the only thing that matters to you, then Dragon Ball can’t be beat this generation. The controls are so intuitive it’s almost like a magic trick. You think it, you do it. It is almost the ideal starter fighting game. Almost. Total newcomers will still need to be taught how to do quarter-circle inputs, but even then, you may never need them.


Other than the terrible story mode there is an arcade mode. The difficulty can adapt to how good you are. Which sounds interesting on paper. But whether the fight is easy or hard has no bearing on how fun it is. There are no endings to see, and no meaningful unlockables besides three characters, two of which are just souped up versions of Goku and Angry Goku. I’ll confess that I don’t know enough to dismiss them out of hand as it takes one billion years to unlock them. If you have the patience, then good for you. You little champ.


To an outsider, very lacklustre. Everybody feels the same, there are only two girls in the entire roster – one of whom takes forever to unlock and means enduring the centuries it takes to beat the story. So I hope you’re not a vegan as this is a real sausage fest! Not for me, thanks. To fans, everything I’ve just said probably doesn’t matter.

Post-launch support

Again, to a fan, probably quite exciting. I though, have no idea if post-launch characters are significantly different. And to be very clear: I am not claiming that the characters are all identical, there are differences, just that those differences are so incredibly minor that they have little impact on anybody who isn’t either a hardcore fighting game enthusiast who is heavily invested in the competitive scene or a hardcore fan of the show, heavily invested in its lore. Those two will see some substantial overlap I imagine.

Multiplayer and online

Instead of just scoffing at online as usual, I will lump multiplayer and online together here. The reason being the game’s incredible accessibility. Yes, there are still a few complex controls, but just a few. And while the lack of diversity is off-putting to me personally, it does mean you only have to learn one character. Not many. Single button presses result in spectacular combos which should feel incredibly cheap but are nothing of the sort. Which could be quite attractive to those normally put off by the daunting complexity and high difficulty in online competition this genre usually presents.

Next time, not just one game but the output of an entire developer! Toasty!

By reader DMR

Best fighting games of the generation, Part 1: Street Fighter V

Best fighting games of the generation, Part 2: ARMS

Best fighting games of the generation, Part 3: Tekken 7

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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