When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Dragon Ball Z. DBZ was one of the first things that I absolutely obsessed over. We didn’t have cable, so the only way I could watch it was by waking up really early on Sunday mornings. The bad thing about this was that it never went past the Frieza saga, so I was missing a lot. Toonami was a must watch whenever I was in Louisiana for the summers with my cousins. I taught myself how to use my mom’s computer at work just so I could read about the Japanese episodes of DBZ and print out pictures to trace. I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it when I was young, so I would just bug my mom about it. For some reason she works tolerate it. Needless to say, at 28, Dragon Ball Z still holds a special place in my heart. Same can officially be said about Dragon Ball FighterZ.
I’ve talked about Dragon Ball FighterZ a lot. If you haven’t been able to tell already, I really want to play it. So, imagine my surprise when I was selected to play in the closed beta over the weekend. The beta fell on a bad weekend personally for me, as I had to attend one of my best friend’s birthday party and my 10-year high school reunion. Regardless, I was going to try to get as much playing time as I could with the beta. I made a joke with a friend of mine saying that I would wake up at 4 in the morning to play in the first session of the beta. I was half serious, yet my body naturally woke up at 4 in the morning on a Saturday, so I took that as a sign from the Z Fighters that I should start playing.
When you get into the game, the first thing you see is the lobby. The lobby replaced a traditional menu, which I had mixed feelings about. I don’t know if it was just for the beta or if maybe this is how the online aspect of the game would work, but it’s a little overwhelming seeing 60 golden, spiky-haired guys running around. I missed seeing a menu, but it probably just wasn’t needed for a beta that was online. Hopefully, in the final version, there’s some type of menu. However, I did like seeing the people who were fighting actually “fighting” on the World Martial Arts stage. I think once the full roster comes out there will be a better mix of avatars.
Speaking of rosters, there were 9 fighters available to fight with:
Majin Buu (Fat Buu, he’s no Kid Buu)
Teen Gohan (best Gohan)
Goku (Deadbeat Dad)
Vegeta (Good Dad)
Piccolo (Best Dad)
The lineup I usually ran with was Frieza, Gohan, and Vegeta (who also happen to be my top 3 characters from the series.) One thing I absolutely loved about this game is that it seemed to finally capture the franticness and the excitement of the fights in Dragon Ball Z. At any point, the tide can turn. You or your opponent are one super move away from winning. The thing is, this probably a true statement for most fighting games in a sense but that statement carries more weight due to its source material. Most of the major fighting games were games first and then had a universe of other media created around it. With Dragon Ball, you have 20+ years of history to live up to. The fighting feels familiar, yet unknown at the same time. It doesn’t bury itself trying to appease fans with 80+ characters or some shit. Yeah, Zarbon was cool but I’m not gonna play as him in a game. Right now the playable character list is at 16. A new, original character called Android 21 and the Super Saiyan Blue versions of Goku and Vegeta among the new characters.
Long story short, I loved what I played so far. I haven’t been this excited for a DBZ game since Budokai 3. The only thing known about a release date is that it is gonna come out sometime in the first quarter of 2018. I can’t wait, and hopefully, there’s another beta test soon so I can play it some more.