Improved or Forgotten: Is Dragon Ball FighterZ Still Worth It
Did you enjoy any of the Dragon Ball anime or mangas? Do you like playing video games? If you answered yes to both, I recommend you give Dragon Ball FighterZ a shot! If you’re still on the fence, though, I’m here to answer the question: is Dragon Ball FighterZ Still Worth It in 2022?
But first, what is DBFZ?
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 3v3 fighting game developed by Arc System Works and released in 2018. You choose a team of 3 characters from a roster of 44, and battle it out against computer or human players in a variety of game modes, both online and offline. Every character has a unique move set with over-the-top special attacks that make you feel like you’re in the anime.
Before playing Dragon Ball FighterZ, I would not have considered myself a fan of fighting games.
I have put over 500 hours into it and I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can improve in the next 500.
This game is a phenomenal trip down memory lane. And it just so happens to be an excellent video game.
Is Dragon Ball FighterZ Still Worth It in 2022?
- You don’t need to be good at fighting games to enjoy Dragon Ball FighterZ
- Dragon Ball FighterZ is easy to pick up, but hard to master
- Arc System Works nailed the look, sound, and feel of Dragon Ball
- The community and competitive scene are thriving 4 years later
- Arc System Works is still supporting the game in 2022
Do you need to be good at fighting games to enjoy DBFZ?
I had not invested more than a handful of hours into a fighting game before DBFZ. And I don’t even remember the last time I picked up a fighting game before Dragon Ball FighterZ.
I had seen DBFZ around, but I wasn’t a fan of fighting games so I didn’t have much interest in playing it.
Until the YouTube algorithm showed me the following video.
It is a reaction video from the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour 2020 in Paris, France. They unveiled Ultra Instinct Goku and Kefla as the newest DLC characters and the crowd lost their minds.
It brought a tear to my eye to see so many people fired up about a Dragon Ball game in 2020.
I logged into Steam and bought the game.
Easy to Pick Up
One of the reasons I didn’t have much interest in fighting games was the level of skill I thought one needed to pull off fun combos and flashy super attacks.
But the team at ArcSys knew what they were doing after developing fighting games for almost 30 years. If they were going to get Dragon Ball fans interested in fighting games, they needed to make a fighting game that any Dragon Ball fan could pick up and enjoy.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is easy to pick up because it doesn’t require a lot of button inputs to execute combos. Dragon Ball FighterZ has auto-combos, which are combos that can be performed by pressing the same button repeatedly.
For example, the light auto-combo is performed by pressing X, X, X (on Xbox). The last attack launches the opponent away or up into the air, and if you press X immediately you will fly through the air to chase the opponent. The second half of the auto-combo starts once you catch up to your opponent. You can then land another auto-combo by pressing the same buttons (X, X, X) until you knock the opponent away or into the ground.
The medium auto-combo is performed by pressing Y, Y, Y. And the medium auto-combo concludes with a super attack.
Switch between each auto-combo and play around with them. You will pull off some impressive combos without needing to spend hours practicing.
But if you do want to spend hours practicing, you are in for a rewarding journey.
Is Dragon Ball FighterZ Still Worth It if It’s Hard to Master
Dragon Ball FighterZ is hard to master because the game mechanics go deep.
There are tons of combos to learn. Each character has a unique move set you need to learn to compete at a high level. Additionally, this is a 3v3 fighting game so each team has 3 characters and each character has 3 assists to choose from before entering battle. This means you must consider the dynamics between the characters on your team as well as how their assists can play off one another.
And because your team dynamics are important to remember, it means your opponent’s team dynamics are equally important to understand.
It’s not enough to only play with your favorite team if you want to improve. There are currently 44 characters to choose from and they all have different move sets. If you only play with your favorite team, you won’t be familiar enough with the rest of the roster to understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. All things being equal, that will leave you with a clear disadvantage against a player who knows how to play his team AND knows what to expect from your team.
You’re looking at hundreds of hours of practice before you have a decent understanding of how each chess piece moves around the chessboard and interacts with the other pieces.
And thousands of hours if you want to become a master.
I don’t know about you, but thousands of hours of entertainment is impressive for a $60 investment.
Arc System Works nailed the look, sound, and feel of Dragon Ball
Akira Toriyama and the artists of the anime have consistently done a great job of conveying the hard-hitting nature of over-the-top fights in Dragon Ball.
And the developers at ArcSys carried that over into this game. You can feel the beating your character takes when Broly is throwing your character around like a rag doll. Or when Ultra Instinct Goku unleashes the largest Kamehameha you’ve ever seen on your character at point-blank range. Even Master Roshi feels like he’s hitting you with the force of a freight train.
The graphics are cel-shaded which gives it that Dragon Ball anime look and feel. The sound design is spot on, with each punch and ki blast sounding like it should.
The music in the game is also excellent. It’s a mix of new tracks and classic Dragon Ball Z tracks remastered for the game. There are times I just load up the game and sit in the lobby so I can listen to the lobby theme song on repeat.
The community and competitive scene are thriving!
Do you enjoy testing your skill against other players?
Because the Dragon Ball FighterZ community and competitive scene are still thriving four years after its release. I play on Steam, US East Coast, and most of the time I’m able to find a match without issue. But you can always hop in another lobby if it gets slow. The PlayStation and PC communities seem to have the highest activity, with Xbox under them.
A lot of people simply enter into a queue and then hop into training to practice until they get matched. And that practice has taught me how rewarding it is to become less incompetent and wipe the floor with opponents who used to beat me to the ground.
The Regional Finals for Europe, America, and Japan just concluded at the end of 2021. People flew in from around their region of the world to compete for a spot in the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Championships. For the first time since pre-COVID, contestants battled it out in person and the energy during the matches was palpable.
Everyone was thrilled to see the competitive scene return to in-person tournaments again. I never thought I’d be excited to watch a fighting game tournament, but watching the Regional Finals with weed in one hand and a sandwich in the other was one of my favorite evening rituals.
The skill and comebacks exhibited in some of those matches were jaw-dropping.
Arc System Works is still supporting the game in 2022
Many believed ArcSys was done adding new content to the game after SS4 Gogeta was released at the end of 2021. SS4 Gogeta has typically been a “final boss” type of character in Dragon Ball games, so people believed he was the final character to be added to Dragon Ball FighterZ.
This was further reinforced when ArcSys announced they were working on a balance patch but said nothing about new content.
And THEN ArcSys teased a new character, Android 21 (Lab Coat), and the DBFZ community erupted in celebration.
The Dragon Ball FighterZ community took this as a positive sign ArcSys would continue supporting the game and give us new content.
My fingers are crossed that Majin Vegeta makes an appearance soon!
In a Nutshell—Is Dragon Ball FighterZ Still Worth It in 2022
If you’re in the market for an excellent fighting game that you can enjoy with friends and family or strangers online, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a fantastic option in 2022. It’s easy to pick up and have fun even if you’re not familiar with fighting games. And once you sink your teeth into it, you’ll have thousands of hours of entertainment ahead of you.
But here are the questions you should ask yourself if you’re STILL on the fence about playing Dragon Ball FighterZ:
- Do you enjoy Dragon Ball and video games?
- Do you enjoy games that are easy to pick up and hard to master?
- Do you want a highly praised Dragon Ball game that feels like Dragon Ball?
- Are you open to fighting games?
If you answered yes to all of the above, I don’t know what else to tell you. GO BUY DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ!
What do you think about Dragon Ball FighterZ? Did I miss a major selling point? What convinced YOU to buy it? Comment and let me know!