We’ve jumped into the Dragon Ball FighterZ open beta and here’s what we thought;
Dragon Ball games are always fun, you can easily pick them up, have a few games online or with a friend then go about your day. Much like the Xenoverse games, Dragon Ball Fighter Z seems to have a more immersive quality to it.
There is the lobby where you can guide your character around to the World Tournament or view a replay of your battles. The view is an angles top down look with the characters looking more like cute Pop Figures than fearful Saiyans and other aliens, but it works for the game and takes nothing away from the action.
There is a tutorial mode that allows you to play as Goku and select two other characters to go up against the AI to hone your moves. This is a useful addition to the beta as there is no offline training for this release. However, the moves are quite easy to use and you can pick up your controller and play straight away, but if you want to customise the controls there is the option to do this too.
The roster consisted of Goku, Vegeta, Adult Gohan, Frieza, Kid Buu, Cell, Piccolo, Krillin, Nappa, Android 18 and Lord Beerus each with their own awesome combos and cinematics, and you were able to choose a combination of any three fighters to make your team to take into battle, and it is at this point the game really comes into its own.
The battles are fast paced and gives the game the same feel as the classic Budokai and Ultimate Tenkaichi games, which are a welcome return from the 3D Xenoverse battles. The combat moves smoothly and transitions between the characters are quick and seamless which leads to an enjoyable experience. But Dragonball Fighter Z is supposed to be an online battle game and that is where the problems arose during the beta.
After I managed to have a couple of AI battles I found a match for a ranked game, which only took a few minutes to find me an opponent. These battles were fun apart from being Ki Blast spammed by a guy called Scott for an entire battle (Insert Liam Neeson quote from Taken here). But as I ranked up and tweaked my team I got into a rhythm and was able to develop a tactic where I was able to combine switching characters with attacks to keep my opponent flattened and unable to mount a comeback. You can easily button smash your way through the game, but learning the controls does add an extra element to the game, letting you fight with more finesse and cohesion ( I am definitely having Kid Buu and Lord Beerus in my team).
But after a few hours it became more and more difficult to actually get onto the server, and finally not being able to at all.
Bandai Namco acknowledged this by tweeting out the following….
“FighterZ, the DRAGON BALL FighterZ Open Beta is experiencing network issues that cannot be addressed quickly. We’ll keep the Open Beta online but you might experience problems during gameplay. We may extend the Open Beta”
Not the result they would have wanted, and it did lead to a lot of frustration among fans, but they are opening up the beta for another 24 hours soon, so that is some good news.
Overall the game is fun to play, the visuals are brilliant and apart from the network issues the beta has increased my anticipation to get my hands on the full version as soon as I am able to. It looks like Bandai Namco have another success on their hands if they manged to iron out the server issues.