June 19, 2017 by Paul Curtin
One of the biggest E3 2017 surprises was the announcement at Microsoft’s Media Briefing that Namco Bandai have been secretly working on a new Dragon Ball Z fighting game. Many thought that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite would be the most hyped fighting at this year’s E3, but Namco stole the spotlight with what many fighting game experts are calling the true sequel to the beloved MvC 2.
With fans of Marvel recently expressing concerns over Capcom’s treatment of the series, Namco is making the brilliant decision to create a similar game that takes tips from the community in order to deliver the ultimate fighting game experience. This move comes as no surprise after Namco recently did the same thing by successfully implementing highly-requested new features in Tekken 7 to grow its playerbase. A move which resulted in the game’s launch actually outperforming Capcom’s Street Fighter V on PC.
We got to go hands-on with the beautiful new gameplay that looks exactly like the hand-drawn animations from the show and can confirm that both anime and fighting fans should be hyped. FighterZ plays just like classic MvC with two players going head-to-head with a team of three characters. Like in Marvel, gameplay focuses on 1 vs. 1 combat and during fights characters can be swapped and/or called out for assists. One thing hardcore MvC players will notice right away is that there’s a noticeable delay between tagging in assists for better or for worse.
There were six total playable characters at the show: Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Freeza, Cell, and Maijin Boo. And any one of the characters could be selected by a player when filling their dream team of three characters. And although the devs wouldn’t confirm how many characters will be on the final roster, it seems like there will be around at least 20+ fan-favorites at launch.
From the hour we played of Dragon Ball FighterZ, we found it easy to play but hard to master. Combos were easy to pull off, but punishes required a deeper knowledge and juggles were difficult to maintain. A trait that both newcomers and hardcore fighting gamers will appreciate. Namco clearly already has a hit on their hands with most of Twitch’s top fighting game streamers camped out all week at the Namco booth choosing to play it over MvC. So it’ll be interesting to see if Namco can keep the hype train going and if Capcom continues to drop their combos over the next year.
Although Dragon Ball FighterZ debuted at Microsoft’s E3 2017 showcase, the game will also be available on PC and PlayStation 4 when it launches some time in 2018.