Dragon Ball FighterZ: hands-on preview, news, trailers and more

Arc System Works is renowned for its excellent fighters that put sheer scale and technicality above all else. Guilty Gear and Blazblue, in particular, are beloved among hardcore fighting communities, and so it’s no surprise the studio’s next game has already amassed plenty of anticipation. This is also helped by the fact its using the hugely popular Dragon Ball Z licence.

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has compiled everything you need to know about Dragon Ball FighterZ including all the latest news, fighters, stages and more.

What is Dragon Ball FighterZ?

Dragon Ball Fighter Z is an upcoming 2.5D fighter in a similar vein to Marvel vs Capcom, taking place in the iconic anime universe. With teams consisting of three unique characters, the roster is set to be absolutely crammed with beloved Dragon Ball personalities. If FighterZ is executed properly, it could be one of the finest fighters of 2018.

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Dragon Ball FighterZ

Dragon Ball FighterZ release date – When is it coming out?

Bandai Namco is planning to launch Dragon Ball FighterZ worldwide on January 26, 2018 across PS4, Xbox One and PC.

The open beta is currently live although has unfortunately been subject to a series of server and connection issues. Bandai Namco is yet to confirm anything, but it may see a brief extension.

Dragon Ball FighterZ roster – Who can I play as?

With the release date still several months away, plenty of characters are yet to be announced for the FighterZ roster. With seven fighters confirmed thus far, we’re excited to see what’s in store.

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You can check them out the current roster below:

  • Goku
  • Vegeta
  • Gohan (Teen Version)
  • Trunks (Super Saiyan Future Version)
  • Krillin
  • Piccolo
  • Frieza
  • Cell
  • Buu
  • Android 18 (w/Android 17)
  • Android 16
  • Tien Shinhan (with Chiatzu)
  • Yamcha
  • Captain Ginyu and the Ginyu Force
  • Nappa
  • Gotenks
  • Gohan (Adult Version)
  • Kid Buu
  • Hit
  • Beerus
  • Goku Black
  • Super Saiyan Blue Goku + Vegeta

Dragonball FighterZ gameplay preview by Andi Hamilton

One of the biggest surprises at E3 2017 was ArcSystem Works’ Dragon Ball FighterZ. It hit a sweet spot within the fighting game community, causing a wave of excitement and anticipation. This past weekend, the closed beta test went live, allowing a good amount of players their first taste of the game. It’s clear, even from this limited trial, that the community’s energy has not been misplaced; Dragon Ball FighterZ is a whole load of fun.

For a game that moves at such a pace, throwing out wild animations in an updated version of the engine that powered Guilty Gear Xrd, it’s deceptively easy to pick up and, crucially, understand. The face buttons provide light, medium and strong attacks, as well as a projectile/special button, depending on the chosen character. The right shoulder buttons give you a throw and air dash, while the left give you assists and tag functionality. All special moves are either standard ‘fireball’ motions (the quarter circle used to do the Hadouken in Street Fighter) or simplified ‘down down’ inputs, and characters don’t have more than a few each.

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dragonball fighter z

There’s a surprising amount of leniency, too, so pulling off the spectacular combos you have seen in trailers isn’t as hard as it looks. This means that there’s a bit more focus on being creative with the tools, rather than pulling off something that only a handful of players have the ability to do. By the end of the beta, pulling off combos that featured a whole load of amazing looking moves and tagging in a partner to continue the combo mid-air was fairly straightforward. Some frown upon the execution in fighting games being simplified, but this isn’t just a game for the hardcore fighting fan. It’s also a very good and fun Dragon Ball game – one that fans of the series are going to get a real kick out of – and it’s good that they’re going to be able to play against others and hopefully, move on from just mashing buttons and start learning how to play competitively against others. That’s where these games are the most fun.

Perhaps the only real initial issue is that a lot of these universal systems work so well that some of the characters feel a bit same-y. Switching out one of them to another allowed for a few different strategies, but a lot of the same combos essentially work across much of the roster. For what it’s worth, it’s still early days, and some of the more recently added characters, like Piccolo and Android 16, feel significantly different to use, with Piccolo providing some tricky mixups and Android 16 being a bruising grappler, so perhaps there is more coming ahead of launch. Also, each character offers a different means of providing an assist, used by hitting one of the L Triggers, and that appears to be where a lot of the more interesting depth is going to come from. Picking the right assist is going to be a huge part of the final meta game. Choosing the best one to help continue a combo or, in some cases, providing enough of a distraction to give you a chance to land a hit.

First impressions

Currently planned to launch in February next year, there’s a long way to go before Dragon Ball FighterZ hits shelves, but based on this beta this is another truly top quality beat ‘em up that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the other greats in the genre. For those who feel a bit disappointed by Marvel v Capcom: Infinite’s 2 on 2 combat, this is going to scratch that classic itch.

Dragon Ball FighterZ trailers – How does it look?

We’ve seen plenty of gameplay in its opening trailers. Get ready to see some intense brawls in gorgeous colours below: