Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 2.5D fighting game developed by Arc System Works and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Based on the Dragon Ball franchise, it was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows in most regions in January 2018, and in Japan the following month, and was released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch in September 2018.
Dragon Ball FighterZ received positive reviews from critics, with many citing the game as one of the best fighting games released in the eighth generation of video game consoles. The game's fighting system, character roster, visuals and music were all highly praised while its story mode and online functionality were subject to criticism.
The gameplay is inspired by concepts from several other fighting games, namely the control scheme and team mechanics. Players each select three characters to form a team, from an initial roster of 24. One character is controlled and can be switched with one of the other characters at any time. Players can also call one of their other characters to perform an "Assist" move, allowing simultaneous attacks and combos with the entire team. All three of the opponent's characters must be defeated to win the game.
In addition to the unique moves of each character, players have several universal moves available. With the "Vanish Attack", the player can expend Ki to instantly teleport behind an opponent's character and strike them in the back. This has multiple uses, from bypassing enemy projectiles to moving quickly around the stage, or extending a combo. The "Dragon Rush" move can break through an opponent's guard and if successful, offers a choice between an aerial combo or forcing the opponent to switch to a different character. The "Super Dash" flying attack will home in on the opponent's lead character and is able to pass through weaker projectiles. Lastly, players can "Ki Charge" to manually increase their Ki gauge, similar to previous Dragon Ball fighting games.
The includes several other features, such as "Come on Shenron!", that allows players to gather the Dragon Balls one by one as the fight progresses by special moves and combos. Once all seven are assembled by a player, Shenron appears to grant a wish and allows players to choose one among the following benefits: increasing their fighter's strength, reviving a fallen ally, recovering a fighter's health or regenerating health for the rest of the match. Another feature is the "Dramatic Finish" mode, wherein if specific characters win the fight against specific enemies on specific stages, special cutscenes are triggered related to events from the Dragon Ball series.
Dragon Ball FighterZ features a ranking system in both its arcade mode as well as in online multiplayer, where players increase their rank with subsequent wins.
The game takes place sometime between the "Universe 6" and "Future Trunks" arcs of Dragon Ball Super. The game's main antagonist, Android 21, was a normal human who eventually became an Android created by the Red Ribbon Army after her son became the model for Android 16. Once she awakens, she repairs 16 and uses the Dragon Balls to resurrect Frieza, Cell, Nappa, and the Ginyu Force, and seals away the powers and souls of all of Earth's strongest warriors. Wanting to control the hungry monster within her, she and 16 develop a linking system originally created by Dr. Gero in which a human soul (the player) can possess the warriors and provide them strength.
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