Posted September 19, 2017 by Joseph Rositano in Feature

Dragon Ball FighterZ PS4 Preview

Over the weekend Bandai Namco held some closed beta sessions for their upcoming fighter Dragon Ball FighterZ. While the closed beta was primarily used to test some of the online multiplayer features of the final build, it also gave players a better look at the title ahead of its release in February 2018.

Fighting games traditionally are not the best when playing online. Particularly for Australians, the fast paced precision required by most fighters can become a laggy mess, which often isn’t helped by the lack of local servers. To my delight however, upon being asked to select my region I discovered there were Australian lobbies!

The lobby is set up as a small arena that you explore as a chibi-styled Dragon Ball character avatar. As expected, the beta had a lot of inaccessible areas, but you could speak to NPCs to change your three-man team roster, change your on-screen avatar, spectate matches, customise controls and watch replays. Only one replay made by the developer was available to watch but it allowed you to rewind, pause and fast forward the match, and observe the button inputs used by the players.

Lobbies can fit up to 64 players, though naturally you will only fight one player at a time. You can see the other players exploring the lobby, and also observe what activities they are doing. If they are in an online match then you will see their avatar fighting against another, if they are waiting to join a match then they are on the sidelines. It’s a cute little way to ensure you know when other players are looking for another match or just messing around with other options.

The beta’s playable roster included Android 16, Android 18, Cell, Krillin, Frieza, Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, Majin Buu, Gohan and Piccolo. Each character has light, medium, heavy and special attack moves that can be strung together for different combos. Characters can also call upon teammates for assistance. Combat is fluid and fast paced; it’s easy to become overwhelmed if you’re not mindful of your opponents. I was admittedly not that great in achieving victory, and I found myself wishing for a tutorial or move list. But this was just a technical test, so this hindsight can be forgiven. Despite matches being online I can honestly say I encountered no lag. Battles continued to run smoothly and I never once felt my controller wasn’t responsive enough.

Matchmaking for the most part was instant, though at times even though there were multiple players looking for matches there seemed to be a delay in the game pairing up fighters. Hopefully the developer can iron this out before release to ensure an absolute top notch online experience.

The visuals are simply breathtaking. While the character models are in fact 3D, the camera perspective gives Dragon Ball FighterZ a 2D look. It truly is the closest any game has come to looking like the anime, and when combined with fluid animations this will be a real treat for any Dragon Ball fan. The music featured is your typical rock themes, and spoken dialog was in Japanese. Hopefully the final build will feature both Japanese and English dubs.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is shaping up to be a fantastic fighter. The beta gave a small glimpse of the fast paced, visually stunning action fans can expect from the final build, and also demonstrated that the online multiplayer is reliable and doesn’t suffer from lag like other fighters. Dragon Ball FighterZ is slated for release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC in February 2018.

Joseph Rositano

While Joseph's main hobby has always centered around video games, he's also taken an interest in movies, musicals and traveling around the world. No one quite knows what Joseph's true motivations are, but rest assured he is always planning his next grand adventure!