How a simple game made me more invested in fighting games than ever before
When Dragon Ball FighterZ released for the Switch a week ago, I decided to get it even though I already owned it for the PC. My reasoning was that it would make a great couch/multiplayer game that I could crack open whenever my friends came over. I didn’t play the PC version too often, mostly because it’s a game that, in my opinion, is better played while slumped on a couch. I saw the game as a fun little entry that I would occasionally play a few bouts of, but not much else.
And then the Switch release happened. I can’t really describe what changed, but all of a sudden I found myself looking at Youtube videos on how to extend your combos, what blockstrings are, and how to play the neutral. If any of those terms sound entirely unfamiliar to you, then don’t worry because even now I am not entirely certain what they mean. But I do know this: Dragon Ball FighterZ is a much deeper game than I gave it credit for.
The beauty of Dragon Ball FighterZ lies in its supposed simplicity. Unlike other fighting games, each character has a very limited amount of special moves. For example, every character has the traditional half-circle-forward/backward moves, two (or three, depending on the character) ultimate moves, and a couple more attacks. When you open the special move list, it’s usually quite succinct and straightforward. This means that practically anyone can use all of a character’s moves without much complication.
To make things even easier, mashing either the Light or Medium buttons will immediately make your character do an “auto-combo” which will let you do combos with significant damage pretty easily. All in all, this means that even casual players can easily pick up the game and have some fun.
Yet, there is more depth than just that. Like any other fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ lets players perform combos that are out of this world. Doing so requires a lot of practice and game knowledge, though, so not any player can do this. I’ve been playing for around 20 hours at this point, and I can still barely perform any cool combos. But let me tell you, few things are as satisfying as finally pulling off a “bread and butter” combo (a somewhat difficult combo that most characters in the game can perform) for the first time. When I finally managed to pull one off, I actually shouted out in excitement.
Dragon Ball FighterZ did what many other fighting games failed to do for me. It hooked me with simple, engaging gameplay and then lured me into its depths by promising more. I’ve played many fighting games over the years: Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, etc. And while I had some fun with them, I never felt particularly inclined to take a dive into their mechanics, simply because they were so daunting.
Perhaps it is because the characters I am using are characters that I have watched engage in chilling fights and grew up with. Part of the enjoyment that I get from the game is shouting along the characters when I perform an ultimate (read: Final Flash) and moving forward that is something that will keep the game alive and well.
If this doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what will.
If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend trying out Dragon Ball FighterZ or at the very least watching some gameplay online. I am very partial to this particular match. The game is currently out on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. For more content on Dragon Ball FighterZ, stay tuned to our site.