After spending months playing Dragon Ball FighterZ (pronounced Fighters!) on PlayStation 4, I was stoked to hear that the Nintendo Switch would also have the game in its library. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a beautiful and deep fighter and a game that’s clearly made a name for itself in the tournament scene – serving as a mainliner at EVO. Over the years we’ve seen dozens of video games based on the famous Akira Toriyama property, and only a handful have been truly worth playing. Now, with Arc System Works taking the helm, we’ve got one of the best games yet.
The Nintendo Switch version is remarkable. Considering the system can at most handle 1080p, the transition works well. In fact, this is shot for shot the same port and easily the best version thanks to being portable.
Everything is here, the same moves and the same inputs. Cinematics look the same as they did on the PlayStation 4 version I own and only when undocked, do I notice a slight resolution drop. Destructive finishes are as wonderful and chaotic as ever. The tutorial mode featured deep and intuitive tips worth completing.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a tag-team fighter where you select three fighters and pit them against other players or AI enemies. The mechanics play like Marvel vs Capcom, but there is a distinct level of polish the later MvC titles lack. FighterZ on Switch brought with it some changes including 2v2 and 1v1 matches, shaking up the established team formula. For someone like me who really prefers to stick with one fighter and master their move set, this opens a whole new world of possibilities.
Arc System Works simplified the mechanics while keeping the gameplay deep. By doing this, it allows newcomers and veterans to play on a more level field. Attacks are mapped to either medium or heavy attacks. Pressing the corresponding button begins an auto combo that builds the longer it is successful. Heavy moves launch enemies across the screen. You can teleport around, charge ki to unlock stronger abilities and unleash devastating finishers. Most moves require no more than a quarter turn and tapping R1/RB.
There’s also a Story Mode that features three arcs to complete, each one playing off the next and mixing your roster up enough to see yourself get comfortable with every fighter. While the meat of the campaign isn’t fully realized, it’s a fun romp through iconic Dragon Ball locales. Learning the ropes through Story Mode and moving onto Arcade Mode offers up a lengthy but suitable tutorial to get into the competitive spirit.
Speaking of competition, the roster features 32 fights for you to play with. I’m a little disappointed the roster features separate slots for Goku’s various forms (Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan Blue, and Base) and the same for Vegeta, too. Of course, there is enough character variation here if you’re unfamiliar with the characters, you’re seeing doubles of characters in roster slots. This trickles to the DLC characters, where we get more Saiyans thrust into the mix. The world is full of interesting fighters and I’d love to see some variation in the sequel.
Online multiplayer takes place in a lobby that resembles the famous World Tournament. Each lobby includes 64 fighters where you choose your avatar and can choose to fight in ranked battles where players are able to face off against each other while earning rank points. The other other is Arena Matches where you can invite players into your own personalized lobby for matches, while others watch. I had no issues connecting to any lobby, during any match and I really can’t complain about the net code. Aside from minor hiccups that had more to do with the other player lagging out, this is a solid experience, too.
To conclude, this is the same game you’ve seen on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. There’s a ton of content here and seeing Arc System Works fantastic, detailed, and lively 2.5D models move on my Switch is worth the admission. We’ve had so many dull Dragon Ball games over the years – now we’re getting the best of the bunch on the Nintendo Switch. I can play Story Mode during my commute, take on a few friends at lunch, and by dinner, I’m back to finishing up what I started during the morning.
Picking up Dragon FighterZ is a no-brainer. If you like fighting games or even find yourself drawn to this game, jump in! Arc System Works made this game, so anyone can pick it up and play, you don’t need to memorize the small details to have fun. The deep and rewarding combat offered with this game and you don’t need to be a fan of the series to consider playing this.
[A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]
- It's the full experience on the Nintendo Switch
- The best Dragon Ball game yet
- Deep and rewarding gameplay
- Minor frame rate issues