Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 2.5D fighting game based on the Dragon Ball Z anime series and its over-the-top displays of powerful attacks, featuring a full roster of characters for single player battles or online world matches.
Pro The game looks just like the anime
Character models are recreated faithfully from the show, their expressions and animations all unique and reminiscent of their hand-drawn anime versions. They also have their arsenal of super dashes that surrounds their fighter with their ki aura as they zip forward, the dragon rush that throws out several punches and kicks in speedy succession, as well as super attacks and meteor attacks that recreate each fighter's iconic moves from the show, like Goku's enormous Super Saiyan 3 Kamehameha blast and Vegeta's Final Flash attack.
Pro Combat is easy to learn and difficult to master
The control scheme among combatants is universal enough to work well for players who are new to the fighting genre, while veterans have access to more specialized combos and timings to perfect with individual fighters. Beginners can get away with starting off with auto-combos by pressing the face buttons. Simple button mashing is serviceable for the easy parts of the story and arcade modes. Those looking to improve their play can practice in the tutorial with the combo challenges for every character. Mastering these manual combos takes dedication, but adept use of these moves will undoubtedly pay off for harder story battles and online play.
Pro Healthy roster of characters
With classic characters like Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Frieza, Captain Ginyu, Cell, and several more, as well as a new addition with Android 21, fans of the series will find at least a few of their favorites to play with. More powerful characters are unlockable through completing the story and arcade modes. The voice acting both in English and Japanese for every character are superb, sounding just like their anime versions. Players who aren't familiar with the Dragon Ball Z series are bound to find a few characters that they enjoy through gameplay alone, with each fighter boasting unique visuals with their special and ultimate attacks.
Pro Characters work well together in combat and in cutscenes
The three-on-three battles have you play one character at a time, with the ability to switch in another team member with the press of a button, or bring one in to combo your special attack with their flashy meteor attack. Characters typically work well together for these Ultimate Z Change combos, and it's fun to discover which ones work best for you: if you can master the timing of Android 16's brute force close-range attacks, then you can have another character, like Android 18, come in with an overhead beam for even more damage.
During the story, the banter between characters before battles are a fun way to see different fighters interact with one another. Watching Gotenks try to teach Nappa how to turn into a Super Saiyan as if it's the easiest thing in the world, or Vegeta and Piccolo grudgingly accepting their need to work together is entertaining in a way that makes the slog of the story mode tolerable.
Con Story mode is padded and repetitive
The three arcs in FighterZ's story mode feature campaigns from three different points of view: Goku and his allies, Frieza and the Ginyu Force, and the Androids and their struggles, but the story can be distilled down to the player "linking" with the fighters as well as battling endless numbers of clones.
There are clever knocks on the fourth wall as the characters acknowledge the player who has taken control of their body via linking, and there are also plot reasons for this phenomenon, but the cutscenes waste a lot of time explaining this mechanic to every new fighter who joins the team. The third arc picks up as the cast learns more about Android 21, yet the slog to get to that point is a repetitive series of fights against the clones.
Con Online lobbies are a mess
Unfortunately, the game automatically forces the player to connect to a lobby right from the start. This can sometimes take a while if lobbies are full, or if the connection drops for whatever reason. Sometimes, even after successfully entering a lobby, there will be frustrating disconnects, forcing another round of going through the same loop of trying to connect and possibly dropping back out again. Thankfully, there's an offline lobby for those only looking to do the story or arcade modes.
Con No honor in online matches
This is more of an issue among the playerbase than in the game itself, but don't be surprised if you're about to win a ranked World match and your opponent suddenly "disconnects". When that happens, you will also lose connection to your lobby, forcing you to connect to another one. Disconnects don't count as a loss or a win for either party involved, so there's no penalty that punishes quitters.