So after playing the Dragon ball FighterZ beta you’re left needing more? It’s slightly better than Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (as you can see here) but you’ve no access to play it, what now? How do you wait until Friday 26th January?
I’ve personally watched all 291 episodes of DragonballZ (not all the films mind but some of them) dubbed. I’ve watched a few episodes subbed and a few GT but that’s a lot of KAMEHAMAHA. I’ve also played the games since the obscure japanese snes fighters, gba rpgs, the truely terrible PS1/Saturn games, all of the Budokai Gamecube and PS2 games of finger wrecking amazement. It’s always been a benchmark of cellshading for console gaming with the DragonballZ fighters; how much wow and greatness to punch into a game that’s likely to break your fingers playing.
That’s the history what about this? Well like me you’ve probably watched the trailers, seen preview builds, demos at events, had a go on the open beta and all you want is more of Dragon ball FighterZ. GGXrd but Dbz? Yes and more, but it’s not out until 26th Jan! What do you do? Well this is where your man ElderlyGoose has you covered!
The Catching Up Option – Watch Dragon Ball Super on Crunchyroll
For better or worse the new Dragon Ball Super essentially retcons the terrible GT series (Yes it was rubbish. Sorry all 4 fans of it). It’s now 123 episodes and climbing, granted I’m only 19 episodes in I’ve gotten a good feel for it. Is it worth watching? Yes, Especially in Japanese. If you can’t stomach subtitles Funimation has you covered. Your missing out though as they’ve really blended what made Z great in dub with this series. Is it going to satisfy those FighterZ cravings? Probably not. If anything the first Beerus arc helps explain Super Saiyan God levels but reminds you how bad the “HAAAAA” moments with freeza really were.
The learning option – Catch up with Youtube shows on FighterZ
There are a few YouTube stars who specialise in fighting games and explaining the mechanics, updates and news. You’d be surprised how much you can pick up simply by seeing someone who plays the game regularly can show you. If you fancy watching a few streams then you can check out people like Maximilian Dood who have been attending press events or Zeddy_Beat who is tirelessly helping create a community for the game. Still if you fancy a show setup then I highly recommend watching WestCityWeekly.
The digging out original option – Watch classic DragonballZ on DVD
This obviously has a caveat – Make sure it’s the best episodes not the rubbish. 100% brilliant still to this day. The animation is definitely showing its age and the dub itself isn’t the best in the world. The subtitles and Japanese audio is pretty terrible and misses the point of a lot of what western audiences enjoyed (which makes sense). It’s a perfect example of where a dub can improve on something (watch some of the Buu episodes and wonder why it’s silent for 90% of the arc). Still so many amazing moments that still stand the test of time. There’s a reason the new FightersZ is a like for like to the manga/anime. A reminder of DARN YOUs and AARRRGGHHHHs.
The Emulator option – Play classic SNES/GBA/NES rpg/action games
There are plenty to choose from all good all kinda broken in one way or another. The only reason to only go as high as a Gameboy Advance is your mobile will only likley be able to emulate so high. You’ve still plenty that will run nicely; Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension on the SNES is always a go to classic (it has some compatibility issues with some emulators mind), Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku on the GBA is a mixed bag as is the sequel and apparently there was a third game! All the more reason to go back to these and check out lists like this to see what gems are hidden there.
The 2nd Hand option – Burst limit
360 or ps3? – For me this was my “wow next-gen” moment. Amazing cellshaded graphics that just blew me away. Granted the combat isn’t perfect but the drama pieces are perfect for a fighter like this and something Naruto Storm refined to make its own brilliance. The choice is 360 or PS3? The Ps3 version has an odd blur, it feels like it’s dropping a few frames and isn’t quite as nice looking but that 360 controller is murder on your hands. So custom controller for 360 or PS3 is the answer.
You have to love the way story mode is handled in this and I’m sure you will, it’s big enough and daft enough to distract you from the wait of FighterZ. Regardless of the version; The loading screen with moving the dragon balls around with the analogue stick and pressing a button to make them jump is fun. The rest of the game? Kind of clunky and a lot more button mashing than your hand would like. Still there’s a lot of quick reflex reactions and a ton of content. Just remember this is a big game; You want Trunks? You will have to get to the future arc and finish the Android/Cell games to get the other versions of him. Still it’s a great time sink still and that intro song is catchy as hell.
The one you missed on release – Ultimate Tenkai PS3
When a game is this old and there are no updates that’s not usually a good sign, either it was released perfect or dumped after release. I recently got this out of curiosity. Went in completely blind as the last Tenkai I played was Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 on PS2 and the only thing I remember about that was obliterating my controller trying to beat Brolly. I realise why I’ve not thought about this game before when I get stuck for the first time at the tutorial. I just can’t get past the recovery section for this guessing game. It’s really not a fighting game or even a DragonballZ game anymore, simply a rock paper scissors game with generic fighting cutscenes. I thought Burst Limit was bad for button mashing, at least the input responded. It’s nice to see Dragon Ball Z Kai footage in the game but if you just want to see that just get that anime on dvd instead.
The Newest Game option – J-Stars Victory VS+ PS4.
Similar to Dissidia NT in setup with 2 VS 2 (Also 1 support) with a dash of Naruto Storm and a few other 3D PS2 fighters like DON and bleach battle blazers. It all adds up to a strange mix that is hard to get into and like. The game has a huge story campaign and a mental mix of great and not so great gameplay moments. There are plenty of options to play with if you don’t fancy the story as well with Arcade modes and a healthy mix of collectables and Verses options. The games largely let down by a semi messy gameplay sadly but it is functional. It’s ok if you want a time sink but not ok if you want more than Dragonball than Goku, Vegeta and Freeza.
The Mobile App option – Dokkan Battle – IOS/Android
You can tell when an app has its online servers based in another country (usually America/Japan) the loading screens mean absolutely nothing as the delay will always be the same. Despite this the game is a freemium puzzle with classic Budokai board game mechanics mixed with a simple coloured orb puzzle system for battles. All blended into the manga and stills from promotional artwork. It’s not bad it’s not good it’s exactly what I just described a middle lane free to play app, Then again it is free.
The practising mechanics option – Skullgirls PS4
FighterZ borrows a lot of mechanics and feelings from the cracking fighting game Skullgirls. If you want to get good at FighterZ before launch it’s probably best you get some time in with a good 3 VS 3 fighter and you couldn’t do better than Skullgirls for that. Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite is newer granted but as with a previous review here, it’s far too slow to match to FighterZ and Skullgirls matches the pace of FighterZ nicely. You’ll be able to counter tag assists much better in future if you put in the work peeps!
What’s your best remedy for the Dragon Ball Z cravings?