The most popular Shōnen anime is once again getting a new game for the Play Station, Xbox and PC (only Windows has been confirmed thus far). Developed by Arc System Works, Dragon Ball FighterZ, which is based off the Dragon Ball series that was created by Akira Toriyama, is slated to be released on January 26th 2018 worldwide and on February 1st 2018 in Japan. Though it may be another Dragon Ball fighting game, FighterZ is fundamentally different is almost every area that we have become used to. These changes are bold and risky, however, it is in my most humble opinion that these changes are for the better and are long overdue.

If you are like me, you enjoy actual combat in your fighting games. You get and stay close to your opponent. You string as much combos as possible and mix minor super attacks in-between and then finish with your ultimate supers. It’s intense and has your blood rushing. In fact, the addition to super/ultimate attacks in Tekken was a nice touch and gave the intense gameplay a new level. Other games like Street Fighters and Marvel vs Capcom have been perfecting this for years; making them the top tier of fighting games.

With that said, it’s easy to see why previous Dragon Ball games, though great within its own right, were not pursued as heavily as the others mentioned. Don’t get me wrong, DBZ games are fun and as an anime/manga otaku, I loved going Super Saiyan and doing energy attacks like Final Flash or Big Bang Kamehameha. However, it gets annoying when you’re trying to fight an opponent who just runs, builds up their supers and spams them for an entire match. What’s worst is their lack of creativity/originality. We understand, within the series, Goku is made to be the best and Broly the strongest; so it’s understandable why you’ll want to play with them.

However there are at least fifty (50) playable characters per game. Mix things up, use someone else, try combos, don’t spam supers and just run away. These aspects are what made the previous DBZ games more of a headache than an enjoyment, and as many gamers who prefer fighting games would agree, it’s what made them not take this particular series seriously within the gaming community; that is, until FighterZ.

FighterZ gameplay, as we have seen with the beta launch, is more similar to the Marvel vs Capcom series that it is to any of its previous games. Instead of an open 3D map, we are now given a 2D map. This force you to actually fight, dodge and defend as the fight begin. There is little to no time to charge your Ki bar, for trying to charge would leave you wide open for attack and trust and believe, the last thing that you want to do is give someone the chance to easily start their combo. Another great aspect is that there is no default advantage for picking any character.

This means that picking Lord Beerus would not mean that you have an edge against someone who picked Yamcha. Although I would admit that this is one feature that I would miss. I thoroughly enjoyed defeating opponents that were considered top tier like Goku and Vegeta with low tier characters like Krillin and Yamcha. To me, it was a demonstration of skills that proved that skills matter more than the actual character. Nonetheless, it is a change that is more than welcomed with this installation within the DBZ gaming universe.

With all that said, I am highly anticipating the new DBZ game FighterZ. It has so far, met and surpassed my expectations in every regard and I suspect that there is a lot more to the actual gameplay that we have yet to see from the Beta testing. Nintendo fans fret not though; there have been rumors that this game would be available on the Nintendo Switch later on in the year.