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Dragon Ball FighterZ


HandsomeDead
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About time for some impressions, I think.

 

So its a 2D fighting game made by ArcSystem Works, a studio famous for its 'Anime' fighting games.  They usually have a lot of systems and movement options as well as combo systems that can be extended to let players do some crazy stuff as long as they have the execution to do them, which is usually quite hard to do.

They have made it simpler here.  The first thing is its very easy to 'get in' in DBF since you have a button that activates the 'Dragon Dash' which has you fly across the screen and home into your opponent, and it also goes through most projectiles so for beginners fighting each other having that is useful for swiftly getting in.  But it is very punishable, so learning when to use it properly is an early lesson.  It has a few mechanics to aid beginners because I'm sure they recognise that this is a Dragon Ball game and a number of people playing it won't necessarily be into fighting games, they'll just be fans of the show so letting them have a good time is a priority here.

 

One of the other ways they do this is by having auto-combos (performed by repeatedly pressing the light attack (LA) or medium attack (MA) for a more powerful variant that ends in a metre costing super).  They're not a thing I'm fond of as they won't teach you the game that well but they do make for some cool looking action.  The auto-combos, in fact, are totally unique combos.  In a lot of other games, they are the same visually as manual combos but do less damage.  And since they are unique here its a shame to see them locked into the auto-combos and not be able to do them manually.  For example, Frieza, a character I use has a really cool looking move in the first part of his auto-combo which launched them into the air.  So what I sometimes do to mix things up is perform the first half of the A-C then go into a manual one when in the air.  But I wish I had the option to do this move anytime.

 

But while there is a very flashy and basic fighter there is a high skill ceiling here as well, which you will discover at the time of writing when you go online.  It isn't as high as ArcSystem's other games but there is still quirky stuff.  Since this is a 3v3 fighter you can call in a member of your team to do a one-off move and jump out again.  Using these can give you the ability to get hits in and continue combos where you couldn't without.  Or they can be used to cover approaches, help defend etc.

There is also the little mechanic also found in ArcSytem's other games; the jump cancel.  Its something I've always known about but I've not really put serious time into learning but if you want to get beyond hammering out basic stuff you gotta get used to it.  Essentially any medium attack can be jump cancelled.  A common thing to do would be crouching MA (which puts them in the air a little), standing MA (pops them up a little more) then hit up while the animation is still happening to quickly meet them in the air.  Since you can only use your proper launchers and Dragon Dash once per combo link it frees you up to use them later in the combo and its the mastery of this that really frees up the fighting system as a whole.  It's here where it really gets fun.

 

 

I've not really played the story yet but I hope to get round to it soon (it's kinda bonkers it's about the Dragon Ball gang being controlled by an entity and they turn to the camera when referencing this entity) and it also has this weird turn-based map system between fights.

 

 

There's other stuff.  Sparking Blast and how the online seems to be kinda borked at the moment in that the games run fine until it kicks you out of the lobby for no reason, but this will do for now.

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I think I've gone wrong by getting stuck in to the story. It's fine, in that its not particularly gripping but it does give you some fights and the tutorials, unlocking characters as you go. 

 

The problem is that it throws a lot of fights at you, you can skip them but you need to level up so you end up doing them. The problem is so far the story is so easy it's all monotonous 

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I played some more of the story mode and yeah... woof!

 

It doesn't help I don't know who any of these people are and it has no interest in introducing them to you.  I'm really thinking of just skipping all the cutscenes to get to the end so I can unlock the character rewarded.

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Okay, so I discovered Frieza during the Beta and now I think I've found main team member No. 2:  Wee Teen Gohan

 

 

 

He's a hard little basterd.  Still got work to do though (dropping those jump cancel combos like pennies).  And boy is my Android 18 still awful... I have tech for her I promise, its just doing it.

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57 minutes ago, DifferentClass said:

I played some more of the story mode and yeah... woof!

 

It doesn't help I don't know who any of these people are and it has no interest in introducing them to you.  I'm really thinking of just skipping all the cutscenes to get to the end so I can unlock the character rewarded.

 

*takes a breath*

 

all the characters in orange karate outfits were members of the Z Fighters, this predates Dragon Ball Z, but essentially they're the good guys. Goku is the main character, he's not human, he's a Saiyan (we'll get to that). The humans are actually pretty weak, especially Yamcha, but Krillen is the one who puts up the best show throughout the series. Tien (the guy with 3 eyes) was in the original Dragonball, as was Piccolo, Piccolo was a bad guy, is now a good guy

 

Nappa and Vegeta are Saiyans, they come to earth as bad guys, Nappa isn't around for too long, Vegeta (prince of the Saiyans) reluctantly becomes good because of his hate for Frieza. Frieza is a bad guy, strong enough to destroy planets easily, his subordinate (as well as the bad Saiyans) is Captain Ginyu, who is a bit of a joke but fairly strong.

 

Gohan is Goku's kid, he's theoretically stronger than Goku, especially as a kid, but because of the nature of Dragon Ball Z has to fuck it up to let Goku save the day. Trunks is Vegeta's son (from the future no less). Gotenks is kid Gohan and kid Trunks fused together, very strong but too immature to use it properly. 

 

Cell is very powerful, the main thing that makes him dangerous is he has Piccolo's healing cells, plus the Saiyan cells that mean you become stronger after being close to death, so he could become unstoppable. The Androids precede his story, they're strong, stronger than Krillen, not as strong as the Saiyans. Krillen is fucking one of them. 

 

Big fat Buu is strong, not necessarily evil but he was a bad guy before he wasn't. Kid Buu is very very strong, he's what was inside of big Buu making him evil.

 

The cat thing (Beerus?) is a god. SSGSS Goku and Vegeta are what those two have to become to not be killed by him. He's not a bad guy as such but he is the got of destruction. 

 

I don't really know anything about Goku Black, the bloke that looks a bit like Frieza, and the female Buu-alike is made up for this game

 

We'll get on to Brolli and the like when they come out as dlc

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I don't want to turn this post into complaining but I've been playing ranked matches a lot today.  Not played them much til now since I didn't have a team I was happy with but now I think I have so I'm here.

 

Since this is such a popular game we do have babies.  I just want to use this opportunity to say, if you are considering getting into fighting games, especially online where stats are tracked (and in this case shown on the vs. screen) just wear your losses like cool scars.  

Tonight I've come across so many rage quitters, one and goners (horrible fighting game etiquette: fights are truly won 2 out of 3 and leaving after one - win or loss (but especially win) is seriously uncool*) and people who rematch just to make it even then leave.

 

Any idiot can learn some cheap tricks to get single wins.  If you're gonna commit to the game do it in a way that is varied and gets consistent wins.

 

I dunno.  Just getting frustrated a little.  

 

 

* I truly believe ranked matches in all fighting games should be a mandatory 2 out of 3.  None of this opt in business.  Keep that for the unranked modes.

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When I play SFV more than 90% will rematch for a 2 out of 3.  In the hated MvC:I 99% of people rematch because its the honourable thing to do: it's E-Sports.  I think it's only around 50% in DBFZ.

 

Even if I'm the one kicking someones arse I always rematch, not for a free win, because I know when I get my arse kicked I want to maybe learn something and I put the oppertunity out there for them.  If they leave then fair enough, but I never turn down a fight... unless its laggy as fuck.

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Been in the lab with Goku Black and came up with a combo after seeing someone dash cancel out of his dive kick move in a stream and a lightbulb went off:

 

 

As much as I'm here to show that off, I think it's also a reason why I'm really into fighting games right now.  I feel like I really discovered that combo (where I saw the initial dash cancel didn't follow up with much... maybe they were hiding tech, dropped it, who knows) and it is such a good feeling landing it in a proper match.  I never thought I would since I fuck it up all the time in training but the day after I discovered it this poor soul saw the end of it.

Goku Black is an edgelord.  He's the Akuma of the game so you see him a lot, but I bet not a lot pull this shit off (I've never had it used, or attempted against me).

 

But to be truthful, this guy was really good, and while I won this match he got someone to hold his jacket while he kicked my arse and watched me drop all my other combos all over the shop.

 

Fighting games really are cool.

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The servers on the Xbox One are beyond fucking terrible, i get disconnected from lobbies all the time.

 

I did just finally win my first Ranked match, i'll be honest and say it was mostly auto combos, super dashing in then hammering the X button and following up with fireballs or Meteor attacks when the Chi allows. I'm getting used to swithing between my team members on a more regular basis and I know a couple of combo's from my time in practice. I've just got to learn not to panic so much - fuck knows why I get so frantic.

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I thought I'd mentioned it one of my previous posts (I must have just spoke about it) but the servers are busted on PS4, too.  A somewhat consistent fix for now is going into less populated lobbies.  I think they get less stable with over 40 people in them.  But we're still waiting on a patch.  They said they're aware and working on it, for what it's worth.

 

Are you slotting in your Vanish attacks @illdog?  Because to get a bit more damage after fireball (or as us Dragon Ballers call it a Kamehameha) you could vanish, then hit Dragon Rush (the game's throw equivalent) to meet them in the air and slap them down.  Or you could also go into Super after Vanish if your character has an air one.

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Vanish is Y+B/Triangle+Circle right? Yea, i try to throw that in the mix, especially when somebody is using my tactics against me! So when they rush at me I try to vasish then start my combo from behind. That slap down from the air is down and B/Circle i think? Depends on my state of panic.

 

I have managed another win since, I tried to slow down and pay attention at what was coming at me and look for gaps. You can press forward and LB/L1 and counter their attack if you are blocking I think, do you use that at all @DifferentClass? That seems like it could really open shit up but it's a bit too advance for me currently, it's just knowing when to do it.

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I don't use a controller or the default buttons but do you mean that tag counter @illdog?  Yeah, I don't use it as much as I should.  While it gets people off you when cornered you can't combo off it like a regular tag since it resets everyone to a neutral position, it's a "get off me" move, but I mostly push my luck and try to get a normal tag in so I can get more damage.  I get punished a lot though because they're baiting me and giving me space to tag so they can launch me as I come in.  I should use that tag counter a lot more and use it to regroup.

 

Oh, and no I wasn't talking about that with my suggested combo.  So the buttons on XO, I assume, what I'm suggesting you try is light auto combo, Fireball at the top, just as it finishes vanish and as you see yourself leave the botton of the screen (I'm not sure of the timing you get a feel for it) you press I think RB in default controls and when you do it in the air, instead of launching it smacks them down.  For reference the end part of that combo I do in the YouTube video I posted right near the start.

 

Also, if you feel like surprising someone when you hit RB and then one of the tag buttons during the animation you bring their character out.  Good for getting characters near death trying to heal up.

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There was a server side update yesterday I think and it seems to have fixed the issue with lobbies from the little I've played today.

 

Had to turn it off though because I had three rage quitters in a row and it just soured me.  I want ti get to Android rank so I played a bunch of ranked matches to see if I could do it as I think it's achievable  for me (I think I'm already pretty close) but I ate a few losses, made some completed wins back but the other had quitters right at the end.  Absolute no question they were rage quits.

 

It just makes me not want to bother.

 

I know ArcSystems haven't had anything in place for this before.  Probably because it may be much less of an issue in their other games since they have a dedicated player base.  The only thing they have in place now is the persons name is in purple but its not clear what that means as its not mentioned in the game, I had to look it up.  It's not like they were casual players, they straight up knew how to play.

 

So I hope that's next on the agenda.  I think the system used in Capcom games should be enough where they matchmake rage quitters with each other and people who never do with each other.  It worked wonders on Street Fighter V.

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I was wrong, the servers are still fucked.

 

I did this in a match tonight.

 

 

To get this you gotta know the lore of Dragon Ball Z (I'm sure @DANGERMAN knows) but I think this character - Android 16 - blew himself up to kill someone at some point, and it's a move in this game.  It is very easy to dodge but it is an instant kill move.  It doesn't kill Android 16 (maybe it should?) but it does leave him with 1hp.  So, in theory, you could use it mid-match and tag him out to recover the health he lost.

 

But anyway, it was a fun and dramatic land to me.

 

 

But after listening to the last MFG podcast I thought maybe I'll put my thoughts on the game as someone who is playing it on a more competitive level for those interested... Anyone?

 

Because as far as what Ben said I totally agree.  The story mode is needlessly dragged out and doesn't do anything interesting.  Maybe it is just made for Dragon Ball fans to mash through and have a laugh for 10 hours but it is a dull mode for those who are learning the game.  I just used it as a semi-aware bot to practice my combos on and hopefully unlock the character that is locked behind it.

 

 

But anyway.  I'm gonna talk a load of fighting game nonsense from now on.

 

 

On the podcast, Ben was saying (well, I'm paraphrasing) how all the characters are similar and have the same combos.  And that is true on a level.  There is an unusually thick mechanical core in this game.  Like, there are a lot of mechanics that are universal to all characters so when you approach the game and go through most of their tutorials it seems like they do all play the same.  And they sort of do; you can go pretty far just playing core stuff... If they play core stuff intelligently and thoughtfully it will take you surprisingly far.

The fact that an auto-combo starts with a jab makes it fastest move in the game.  Knowing exactly where to put it is a vicious thing.

 

But what is also interesting about auto-combos in DBZ is they have slightly different properties than regular moves.  Auto-combos sort of "home in" where manual ones don't, so for some real optimal combos you may want to utilise that property and take a hit on raw damage per hit to extend your combos further at super high levels.

 

Also, what the game doesn't really teach you at all is how assist moves can also extend combos.  A tap of your tag button has them come in and do a predetermined move.  I've been working on one.  Well, I've been working on a whole thing, but it won't work with my current team but with a change in my team, it will work.  In theory:  I can open with Teen Gohan; get a simple but optimal combo: D.med, med, j. cancel, light, med, j. cancel, light, med, D, heavy, tag in Android 16, light, med, Dunk... as I dunk I assist Goku Black who does a beam move, that juggles them further, Android 16 then can jump, light med, light dunk, super (level one or three depending).

 

Now, I've never landed all of that combo yet, but if I do you'll know about it here.

 

And there is a reasoning behind that combo.  Why don't I just start with Android 16?  Well: Android 16 doesn't have an air launcher (the d. heavy in the air) so when I do my fancy jump cancel to get them in the air it is kinda wasted with 16.  It's best used when he is on a team with a character who does have an air launcher, tag him in at the launch and have him do the damage at the top.

 

So what I'm trying to say is there is depth here, but it isn't about learning character-specific combos.  They aren't that hard, especially compared to previous ArcSys games, but they are about understanding the properties of systems.  The vanish attack has more uses than you'd expect in knowing how to exploit it properly.  Doing it on the ground will reset to neutral, doing it high in the air has other properties and doing it lower than that has combo opportunities.

 

Basically, the buttons are pretty easy, but understanding what happens next is something else.

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Experiments in the lab say my combo in the last post doesn't work

 

You can't get a super off the light dunk and the combo is too long to get a medium dunk consistently (the further a combo goes the quicker it is possible to get out of it in this game).

 

Back to the drawing board!

 

Or ripping people off.  I played someone today who had a sweet Frieza combo.  Might work on that next time in the lab.

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