beta 1 - title

Game Title: Dragon Ball FighterZ (Open Beta)
Company: Bandai Namco
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Download: 3.1 GB

As a huge Dragon Ball fan, the Dragon Ball FIGHTERZ Open Beta for Nintendo Switch gave me a huge reason to make some more Dragon Ball-themed content. More than that, though, it also gave me a reason to stream on the YouTube Channel again. I got a little past that, though, and thought to do even more.

Enjoying the beta so much, I decided to make something of a “Mini Review” sort of thing for the Beta, itself. It’s something I’ve not done before, but hey, whatever.

After much time inside it, here is my “Mini Review” of the Dragon Ball FighterZ Open Beta for the Nintendo Switch!

Connectivity

beta 2 - rip connection

This is a section I thought I would make to address a big issue that a lot of people had with the Beta from the get-go. A lot of folks couldn’t connect to the Beta at all, including myself, due to constant messages stating that they couldn’t create an initial connection to the server.

Many just thought it’d be a simple fix, not realizing that for many people, it wasn’t something that needed to be fixed from the developer’s side. What I did to fix this was delete my Wi-Fi Hotspot from my Switch’s Internet Settings and set it back up from within the Beta and everything worked smoothly and perfect.

Though it is worth noting that this is something that was a huge hassle in early 2018 with the beta they did for the other versions of FighterZ, so it’s curious why it happened here again if it’s something they’ve already had to fix in the past.

Another little issue is that the game tends to crash when you’re running around the lobby.  This wasn’t terribly often, but it happened to me once every few hours or so.

Gameplay

beta 3 - hubs

Being a Beta and not the full game, there are a lot of features and game modes not featured in this beta. What you have available to you on the Hub World is Player/Character Customization, Tutorials, Arena Battles / PvP Multiplayer, and the Replay Theater that’s used for watching your old matches after they’re already over.

With customization, the game gives you Player Avatars for each of the 23 playable characters as well as Team Customization, which lets you create preset teams with characters and character colors already put in motion so you don’t need to re-edit after every match or game session.

As far as content goes, there’s not a whole lot here if you’re looking for a huge time-sink outside of PvP fighters, but the Tutorial is pretty length, in and of itself. There are 12 different tutorials on different parts of combat and are well-versed in getting a beginner player ready for PvP right off the bat. I was new to DBFZ and did a couple tutorials and did okay in PvP. I learned as I went, getting some victories out among losses.

beta 5 - cell wave

Then there’s Arena Battles, which are lobbies that players can make and set up spectator and 1v1 PvP matches. This is where the meat of the Beta is, doing PvP with others from around the globe. The great thing about this beta is that all 23 of the initial playable characters are available in the Beta, so you aren’t forced to choose from only a few select characters. You can try out anyone, from Android 18 to the Super Saiyan Blue variants of Goku and Vegeta.

That brings us to combat. The combat in FighterZ is 2D like Guilty Gear or BlazBlue, but far more fast-paced and contains a lot of features that not only helps beginners grasp the game, but also showcases itself as a spectacle. The Super Dash lets you initiate easy air combos and the control scheme is set up so that you can perform different combos with button-mashing or more intricate button configurations. This makes it very easy to pick up and play, be it from a fighting veteran’s standpoint or a newcomer’s standpoint.

The plethora of anime-inspired super moves also brings the combat into a light of being a visual spectacle, like you’re watching a fight from the anime with a lot of cinematic moves that recreate some of the best scenes from Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super. I had just as much fun spectating fights as I did playing them.

Controls

Controlling the game is pretty simple. It also has a customizeable control scheme, so you can set whatever you want wherever you want.

Moving is done with the Left Analog Stick / Arrow Buttons. The L and ZL buttons are used for Assist attacks while the R and ZR buttons are used for rush and Super Dash attacks to initiate those easy air combos. The face buttons are used for different kinds of attacks, while those buttons and R can be combined with Arrow Button combinations for Super Attacks.

Presentation

beta 4 - presy

Visually, the game looks gorgeous. When the original version came out on PS4 and Xbox One, it looked like an anime, except a game. It’s even worth noting that a lot of Dragon Ball YouTubers have compared some of the top-quality animations from the new Dragon Ball Super Movie Trailer directly with how FighterZ is animated.

It’s not as perfect as the other versions with little jaggies here and there, but they’re very hard to see and looks just as beautiful in handheld mode. For all intents and purposes, it looks really, really pretty.

Performance is mostly good, but does have its drawbacks that I hope will be fixed in the main game. When I played the tutorial battles, the game ran at a perfect 60 fps, but when I did Online Battles, I saw a lot of drops, whether I was playing or spectating. None of these drops really hurt my flow of battle, but they were very noticeable.

In conclusion, Dragon Ball FighterZ is looking to take the Switch fanbase by storm with this Beta. Although it’s got some things to polish and improve on the connectivity side, the beautiful visuals and action-packed combat system is set to take other Switch fighting games by storm.