Shacknews Best Fighting Game of 2018 - Dragon Ball FighterZ

A masters class in how to make licensed fighters, Dragon Ball FighterZ stands out as the best Dragon Ball Z game ever and the best fighting game of the year.

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There's a lot that goes into making a great licensed fighting game. It's mainly centered around solid gameplay mechanics, a good roster, and replayability. But going into 2018, I rarely thought of total immersion as the hallmark of a great fighter. Dragon Ball FighterZ, however, is the most immersive fighting game I've seen in years. And combined with the aforementioned qualities of a good fighter, that makes Dragon Ball FighterZ this year's best fighting game.

Few fighting games have ever felt so faithful to their license quite like Dragon Ball FighterZ. The art style is incredible, looking strikingly similar to the source material. The style in which characters clash, deliver blows, and pull of special moves look like they're pulled directly from the anime. Fights can end with entire buildings collapsing or even worlds exploding.

Let's put it this way. Imagine Dragon Ball FighterZ with all of the HUD elements turned off. Now try playing it and in the middle of a session, a fellow Dragon Ball Z fan walks into the room. It's more than likely that if they don't notice the controller in your hand, they'll ask, "Hey, which Dragon Ball Z episode is this?" That's how gorgeous this game's art style is and how close it comes to emulating the actual source material. The emulation of the anime extends to other facets of the game, from the characers' interactions with one another to the ability to summon Shenron in mid-battle.

But art is just one piece of the formula. Dragon Ball FighterZ, despite utilizing numerous mechanics, is a simple game to pick up and play. It's not bogged down by complicated inputs, but is complex enough to favor those who love bombastic combos. The teamwork mechanic uses all of the best elements of classic crossover fighters like Marvel vs. Capcom to great effect. And the homing mechanic is not only easy to use, but adds to the sense of this as a great Dragon Ball Z game. How many times have we seen character dash directly to their targets, leading to both characters exchanging punches and kicks at lightning speed? That happens a lot here and it never gets old.

Fan service doesn't get any better than this, as this both the ultimate love letter to Dragon Ball Z lovers and crossover fighter players. It should be the ultimate example of how licensed fighters should be treated. And it's Shacknews' Best Fighting Game of 2018.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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