Dragon Ball FighterZ

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Dragon Ball FighterZ
DBFZ cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Arc System Works
Publisher(s)Bandai Namco Entertainment
Director(s)Junya Motomura
Producer(s)Tomoko Hiroki
Programmer(s)Takuro Kayumi
Artist(s)Katsuki Mukai
  • Toshiyuki Kishi
  • Hiromi Mizutani
  • Kenji Katoh
  • Reno
SeriesDragon Ball
EngineUnreal Engine 4
ReleaseWindows, PS4, Xbox One
  • WW: January 26, 2018
  • JP: February 1, 2018
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: September 28, 2018
  • JP: September 27, 2018
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Dragon Ball FighterZ[a] is a 2D fighting game developed by Arc System Works and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Based on the Dragon Ball franchise, it was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows in most regions in January 2018, and in Japan the following month,[1][2] and was released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch in September 2018.

Dragon Ball FighterZ received positive reviews from critics, with many citing the game as one of the best fighting games released in the eighth generation of video game consoles. The game's fighting system, character roster, visuals and music were all highly praised while its story mode and online functionality were subject to criticism.


The gameplay is inspired by concepts from several other fighting games, namely the control scheme and team mechanics. Players each select three characters to form a team, from an initial roster of 24. One character is controlled and can be switched with one of the other characters at any time. Players can also call one of their other characters to perform an "Assist" move, allowing simultaneous attacks and combos with the entire team. All three of the opponent's characters must be defeated to win the game.

In addition to the unique moves of each character, players have several universal moves available. With the "Vanish Attack", the player can expend Ki to instantly teleport behind an opponent's character and strike them in the back. This has multiple uses, from bypassing enemy projectiles to moving quickly around the stage, or extending a combo. The "Dragon Rush" move can break through an opponent's guard and if successful, offers a choice between an aerial combo or forcing the opponent to switch to a different character. The "Super Dash" flying attack will home in on the opponent's lead character and is able to pass through weaker projectiles. Lastly, players can "Ki Charge" to manually increase their Ki gauge, similar to previous Dragon Ball fighting games.

The game includes several other features, such as "Come on Shenron!", that allows players to gather the Dragon Balls one by one as the fight progresses by special moves and combos. Once all seven are assembled and a player performs a specific attack under certain conditions, Shenron appears to grant a wish and allows players to choose one among the following benefits: increasing their fighter's strength, reviving a fallen ally, recovering a fighter's health or regenerating health for the rest of the match. Another feature is the "Dramatic Finish" mode, wherein if specific characters win the fight against specific enemies on specific stages, special cutscenes are triggered related to events from the Dragon Ball series.

Dragon Ball FighterZ features a ranking system in both its arcade mode[3] as well as in online multiplayer, where players increase their rank with subsequent wins.


The base roster includes 24 playable characters consisting of characters of the franchise, with a further 8 being released as paid downloadable content (DLC).

Android 21 is a new character exclusive to the game, designed by series creator Akira Toriyama.[4]

^DLC : Available as downloadable content.


The game takes place sometime between the "Universe 6" and "Future Trunks" arcs of Dragon Ball Super. The game's main antagonist, Android 21, was a normal human who eventually became an Android created by the Red Ribbon Army after her son became the model for Android 16. Once she awakens, she repairs 16 and uses the Dragon Balls to resurrect Frieza, Cell, Nappa, and the Ginyu Force, and seals away the powers and souls of all of Earth's strongest warriors. Wanting to control the hungry monster within her, she and 16 develop a linking system originally created by Dr. Gero in which a human soul (the player) can possess the warriors and provide them strength.

Super Warriors Arc[edit]

The player possesses Son Goku and awakens next to Bulma, who asks him to confront the Earth's current crisis. Clones of the other fighters and villains have been appearing and the other Z Warriors are nowhere to be seen. After confronting the resurrected 16, Beerus and Whis arrive to explain the soul's link to Goku. Goku and Bulma leave to try and find 16 and the other Z warriors. Goku rescues Krillin, and they battle Cell who appears to have knocked out 18 and endangered an unknown woman. The woman claims to be a Red Ribbon scientist and informs them that they need to find the base emitting the power-suppressing waves to restore their abilities.

The reunited Z Fighters eventually confront 16, where he explains that the Red Ribbon Army's current leader, Android 21, is behind everything. The scientist Goku and Krillin saved from Cell earlier arrives and reveals herself to be Android 21. She destroys 16 for his betrayal and knocks out Goku when he tries to follow her. The player then possesses Cell's body and battles 21 before returning to Goku's body again. 21 devours the resurrected villains and decides to wait for Goku and his friends to grow stronger. Goku brings her and the other Z Fighters to the Sacred World of the Kai to protect Earth from the fight. With their combined power, Goku and the Z Fighters obliterate 21. Whis expresses his disappointment over the unanswered questions about Android 21.

Super Villain Arc[edit]

16 implants the player's soul within the recently revived Frieza, much to the tyrant's ire. Frieza recruits the resurrected Nappa, Ginyu Force, and Cell to battle the clones and eventually confront the true culprit: Android 21. 21 forces the villains to battle and defeat Android 18. Goku and Krillin arrive while she pretends to be an innocent bystander to pit the heroes and villains against each other. The player prevents Frieza from killing Goku and the villains explain the situation to the heroes. Goku suggests that the two sides join forces to stop 21, and the villains reluctantly agree

The villains aid Goku in rescuing the Z Fighters to fight 21, who destroys 16 after discovering his betrayal. Frieza suggests to the group that they strengthen their link with the player to gain back more of their power and defeat more clones as they're the source of 21's strength. After killing the final clone, they defeat Android 21 and use Bulma's machine to help Goku, Frieza, and Cell obliterate her for good. Following her destruction, everyone's powers are restored and Frieza expels the player from his body as the heroes and villains start fighting each other anew.

Android 21 Arc[edit]

Android 16 kidnaps Android 18 and implants the player's soul within her. He and 21 request her and the player's help in combating the clones created by the Red Ribbon Army. 21 becomes increasingly unstable after each battle, but 16 refuses to explain her condition to 17 and 18. When Krillin finds the androids, 21 forces 18 to fight Krillin and nearly kills him, but the player links with 21 and discovers two beings within her body. 16 takes 18 to a lab and explains that the cells that created Android 21 may be going berserk, and that he used the link system to stop her from going mad.

The androids are eventually confronted by Cell, who has regained most of his original power. 21 transforms into her true self to protect the androids, but succumbs to the hunger again. She kills 16 in her rage, causing her good and evil personas to split into two separate beings. Evil 21 devours Cell and the control to the power suppressor, drastically increasing her strength. Goku and Krillin rescue the androids and recruit them to combat Evil 21. The Z-Fighters battle Evil 21 for the last time on the Sacred World of the Kai. Once the fighters discover Evil 21's extraordinary regenerative capabilities, Goku attacks her with a Spirit Bomb. When Evil 21 starts resisting the attack, Good 21 pushes her into it, killing them both. Goku plans to request 21's reincarnation from King Yemma and to help the player return their original body.


On June 9, 2017, a Japanese press release dated for June 12 prematurely revealed information about the game and two screenshots before its official announcement.[10] The press release was eventually removed from Bandai Namco's website.[11]

On June 11, 2017, the game was revealed at Microsoft's E3 press conference.[12] A closed beta for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions were also confirmed.[13] Bandai Namco said there is a possibility the game could come to the Nintendo Switch if enough fans request it.[14] Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama designed a new female character named Android 21 for the game.[15] The game uses Unreal Engine 4.[16]

On June 12, 2018, during Nintendo's E3 2018 installment of Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that a version of Dragon Ball FighterZ would be released on Nintendo Switch later in 2018, with a playable demo of the Switch version of the game being available for attendees on the show floor, where it was revealed that the game supported a simplified control scheme to accommodate single Joy-Con controller play in single-player and multiplayer modes.[17]


Players who preordered Dragon Ball FighterZ on console received early access to the game's open beta test period, as well as early unlocks for the SSGSS Goku and SSGSS Vegeta characters and an additional in-game stamp pack. Two digital bundles have been announced: The "FighterZ Edition" includes the game and the FighterZ Pass, which includes eight additional downloadable characters. The "Ultimate Edition" includes all content from the FighterZ Edition, as well as a Commentator Voice Pack and additional music from the anime series which can be played during battle. A physical collector's edition for the game is also available, which includes a steelbook case, three art boards, and a 7" statue of Goku.[1] A Nintendo Switch version was released in September 2018.[18]


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PC) 85/100[19]
(PS4) 87/100[20]
(XONE) 86/100[21]
(NS) 87/100[22]
Review scores
Game Informer9.25/10[26]
Game Revolution4/5 stars[27]
PC Gamer (UK)83%[30]

After its announcement, Dragon Ball FighterZ was met with great enthusiasm from fans of fighting games and the source material alike, with many saying it has the potential to be the next big competitive fighting game.[33] The game gained praise regarding its art design and animation being faithful to the source material, as well as its fighting mechanics. A playable demo was available at the Evolution Championship Series 2017, where pros were able to get their hands on the title for a small tournament; many of the pros praised the game highly, regarding its versatility when it comes to play styles as well as being enjoyable.[34]

The game received generally favorable reviews from critics, who cited the art style, combat system, cast of playable characters, and story mode as positives. Several called it the best Dragon Ball game, and one of the best fighting games in years.[20][21][35][36]

The online connectivity is one of the aspects that has been criticized about the game.[37]


The game shipped over two million copies a week after release,[38] becoming the fastest selling Dragon Ball title.[39] It also set a Steam record for the highest number of concurrent users for a fighting game.[40]

It reached #2 in the sales charts in the UK,[41] Australia,[42] New Zealand[43] and the USA,[44] behind Monster Hunter: World in all cases. It also debuted at #2 behind Monster Hunter: World in Japan with 68.731 sales in the first week at retail.[45]

The Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta unlock DLC sold well, entering the top 10 in Europe.[46]

Total sales reached 3.5 million copies by the end of September 2018.[47]


Year Award Category Result Ref
2017 Game Critics Awards Best Original Game Nominated [48][49]
Best Fighting Game Won
Gamescom Best Booth Award Nominated [50]
2018 Golden Joystick Awards Best Visual Design Pending [51]
Best Competitive Game Pending
eSports Game of the Year Pending
The Game Awards 2018 Best Fighting Game Pending [52]


  1. ^ Doragon Bōru Faitāzu (Japanese: ドラゴンボール ファイターズ) in Japanese


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  3. ^ Ramsey, Robert (November 21, 2017). "Dragon Ball FighterZ Has a Full Arcade Mode with Ranks, Difficulty Levels, and Unlockable Costume Colours". Push Square. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  4. ^ https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJ2Qb0TV4AEJSjg.jpg
  5. ^ http://www.siliconera.com/2018/09/19/android-17-confirmed-as-next-dlc-fighter-in-dragon-ball-fighterz-arrives-later-in-september/
  6. ^ a b Osborn, Alex. "DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ: FIRST DLC CHARACTERS REVEALED". IGN.com. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
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