Dragon Ball FighterZ (Switch) – review

In the wake of a whole new series, Dragon Ball Super, Akira Toriyama’s masterpiece is back with all his energy and passion to welcome new fans and the renewed love of those who, like us, tried to shoot a Kamehameha in living room, almost twenty years ago. In all this time, many video games dedicated to Goku and his friends have alternated on the different generations of consoles (unforgettable Legend of Super Sayan on SNES and Budokai Tenkaichi on Playstation 2), yet it was necessary to arrive at 2018 and Dragon Ball FighterZ to see what is probably the best of all.

As a pure fighting game, on a horizontal plane, and programmed by those geniuses of Arc System who for years have perfected the technique and made us consume fingerprints with BlazeBlue and Guilty Gear, just to name a couple. This new combination between expert developer and winning brand has decreed a new success, which now also lands on the small Nintendo Switch which proves, as young Goku taught us long ago, that potential is not to be judged by size.

Switch is hosting many ports lately, a sign that console sales are attracting publishers, even if not all of them are able to accept the compromise that battery, portability and reduced power force development. In short, this is not the case with Arc and Dragon Ball FighterZ: starting the game in docked mode, connected to the TV, it is difficult to notice the differences between this version and those for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. The only notes to report are some jagged edges in some objects that scale the resolution in a lower way and some “snapshots” during the agitated phases filled with lighting effects on the screen. However, they are very rare events and which we can safely consider irrelevant to the experience as a whole.

Despite the Switch’s hardware being inferior to that of PS4 and Xbox One, Dragon Ball FighterZ fares extremely well when played on a TV.

In this way we can say that the real Dragon Ball FighterZ is intact in all respects. The cel shading that has conquered us and has marked new heights for the whole industry still shines, in the riot of effects that energy waves and extreme blows are able to generate. The alternation of characters during a combo can give life to chains of enormous damage and scenes that have nothing to envy to the anime, indeed. The game modes are all there, without any renunciation online and offline, to guarantee a vast and customizable offer. One really wonders how in so little space the Switch can hold its own against the most powerful rivals.

In short, playing it like the counterparts released some time ago, everything is fine. Things, as usual, get slightly worse when we carry FighterZ around, as only the Nintendo console allows us to do. In this case, the 720p resolution shows the side of a more intrusive aliasing and characters with obviously more blurred textures, in order to allow the now antiquated Tegra X1 to render everything at 60fps. It is precisely for this reason that we must rest assured: in a game like this, which has already made it big in the competitive world, we must congratulate Arc for being able to guarantee the sixty frames per second, which allows a fluidity and therefore an unaltered playability.

In this scenario the possibilities of taking advantage of the Z warriors increases thanks to the capabilities of the console, being able to expand the offline multiplayer experience with the simple sharing of the JoyCons available, to reach a maximum of six players who compete on the same console at the same time, easier than on other consoles. One of the initial fears, that of having to give up using only one JoyCon, is immediately eliminated since the title adapts the controls to this configuration which, although lacking the necessary backbones, simplifies moves and super moves by condensing them into shorter chains. Instead of the “quarters of the moon” we use the union of two keys for example. For a friendly and non-competitive environment that’s just fine.

For everything else, however, better equip yourself with a PRO Controller and return to the sofa in front of the TV; when it comes to serious or ranked games, Dragon Ball FighterZ needs the configuration of controls in common with One and PS4, otherwise you will inevitably lose something in manual skills. The speed of execution, for example, due to the small size of the keys and backbones, decreases even if you are an expert fighter, something that does not happen on the more traditional controller.

With the Pro Controller you will certainly enjoy the intense and fast combat more.

It is that feeling of being able to jerk with analogue force and press hard on the keys in the most critical and fast situations that is missing due to the “lightness” of JoyCon, and therefore needs the solidity that the PRO can give. To make sure of our sensations, we had very high-level friends try to fight for dozens of games with JoyCon, and the result was obvious: the PRO is at least a notch above. However, a certain poverty of online players should be noted in these first days of the release, which could also be due to the Nintendo service which now requires a payment.

Dragon Ball FighterZ for Switch is ultimately an excellently made port, capable of bringing the fantastic combat experience already appreciated on other platforms without giving up anything, if not negligible technical details, elevating it to a new dimension, that of portability. The only disappointment, already expressed by the community on the net, remains the fact of not having available all the characters released so far with the downloadable content, which despite being present must be unlocked with the purchase of the Season Pass. A complaint to which we join, given that in other ports on Switch the publishers have seen fit to add what has been developed up to that moment, as well as a subtitle to highlight a “complete” or “definitive” edition, just to justify a purchase. so far in time.

It is likely that if you are a champion eager for primacy in Tenkaichi, you will want to risk nothing and have perfect playability and therefore focus on the major consoles or the PC, if you have not already done so, but here too you have the chance to learn the secrets of the energy wave without too many problems. Switch to the backpack then, and off to the room of Spirit and Time.