I don't even really remember the last time I got into a fighting game. There was a time when it was one of my favorite game genres. I mean, going back to the early 90's, Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat II were just huge for me. But beyond that, back around 2010 or 2011 I was probably even more into fighting games. And I think the genre went through a bit of a renaissance around the time thanks to Street Fighter IV.
I remember playing Street Fighter IV at a kiosk in a mall at the time. Something that seems really weird a decade later. Malls aren't exactly a big thing anymore. And y'know, we're in the middle of this pandemic and all. But I digress. Once I played Street Fighter IV, I knew I had to have it. And me and some online buddies ended up hosting an online fight night every week. Over the months we tackled all kinds of games from SF4 to Mortal Kombat 9 to BlazBlue and Soul Calibur V and Marvel Vs Capcom 3 and so on.
That was a fun time for sure. But in the decade since I've mostly shied away from the genre. No real reason. But outside of Smash Bros, I just haven't found myself all that compelled to play fighters.
But Dragon Ball Fighter Z is a recent-ish (2018) fighting game that seems to have really gained some momentum. And it's cheap. So I figured why not give it a shot?
I must admit that I had a couple of reservations. For one, it's based on a license that I have very little interest in. I know some folks really love DBZ, but I've never had an interest. Nor am I much of a fan of the art style. That's just aesthetics, though.
The other reservation was that this was developed by Arc Systems. Not that they make bad games. They don't. They're most known for the Guilty Gear and Blazblue games, both of which are beloved series to varying degrees. Both are series I've played and enjoy to varying degrees. But they're not easy to pick-up-and-play fighters. Instead, they're very technical and take a lot of time to learn.
But after an hour or so of Dragon Ball Fighter Z, I think my fear there has been diminished. Yes, this is still a bit technical, but it does seem more streamlined than those other series. More importantly, the tutorial system seems like it's really well down to help ease you into things.
So I played through some of the tutorial to get me feet wet. Then I started the story mode and did that for a while. I'm sure if I was a fan of DBZ then the story would be awesome. But I'm not, so I didn't care and found myself skipping cut scenes. At that point I decided that I'll probably move on to just playing the arcade mode proper.
But so far this seems like a decent and fun fighting game.
I played some more Dragon Ball Fighter Z, and while I think it's a fine fighting game, I can't really say it's holding my attention. I feel like games come in three flavors lately:
1. Games I don't like
2. Games I think are okay, but don't suck me
3. Games I love
And it feels like lately a game has to be that third type - right away - or I'm all set. Again, this probably is just because my gaming time feels more limited than it used to. So if I don't LOVE a game then a part of me is always thinking that I'm just wasting time playing anything else.
Anyway, I ran through the arcade mode pretty easily, which unlocked some harder settings but I just don't care enough. And I definitely don't care enough to get gud enough at this one to actually play it online, which is generally the point of modern fighting games. So I guess, I don't know. Whatever?
For what's it's worth, I used Agent 18, some dude with a tail and that cat guy. Like I said, I'm not a DBZ fan, so I don't know any of these characters. Which may also play into my sort of indifference to this game. I'll say this. It's a heck of a lot better than SNK Heroines. But as lame and basic as it may sound, if I'm gonna get into a fighting game these days, I'm probably better suited to just play Smash.