Dragon Ball FighterZ at Gamescom Part 2: New System Mechanics
We return with yet more Gamescom coverage of Dragon Ball FighterZ. This time around we are going to check out some new system mechanics, changes from the EVO build, new modes, and the upcoming beta.
Dragon Ball FighterZ now has an auto-combo system, like pretty much every other fighting game on the market these days. Each character has two auto-combos, one on light attack and one on medium attack. Mashing light attack will cause your character to do a short sequence of moves ending in a knockdown while mashing medium attack will make your character do a longer sequence of moves ending in a super. Auto-combo strings feature unique moves, as they do in Persona 4 Arena. This means that auto combos aren’t simply performing a combo that you could do just as well manually, but rather are taking you through a specific move progression that can be integrated into even high level play.
The fact that each character gets one combo that goes for positioning and one combo that goes for damage also allows new players to start thinking of combo utility early, far before they even have their first combo under their belt.
The Dragon Rush
The Dragon Rush is Dragon Ball FighterZ’s replacement for the throw. After a short charge and a blue flash, your character rockets toward the opponent and, if they connect, bypasses all guards and launches them into the air for an air combo. In prior builds, the Dragon Rush could be used multiple times in the same combo, allowing crafty players to rack up huge damage provided the opponent never techs out. This has been changed in the Gamescom build. Using the Dragon Rush twice in a combo replaces the launching effect with a damaging downward spike which effectively ends the combo.
The Smash Attack
The heavy attack button has been rebranded the “smash attack” button. Using a smash knocks your opponent to the other side of the screen and using a crouching slash knocks your opponent into the air for an air combo. Crouching smashes are also invulnerable to aerial attacks. Why does this rebranding matter? Because smash attacks have special properties, specifically that you can tag in a teammate immediately after a smash to continue the combo for you. You can do this as many times as you like in a combo, however your opponent can tech out of the combo any time after the second smash. This style of character switching is going to be key to maximizing damage.
In addition to doing a special move, the smash button makes you do an ex version of that move for the expenditure of one bar of meter. This means the button really won’t be used very often in neutral game, allowing newer players to focus primarily on light and medium attacks.
Super Damage Proration
Super damage was already low in Dragon Ball FighterZ but it has gotten even lower. Damage proration now affects supers far more than it did in the E3 build. This means that supers are better used for their utility than their damage. They provide opportunities for safe character switching and provide avenues of attack that would otherwise be inaccessible. However, outside of this utility meter is better spent on teleports, ex moves, and other special character functions. Luckily, meter builds fast so you’ll often have all these options at your fingertips.
With the introduction of characters like Trunks, Krillin, and Android 16, it’s clear that no character is meant to do everything by themselves in Dragon Ball FighterZ. You aren’t picking three different characters as much as you are crafting one single character through your three team members. Trunks would struggle getting any damage in by himself, for example, but when paired with Android 16 you now have a frighteningly fast mix-up character that can tag into an instant killing grab.
In general, teams will likely be composed of a battery, a striker, and an anchor. Battery characters will excel in neutral game, whittling down the opponent’s life little by little and building meter. Strikers will be used to open up the opponent, but not necessarily do damage. They will start combos, but not finish them. Finally, anchors will be characters with high damage capacity but fewer utility tools. They will be tagged into from either the battery or the striker in order to finish off opponents.
There is an absurd amount of time to finish a Dragon Ball FighterZ match. The timer starts at 300 “seconds” and these seconds take far longer than you would expect. Not only that, but killing an opponent when the timer is low actually adds time back to the timer! There is almost no way to play the lame game and timer-scam your opponent in this game. You have to get in there and fight.
Bandai Namco announced a brand new 3v3 multiplayer mode in which six different players each take control of one character on each team. VS fighting game fans have asked for this for years and this is the first example of a real implementation (aside from Street Fighter X Tekken but… come on). It is unclear how tagging will work, or whether this mode can be used locally or just online, but it’s sure to be a blast.
While we got our first look at the game’s story, it’s still unclear what that story is. Something appears to have made evil clones of the Z fighters though we don’t know what or why. We do know that non-combatant characters like Bulma show up, fully animated. It’s also unclear whether or not this story will be playable, like Blazblue’s, or only watchable, like Guilty Gear’s.
That’s all the info we have for you about Dragon Ball Fighter Z today. If you want to find out more, you’ll just have to play for yourself. Signups for the closed beta are available now on the game’s official website. Just note, the beta version will likely have less content than the Gamescom build. The closed beta will take place September 16-17 in four distinct sessions.
Check back for more Dragon Ball Fighter Z info as it becomes available.