PC

Dragon Ball FighterZ (PS4)

If a second passes in Dragon Ball FighterZ without an explosive blast or a nuclear-like mushroom cloud, something glitched. It’s mayhem, an animated scene take to extremes, impossible in the traditional hand drawn methods. Even in an era of digital animation, Dragon Ball FighterZ still cannot exist with such energy anywhere but a videogame.

Injustice gave us Superman and Batman trading blows. Dragon Ball FighterZ is the Eastern equivalent, visually arresting with ever improbable force. Fighters end up smashed into the belly of volcanoes – or even through volcanoes – in a show of superhero powers far beyond the Man of Steel. Why Dragon Ball’s participants attempt to explode one another’s throats is muddy. Some fluff over cloning seems like an easy out an excuse to lengthen an expected story mode. That’s another reason Fighterz isn’t fit for traditional animation – no one could tolerate such thin excuses for action. This is animation distilled through a filter of all-action.

That aside, what a vivid and bold display of energy this game is. It’s bizarre how wimpy the comparable Marvel vs Capcom now feels. Where the Incredible Hulk once stood, Goku now stands over him, pummeling the green giant with laser beams and floating combination strikes in an output of alluring, impossible violence. Better still, FighterZ celebrates the button masher. Slam punch repeatedly and watch stuff happen. That’s not much for depth, but it’s a sensationally bold push toward turning the genre back toward its earlier days, while forever altering the minimal level of energy required to succeed.

4/5

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